CFP: International Society for Environmental Ethics 17th Annual Summer Meeting

Call for papers on themes concerning

Action and the Climate Crisis

July 6-9, 2020
H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue River, Oregon

This call for papers solicits 500-word proposals for presentations on any topic in environmental philosophy. However, special attention will be given to proposals for talks concerning issues connected with first-order normative claims, initiatives, and action in response to the range of environmental threats connected to climate change, biodiversity loss, mass extinction, pollution, and ecosystem degradation.

An escalating rhetoric of a “crisis” or “emergency” has accompanied an increase of public awareness about harmful climate impacts and degraded environmental conditions. With some regularity, we hear that observed phenomena either meet or exceed the worst-case scenarios within a suite of possible trajectories. Predicted changes in the natural world are unfolding more rapidly than expected, e.g. loss of Arctic ice, and international pledges to act are simply not being met, as global GHG emissions continue to grow. Empirical studies reveal surprising and deeply troubling information about, for example, the collapse of insect and bird populations, while some powerful right-wing and authoritarian political leaders only exacerbate the problems, e.g. Trump’s withdraw from the Paris Agreement and Bolsonaro’s policies of deforestation and development in the Amazon.

In response, there has been growing youth-led, political engagement, exemplified by the international school strikes for climate action and the U.S. Sunrise Movement, as well as a return to non-violent direct action (e.g., by Extinction Rebellion in the UK). One widespread refrain asserts we have only 12 years to radically transform society, which calls for a mobilization equivalent to those made to fight world wars. How should we think about that? While environmental philosophy has traditionally focused on theory, concepts, and ideological frameworks (e.g. conceptions of intrinsic value, anthropocentrism, and environmental justice), the theme of this conference is to focus on praxis, conduct, behavior, and concrete action: How can philosophy help us understand and engage with conditions that call us to action? How can we do activism well in the climate arena, both strategically and ethically? What will future generations, in retrospect, think we should be doing today?

Proposals prepared for blind review should be submitted via email to Allen Thompson, <allen.thompson@oregonstate.edu> no later than March 1st, 2020. Decisions will be announced by April 15th.