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Climate Ethics

Climate scientists predict the world may warm up by a few degrees centigrade. It doesn't sound like much, so why is this so important?

Global temperatures affect weather patterns, which affects food, animals, plants and where we can all live.

Where people live in the world has largely been determined by the weather. Human societies have grown up where there is enough water for farming to reliably grow food and fewer destructive weather events, such as flash floods, or droughts.

If changes in global temperatures make weather patterns overhead change even a little, the rain can simply move elsewhere, or stop falling altogether. The water supply for your farm literally dries up and you can no longer live there.

Question: What do you think might happen if there are more places in the world without  enough water? 

Use the issues on these pages from the Ethical Toolkit to support your answer.

The same applies to plants and animals. Everywhere in the world, local wildlife is very closely adapted to suit the conditions where they live. If the weather changes too much too quickly, plants and animals can't suddenly move to somewhere more suitable and so whole ecosystems can die out.

Next: Why the controversy

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Present & future generations

Climate science presents strong evidence that human behaviour in our lifetimes could have profound effects on the quality of life of all future generations worldwide. If we make the wrong decisions over what to do about it, there may be no second chance to change our minds later.
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Protecting the things we we all share in common

Climate science tells us that human activity is damaging the ability of the earth to sustain life. We have a duty to protect the things that we share in common with other people across the world, such as the atmosphere. Damaging behaviour in one country can have harmful effects on those living far away.

Water Stress

Water Stress means living with not enough water to go round.
Look at this map. Notice where in the world this is already happening. Click on the Next button below the map to see how this could change in your lifetime and how many more places could suffer from water shortages, including the UK.
Changes in the weather are already affecting Spain, pitting one region with plenty of water against another where it is disappearing fast.
Find out more