New book on climate justice by Stephen Gardiner and Arthur Obst

Submitted by Sarah Kremen-Hicks on
Stephen Gardiner

UW Philosophy's Professor Stephen Gardiner and Arthur Obst have collaborated on a new book, Dialogues on Climate Justice, out now from Routledge. Obst discusses their approach to the book:

"We wrote Dialogues on Climate Justice for several reasons. Primarily, we saw a need for an new text that would introduce the reader to the current ethical and justice issues surrounding climate change. These evolve very rapidly as the climate threat becomes felt more viscerally and the social and political conversations shift. Plus, the threat of climate is so urgent we both wanted to do our part in ensuring that certain perspectives and ethical problems received the attention we believe they are due.

However, we also wrote the book as an experiment and a challenge for ourselves. There were two unique aspects of this project. First, this particular introduction to climate justice would be written in dialogue form. This was exciting both because we would be contributing to the rich tradition of philosophical dialogues dating back to Ancient Greece, but also because it made our text a unique educational tool that might serve many readers better than a traditional textbook. The dialogue format also provided the opportunity to enhance the philosophy through incorporating literary and dramatic elements. However, this made writing the book all the more difficult, as we didn't merely have to worry about making the text intellectually and socially responsible, but also a good story. Second, this project was unique because we were writing the book together. Neither of us had ever set out to write a full book collaboratively, with each person fundamental to the conceptualizing, writing, and revising of every single chapter. However, we were well aware that collaboration involves mutual vulnerability and compromise, which is not easy to sustain; this is (in part) why co-authorship can often gone awry. Yet, we knew that if we could pull it off the rewards would be significant.

Two years later, we are happy to report that the project turned out better than we could have hoped. Despite the very real challenges we anticipated and indeed faced, we produced a book we believe to be educational and entertaining, philosophically rigorous and narratively compelling. We can only hope our readers will agree."