Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture: Reconciling the Epistemological, Ethical, Political, and Practical Challenges

  • Robert M. Chiles
  • Eileen E. Fabian
  • Daniel Tobin
  • Scott J. Colby
  • S. Molly DePue
Articles

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide further clarity to the technical and policy difficulties associated with mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by identifying and distilling the core tensions which propagate and animate them. We argue that these complexities exist across four critical dimensions: the epistemological, the ethical, the political, and the practical. Adequately confronting the challenge of agricultural emissions will require improved transparency in emissions measurement, increased science communication, enhanced public participatory mechanisms, and the integration of ethical deliberation in scientific and policy discussions.

Keywords

Agricultural ethics Climate change Emissions measurement Climate justice Sustainability Epistemology Food politics Governance Science and technology studies 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank David Blandford, Katharina Hassapoyannes, Clare Hinrichs, Carolyn Sachs, Arie Sanders, Paul B. Thompson, Wes Eaton, Leslie Pillen, and Heidrun Moschitz for their very useful comments and contributions to our group discussions. Any errors or omissions are the authors’ alone. This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Federal Appropriations under Project PEN04437 and Accession number 1012188.

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Chiles
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Eileen E. Fabian
    • 4
  • Daniel Tobin
    • 5
  • Scott J. Colby
    • 1
  • S. Molly DePue
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and EducationThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Food ScienceThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Rock Ethics InstituteThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural and Biological EngineeringThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Community Development and Applied EconomicsThe University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life SciencesBurlingtonUSA

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