Environmental Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 2, Fall 2017

Joachim Wündisch
Pages 275-315

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Individual Excusable Ignorance after 1990
A Study of Excusable Ignorance in Collective Action Problems

The thesis of this paper is that individual emitters, in contrast to governments, may be justified in employing excusable ignorance as an excuse after 1990 and even well into the future. Although it may at first seem counterintuitive, this is not only true of individuals with extremely limited access to information but potentially also of highly educated individuals with almost boundless access to data, reports, and analyses. I develop the argument based on an influential account of excusable ignorance and discuss and reject an objection from expert testimony.