WHP Logo

The White Horse Press

Environmental Values

Contents of Volume 19

Other volumes of EV

Environmental Values

Morality and Climate Change: Is Leaving your TV on Standby a Risky Behaviour?

Catherine Butler

Environmental Values 19 (2010): 169-192. doi: 10.3197/096327110X12699420220554


There is a growing literature which examines the ways in which individualised responsibilisation of 'risky behaviours' also entails moralisation. In UK discourses about climate change, certain individualised behaviours (e.g. leaving appliances on standby) are designated as responsible and/or good and correspondingly as irresponsible and/or bad. In this context, the decision to engage or not engage in these types of behaviour can be seen as becoming increasingly moralised. Drawing on focus group discussions with members of the British lay public (participant n96), this paper brings together public(s) (re)production of and negotiated responses to the moral undertones of this aspect of climate change discourse with theories of risk, morality and responsibility to develop important insights for conceptualising climate change mitigation.


Public perceptions, risk, responsibility, ethics, governance

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Wrongful Harm to Future Generations: The Case of Climate Change.Marc D. Davidson

A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics and the Problem of Moral Corruption. Stephen M. Gardiner

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Social Practice and the Evolution of Personal Environmental Values. Sarah Hards

Bystanding and Climate Change. Carol Booth

Individual Guilt or Collective Progressive Action? Challenging the Strategic Potential of Environmental Citizenship Theory. Rasmus Karlsson

Collective Environmental Virtue. David Clowney

Guilt and Elation in the Workplace: Emotion and the Governance of the Environment at Work. Rebecca Whittle

Stability and Change in British Public Discourses about Climate Change between 1997 and 2010. Stuart Capstick, Nicholas Pidgeon and Karen Henwood

Download full text (PDF format) from IngentaConnect. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environmental Values.

Subscriptions and back numbers of Environmental Values.

Other papers in this volume

The Old Vicarage, Winwick
Cambridgeshire, PE28 5PN, UK
Tel: +44 1832 293222