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The key role of causal explanation in the climate change issue

Pongiglione, Francesca (2012) The key role of causal explanation in the climate change issue. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 27 (2). pp. 175-188. ISSN 2171-679X

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In the context of climate change, the adoption of pro-environment behaviour is favoured by the understanding
of causal passages within climate science. The understanding of the causes of climate change is
necessary in order to be able to take mitigation actions (the subject needs to be aware of its role as a causal
agent). Conversely, the understanding of the consequences of climate change is essential for rationally
managing the risks, especially in cases where adaptation is needed rather than simple mitigation. The case
of ozone depletion confirms this view: the understanding of its causal dynamics played a major role in people’s
behavioural response.

Para afrontar el cambio climático, la adopción de un comportamiento en favor del medio ambiente se verá
favorecida por la comprensión de los argumentos causales de la climatología. La comprensión de las causas
del cambio climático es necesario para que seamos capaces de mitigarlo (cada individuo debe ser consciente
de su papel como agente causal). La comprensión de las consecuencias del cambio climático es esencial
para gestionar racionalmente los riesgos, especialmente en casos en los que más que mitigarlo, debemos
intentar adaptarnos. El caso del agujero de la capa de ozono confirma este punto de vista: la comprensión
de la dinámica causal desempeñó un papel principal en el cambio de conductas de la gente.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: climate change; knowledge; causal explanation; cambio climático; conocimiento; explicación causal
Depositing User: Users 15304 not found.
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2014 22:56
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2014 22:56
Item ID: 10229
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1387/theoria.3342
Date: May 2012
Page Range: pp. 175-188
Volume: 27
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X

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