Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 393–410 | Cite as

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

  • Seth D. BaumEmail author
  • Jacob D. Haqq-Misra
  • Chris Karmosky


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 



William Easterling and Raymond Tutu provided helpful comments on previous drafts of this paper. Any remaining errors are our own.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth D. Baum
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jacob D. Haqq-Misra
    • 3
  • Chris Karmosky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Research on Environmental DecisionsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Meteorology and Astrobiology Research CenterPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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