Ethics Research Paper of PA 315

Ethics Research Paper 

Students will have to identify and analyze the one of the ethical case study dilemmas (choose one of the five provided under ETHICAL CASE STUDIES).  Write a 750 – 1000 word, double-spaced paper, and APA style.

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Students are expected to identify the key stakeholders, discussion of the implications of the ethical dilemma, and answer the case study questions.

Each paper should have the following sections:Introduction to the Case study – introduce the case.The ethical dilemma – what is the issue at hand?Stakeholders – who are the stakeholders involved in the case?Questions – each case study has a set of questions you need to answer.  They are different for each case study.Conclusions – What was the conclusion and what would you have done differently?References – I provided references at the end of each case study but you can use others as well. 

 
  

Case Study #5

Abramoff: Lobbying Congress

On March 29, 2006, former lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Key to Abramoff’s conviction were his lobbying efforts that began in the 1990s on behalf of Native American tribes seeking to establish gambling on reservations.

In 1996, Abramoff began working for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. With the help of Republican tax reform advocate Grover Norquist, and his political advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform, Abramoff defeated a Congressional bill that would have taxed Native American casinos. Texas Representative and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay also played a major role in the bill’s defeat. DeLay pushed the agenda of Abramoff’s lobbying clients in exchange for favors from Abramoff.

In 1999, Abramoff similarly lobbied to defeat a bill in the Alabama State Legislature that would have allowed casino-style games on dog racing tracks. This bill would have created competition for his clients’ casino businesses. Republican political activist Ralph Reed, and his political consulting firm Century Strategies, aided the effort by leading a grassroots campaign that rallied Alabama-based Christian organizations to oppose the bill.

As Abramoff’s successes grew, his clients, political contacts, and influence expanded. He hired aides and former staff of members of Congress. In 2001, Abramoff began working with Congressman DeLay’s former communications director, Michael Scanlon, who had formed his own public affairs consulting firm, Capitol Campaign Strategies. The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana hired Abramoff and Capitol Campaign Strategies to help them renegotiate their gambling agreement with the State of Louisiana. Abramoff, however, did not disclose to the tribe that, in addition to his own consulting fees, he also received a portion of the fees paid to Scanlon’s firm.

In an effort to protect his Coushatta clients in Louisiana from competition by a new casino near Houston, Texas, Abramoff successfully lobbied for a state gambling ban in Texas between 2001 and 2002. Incidental to this ban was the closure of a casino in El Paso, Texas, owned by the Tigua Tribal Nation. The Tigua were another one of Abramoff’s casino clients.

Later in 2002, Abramoff made a pitch to the Tigua to work to oppose the ban for which he had previously lobbied successfully. With the Tigua’s money, Abramoff took Ohio Representative Bob Ney and his staff on a golfing trip to Scotland. Abramoff hoped to convince Ney and his colleagues to slip a provision into an election-reform bill that would grant the Tigua gaming rights. Abramoff’s efforts did not pay off, and the deal he sought fell through, but he did not inform the Tigua of this outcome. Rather, Abramoff continued to give the Tigua hope for the provision’s success, while also continuing to charge them for his and Scanlon’s services. And, in their email exchanges, Abramoff and Scanlon often mocked their tribal clients as “morons” and “monkeys.”

Throughout the course of their work with Native American tribes, Abramoff and Scanlon charged upwards of $66 million. The Coushatta paid over $30 million to protect their casino and to stop competing casinos in Texas. The Tigua paid $4.2 million to try to continue operating their casino in Texas. Abramoff has stated that he donated much of the money he made to charities, schools, and causes he believed in. But he also spent millions of dollars on activities or contributions in connection with politicians and campaigns he sought to influence. Furthermore, he evaded taxes by funneling money through nonprofit organizations with which he partnered.

After his conviction in 2006, Abramoff cooperated in the investigation of his relationships with Congress members, including aides, business associates, government officials, and lawmakers. Representatives DeLay and Ney both stepped down from their positions in Congress. DeLay, who had risen to the rank of House Majority Leader, was charged with money laundering and conspiracy of funneling corporate contributions to state candidates. Ney plead guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and making false statements. In exchange for gifts, lavish trips, and political donations from Abramoff, DeLay and Ney had used their positions in Congress to grant favors to Abramoff’s clients and lobbying team. Abramoff served three and a half years of a six-year prison term. He was released on December 3, 2010.

