Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 169–186 | Cite as

What’s Wrong with Joyguzzling?

  • Ewan KingstonEmail author
  • Walter Sinnott-Armstrong


Our thesis is that there is no moral requirement to refrain from emitting reasonable amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) solely in order to enjoy oneself. Joyriding in a gas guzzler (joyguzzling) provides our paradigm example. We first distinguish this claim that there is no moral requirement to refrain from joyguzzling from other more radical claims. We then review several different proposed objections to our view. These include: the claim that joyguzzling exemplifies a vice, causes or contributes to harm, has negative expected value, exceeds our fair share of global emissions, and undermines political duties. We show why none of these objections succeeds and conclude that no good reason has yet been proposed that shows why joyguzzling violates a moral requirement.


Climate change Individual responsibility Moral requirements Climate ethics Greenhouse gases Causation Virtue Politics Fair shares 



We wish to thank Douglas Maclean, John Broome, Christian Baatz, Avram Hiller, Mark Budolfson, Sara Bernstein, Shelly Kagan, Dale Jamieson, and two anonymous reviewers.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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