Endangering Humanity: An International Crime
In the Anthropocene, future people are more vulnerable to present people than ever before in human history. The advances made by humanity since the Industrial Revolution give the current generation the ability to damage and degrade the world in ways that could make humanity go extinct. What measures should be taken to protect future people from these dangers of extinction to which they are now vulnerable? This paper argues that a new international crime of ‘postericide’ is a morally required response to humanity's changed circumstances. Postericide is committed when an agent intentionally or recklessly performs conduct fit to bring about the extinction of humanity.
Prof. Catriona McKinnon (University of Reading, UK)
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Catriona McKinnon is Professor of Political Theory, Director of the Centre for Climate and Justice, and Director of the Leverhulme programme in Climate Justice, at the University of Reading. She has published three monographs - Liberalism and the Defence of Political Constructivism, Toleration: A Critical Introduction, and Climate Change and Future Justice - and has edited eight books on topics ranging from citizenship, toleration, basic income, climate ethics and governance, and including the textbook Issues in Political Theory for OUP (now going into its fourth edition). Her most recent published papers include ‘Endangering Humanity: An International Crime?’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy (2017), ‘Should We Tolerate Climate Denial?’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy (2016), and ‘Climate Justice in a Carbon Budget’, Climatic Change (2016). At present, she is completing a monograph defending the idea of a new international criminal offence ('postericide') that proscribes conduct fit to bring about the extinction of humanity, and she is writing two papers on the ethics of geoengineering. After that she will write an introductory book on climate justice and ethics for Polity Press.