Discounting future costs and benefits is often defended on the ground that our descendants will be richer. Simply to treat the future as better off, however, is to commit an ecological fallacy. Even if our descendants are better off when we average across climate change scenarios, this cannot justify discounting costs and benefits in possible states of the world in which they are not. Giving due weight to catastrophe scenarios requires energetic action against climate change.
Global Priorities Seminar Convenors: Prof Hilary Greaves and Rossa O'Keeffe-O'Donovan