Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 393-410

First online:

Climate Change: Evidence of Human Causes and Arguments for Emissions Reduction

  • Seth D. BaumAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, Pennsylvania State UniversityCenter for Research on Environmental Decisions, Columbia University Email author 
  • , Jacob D. Haqq-MisraAffiliated withDepartment of Meteorology and Astrobiology Research Center, Pennsylvania State University
  • , Chris KarmoskyAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, Pennsylvania State University

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In a recent editorial, Raymond Spier expresses skepticism over claims that climate change is driven by human actions and that humanity should act to avoid climate change. This paper responds to this skepticism as part of a broader review of the science and ethics of climate change. While much remains uncertain about the climate, research indicates that observed temperature increases are human-driven. Although opinions vary regarding what should be done, prominent arguments against action are based on dubious factual and ethical positions. Thus, the skepticisms in the recent editorial are unwarranted. This does not diminish the general merits of skeptical intellectual inquiry.


Climate change Skepticism Transdisciplinarity Uncertainty Economics