Précis Population Ethics
Publication year: 2017
Ars Vivendi Journal, Special Issue: On Population Ethics, No.8/9, pp.3-6.
One of the most important insights to emerge over the past hundred years is that the actions of the current generation could have profound and far-reaching effects for future generations. Perhaps it was during the 1970s, with the debate on nuclear power, that this insight took firm root in public consciousness. The problem of nuclear waste brought with it a longer time perspective than any previous generation had to consider. It is expected that high-level radioactive waste needs to be isolated from people and nature for at least 100,000 years – a mind-bogglingly long time. More recently, climate change has emerged as the cardinal example. Nowhere else is the sense that even distant future generations are at our mercy more visible and pressing..............