Since his release, Abramoff has spoken out against corruption in politics. He has stated that he believed himself to be a “moral lobbyist” and has apologized for his actions. In a 2011 interview, he said, “What’s legal in this system is the problem,” and in his memoir, he wrote, “Unfortunately, I was a miniature version of that system.” But not everyone perceived his redemption as a genuine effort. Tigua tribal leaders said his apologies were too little, too late. Rick Hill, former chairman of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, stated, “You look at Jack—though he took money from my elders and our kids, and now he comes here, and he gets to prop himself up, and it’s an acceptable part of [Washington] D.C. culture. He wouldn’t stand a minute on the reservation.”

Others point to the American political system, and see Abramoff as a symptom of broader corruption. Investigative journalist Susan Schmidt stated, “Abramoff couldn’t have flourished if this system, itself, was not corrupt, where the need for money—the members of Congress and their need for money—is so voracious and so huge that they don’t have their guard up.” California Representative Dana Rohrabacher said, “What Jack had been doing was what had been done before. People should pay more attention to the fact that we have got some enormous special interests in this country who are having incredible influences on policy.”

In his memoir, Abramoff reflected on personal and professional reform: “Regardless of my rationalizations, I was the one who didn’t disclose to my clients that there was a conflict of interest… I wasn’t the devil that the media were so quick to create, but neither was I the saint I always hoped to become. …I decided that, in order to move myself close to the angels, I would take what happened in my life, try to learn from it, and use it to educate others.”

Essay directions –

Students will have to identify and analyze the above ethical dilemma. Write a 750 – 1000 word, double-spaced paper, and APA style.

Students are expected to identify the key stakeholders, discussion of the implications of the ethical dilemma, and answer the case study questions. Each paper should have the following sections: • Introduction of the case• The ethical dilemma • Stakeholders • Questions • Conclusions • References

Essay Questions:

1. Abramoff had an established set of morals in his personal life, and was deeply religious. He believed he was a ‘moral lobbyist’ who fought hard on behalf of his clients, and he donated much of his proceeds to worthy causes. Do you think the blame of his lobbying tactics primarily lies with Abramoff individually, or with the system within which he operated? Explain.

2. To what degree do you think individuals have a responsibility to act ethically within a corrupt system? How would an individual act ethically in this context?

3. Lobbying is a high-pressure, high-stakes business. Although lobbyists typically try to fly below the radar-screen, sometimes their business is high-profile as well. How might these situational factors affect lobbyists’ ability to act ethically?

4. Why do you think Abramoff and his associates would mock clients who were paying them millions of dollars? How does one rationalize or explain such behavior?

5. Since his release from prison, Abramoff has advocated for political reform, but many do not see his efforts as genuine. Do you agree with the view that Abramoff is a morally bankrupt felon who has no business advocating reform? Or do you agree with the view that Abramoff is a fallible human in a unique position to help us learn from his moral mistakes and reform a broken system? Explain.

6. Many politicians who received contributions from Abramoff or his clients donated portions of the funds they received to charity. Only a small fraction of politicians donated the money to Native American tribes. Do you think politicians who received these funds had a moral obligation to donate their money to Native American tribes? Why or why not? Do you have a different opinion of those who did donate to Native American tribes versus those who didn’t? Explain.

7. How many basic ethics and behavioral ethics concepts can you identify at work in this case study? Explain and discuss their significance.

Investigating Abramoff – Special Report

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/06/22/LI2005062200936.html

Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist

http://www.worldcat.org/title/capitol-punishment-the-hard-truth-about-washington-corruption-fromamericas-most-notorious-lobbyist/oclc/746839199

How a Lobbyist Stacked the Deck

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/15/AR2005101501539.html

A Jackpot From Indian Gaming Tribes

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/06/AR2006030600702.html

Jack Abramoff Confronted by Native American Tribes

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/07/jack-abramoff-native-american-tribescrimes_n_1326917.html

For Ex-Lobbyist Abramoff, a Multimedia Effort at Redemption

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/us/jack-abramoff-making-a-multimedia-effort-atredemption.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FAbramoff%2C%20Jack

Abramoff and 4 Others Sued by Tribe Over Casino Closing http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/13/us/13tribe.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FAbramoff%2 C%20Jack

Abramoff Effect: The Smell of Casino Money

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/16/opinion/abramoff-effect-the-smell-of-casino-money.html

