Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Peter Singer

Peter Singer's books include Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter.

From his Q & A with Linch Zhang for the Huffington Post:

Linch: One of your largest focuses as a public figure is emphasizing the harms of climate change and the need to do something about it. I’m guessing this is probably not a question you ever get outside of effective altruism(EA) circles, but what is the rationale for emphasizing climate change? As a sanity check, depending on various estimates, climate change kills between 150,000 and 400,000 people a year, and is projected to approach 600,000 in 2030. This is no doubt extremely horrifying. But at the same time, roughly the same number of people die from malaria every year, while climate change gets far more attention, and seems harder to solve. At the margins, why should a concerned aspiring effective altruist or a HuffPost reader focus on mitigating climate change instead of malaria or other highly neglected problems?

Singer: The number of people dying from malaria is, fortunately, declining, while the number dying from climate change is, unfortunately, increasing. And it could get much worse after 2030, so that within decades, the numbers dying or becoming refugees could reach the tens or even hundreds of millions. That’s the most important reason to...[read on]
Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than thirty books, including Animal Liberation, widely considered to be the founding statement of the animal rights movement, Practical Ethics, and One World: Ethics and Globalization.

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