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CeCAR Lunch Seminar with Malcolm Fairbrother

Research profile seminar

Title: Climate Policies and the Value of Future Lives: Evidence from Survey Experiments in Four Countries

Abstract: How much do most people value future generations? Academic ethicists may care a lot about future generations, but it's not clear that most other people do. The dearth of political action on climate change, for example, could be a sign that nonspecialists ascribe little value to unborn people. (Around the world, for example, surveys show that most people are opposed to carbon taxes, even though they recognize the reality and dangers of climate change¿a fact which could be taken as evidence of widespread opposition to any kind of sacrifice for the sake of future generations.) Using survey experiments with representative samples of respondents in four countries¿Sweden, Spain, China, and South Korea¿we find that, in fact, most people do care about future generations. In principle, most even say they are willing to reduce their standard of living for the sake of people in the future. They do not, however, understand and/or believe in the cause-and-effect relationships that could link policy interventions today with the number and quality of future lives. People's opposition is closely tied to scepticism about the effectiveness of future-oriented policy actions, and to their distrust of major social institutions.

Lecturer: Malcolm Fairbrother

Date: 9/13/2019

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Location: B336 Stora Skansen, Sprängkullsgatan 19

Contact person: Niklas Harring


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