I’ll start with some easy scenarios. Suppose that I walk into a store and shoplift a bottle of tequila. From just that tiny bit of information, you can tell fairly quickly that what I did was wrong. Maybe you even know what to do about it? Probably I should be apprehended, the bottle should be returned, and maybe I should be brought to the attention of the authorities?
Now try this one. Suppose that a million people wake up to warm houses this winter. They have toast, coffee and hot showers. Suitably fortified, they drive to work each morning and get on with their lives, maybe jetting off to a fine beach every now and then for well-deserved weekend breaks. The energy that supports all this comes from the burning of fossil fuels.
It is totally in line with Dr. Sens’ “Ethics, Equity and Policy” section of today’s class.