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Death by a Thousand Coasts: The Ethics of Climate Change

Location: Melrose Hotel, Washington, DC, USA
Event Type: Meeting
Event Date: 2006-11-24    
End Date: 2006-11-27

Event Description:
Environmental science in the past 50 y has demonstrated that the climate of Earth as a whole is warming. Polar and mountain ice is melting. Seas are warming and sea levels are rising. Deserts are expanding. Agricultural lands are being lost. Latitudinal distributions of tropical diseases and disease vectors have broadened. Many contemporary species of plant and animal have become endangered, as their habitats are lost to climate change and urban (re)development. Tropical storms have become more powerful. Weather in general is now more variable in space, time, intensity and duration.

Abrupt (< 30 y) and devastating changes in climate have occurred in the past destroying human habitats, economies and civilizations. The speed of climate change is now matched to rates of economic transformation important for human survival and prosperity (30 y bonds, mortgages, etc.). Much of this world is of human making and the consequences of human action or inaction are now predictable to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty. We are ethically responsible for our ecosystems, our economies and our selves. We must act honorably.

Inter-Research Symposium # 1 will provide best available evidence on 6 topics related to climate change.

1 Statement of probable effects of climate change over the next 100 years along with a statement of climate effects that may be less probable but are large in their consequences (for example, rapid ice melt on Greenland), and evidence of patterns and rates of polar ice formation during the late Miocene cooling of Earth to see how the system might unravel during warming.

2. Evidence of the effects of short and long term climate change on the fates of earlier human civilizations and on the fates of present day agriculture and animal husbandry.

3. Evidence of habitat loss, degradation/alteration and the processes by which species become endangered by climate change.

4. Economic changes and complex risk assessment/management required by climate change.

5. Structural changes in civic infrastructure/architecture and governments needed to respond effectively to climate change.

6. Substantial changes in geopolitics are necessitated by climate change. "Realpolitiks" lies dead in the jaws of climate change, its assumptions (of anarchical international systems, sovereign state actors, paramount interests of nationalism, security and survival, and guarantees of state survival through relative--zero sum--military power) have been rendered a selective disadvantage.

This Symposium also will be a stage for the presentation of five international contest winners who submitted essays on the ethics of climate change in: business, law, medicine, religious studies and general interest.


Registration Opens
May 1, 2006

Early registration closes
July 2, 2006

Late registration closes
November 24, 2006

Abstract Deadline
July 3, 2006

Contact email:

Event programme:

Collaborators and organisers:
Organizing and Program Committees

Howard I. Browman, Ph. D.
Brian M. Marcotte, Ph. D.
Penny Kuhn, M.Sc.
Mary Batson, M.A.

Website url:

Registration form:

Registration fee: 

Relevant costs that should be taken by MARBEF:  

Possibility for day-care centres (facilities for children): No

MarBEF supported event: No

Event within Framework of MARBEF: (none)

Maximum number of participants: 

External participants (non MARBEF) allowed: Yes

Posted by WardAppeltans on 2006-03-27 and approved by webmaster