Page:Lawhead columbia 0054D 12326.pdf/29

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there is room for many different contributions. No useful tool should be turned away.

So this call for radical collaboration is hardly new or revolutionary, despite the minor uproar that Taylor and his critics caused. The problem with which this project is concerned—the use to which I’ll be putting my own tools here—is not a new one either. It is one about which alarm bells have been ringing for at least 60 years now, growing steadily louder with each passing decade: the problem of rapid anthropogenic global climate change. I shall argue that what resources philosophy has to offer should not be ignored here, for every last bit of information that can be marshaled to solve this problem absolutely must be brought to bear. This is a problem that is more urgent than any before it, and certainly more than any since the end of the nuclear tensions of the Cold War. While it likely does not, as some have claimed, threaten the survival of the human species itself—short of a catastrophic celestial collision, few things beyond humanity's own weapons of mass destruction can claim that level of danger—it threatens the lives of millions, perhaps even billions, of individual human beings (as well as the quality of life for millions more), but only if we fail to understand the situation and act appropriately. I shall argue that this is quite enough of a threat to warrant an all-out effort to solve this problem. I shall argue that philosophy, properly pursued, has as real a contribution to make as any other branch of science. I shall argue that we must, in a very real sense, cooperate or die.

1.1 What's a Philosopher to Do?

Of course, we need to make all this a good deal more precise. It's all well and good for philosophers to claim to have something to add to science in general (and climate science in particular), but what exactly are we supposed to be adding? What are the problems of science