The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/28/AR2005122801588.html

Trial Money Linked to GOP Fundraising

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26015-2004Dec25.html

‘Operation Open Doors’ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30123-2004Dec2.html A Lobbyist in Full

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/01/magazine/a-lobbyist-in-full.html

Lobbyists, Clients Undeterred by Scandal http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/25/AR2005062500983_pf.html

Lawrence Lessig interviews Jack Abramoff

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

http://www.worldcat.org/title/casino-jack-and-the-united-states-of-money/oclc/646071490

Heist: Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, His Republican Allies, and the Buying of Washington

http://www.worldcat.org/title/heist-superlobbyist-jack-abramoff-his-republican-allies-and-the-buyingof-washington/oclc/69241491

Author: Ethics Unwrapped Staff McCombs School of Business The University of Texas at Austin

·

Modified Case study from McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas Austin

Case Study #3

Apple Suppliers & Labor Practices

With its highly coveted line of consumer electronics, Apple has a cult following among loyal consumers. During the 2014 holiday season, 74.5 million iPhones were sold. Demand like this meant that Apple was in line to make over $52 billion in profits in 2015, the largest annual profit ever generated from a company’s operations. Despite its consistent financial performance year over year, Apple’s robust profit margin hides a more complicated set of business ethics. Similar to many products sold in the U.S., Apple does not manufacture most its goods domestically. Most of the component sourcing and factory production is done overseas in conditions that critics have argued are dangerous to workers and harmful to the environment.

For example, tin is a major component in Apple’s products and much of it is sourced in Indonesia. Although there are mines that source tin ethically, there are also many that do not. One study found workers—many of them children—working in unsafe conditions, digging tin out by hand in mines prone to landslides that could bury workers alive. About 70% of the tin used in electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets comes from these more dangerous, small-scale mines. An investigation by the BBC revealed how perilous these working conditions can be. In interviews with miners, a 12-yearold working at the bottom of a 70-foot cliff of sand said: “I worry about landslides. The earth slipping from up there to the bottom. It could happen.”

Apple defends its practices by saying it only has so much control over monitoring and regulating its component sources. The company justifies its sourcing practices by saying that it is a complex process, with tens of thousands of miners selling tin, many of them through middle-men. In a statement to the BBC, Apple said “the simplest course of action would be for Apple to unilaterally refuse any tin from Indonesian mines. That would be easy for us to do and would certainly shield us from criticism. But that would also be the lazy and cowardly path, since it would do nothing to improve the situation. We have chosen to stay engaged and attempt to drive changes on the ground.”

In an effort for greater transparency, Apple has released annual reports detailing their work with suppliers and labor practices. While more recent investigations have shown some improvements to suppliers’ working conditions, Apple continues to face criticism as consumer demand for iPhones and other products continues to grow.

Essay directions –

Students will have to identify and analyze the above ethical dilemma. Write a 750 – 1000 word, double-spaced paper, and APA style.

Students are expected to identify the key stakeholders, discussion of the implications of the ethical dilemma, and answer the case study questions. Each paper should have the following sections: • Introduction of the case• The ethical dilemma • Stakeholders • Questions • Conclusions • References

Questions:

1. Do you think Apple should be responsible for ethical lapses made by individuals further down its supply chain? Why or why not?

2. Should Apple continue to work with the suppliers in an effort to change practices, or should they stop working with every supplier, even the conscientious ones, to make sure no “bad apples” are getting through? Explain your reasoning.

3. Do you think consumers should be expected to take into account the ethical track record of companies when making purchases? Why or why not?

4. Can you think of other products or brands that rely on ethically questionable business practices? Do you think consumers are turned off by their track record or are they largely indifferent to it? Explain.

5. Would knowing that a product was produced under ethically questionable conditions affect your decision to purchase it? Explain with examples.

6. If you were part of a third-party regulating body, how would you deal with ethically questionable business practices of multinational corporations like Apple? Would you feel obligated to do something, or do you think the solution rests with the companies themselves? Explain your reasoning.

Resources:

Apple ‘failing to protect Chinese factory workers’

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30532463

How Apple could make a $53 billion profit this year

http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/17/technology/apple-earnings-2015/

Global Apple iPhone sales from 3rd quarter 2007 to 2nd quarter 2016 (in million units)

http://www.statista.com/statistics/263401/global-apple-iphone-sales-since-3rd-quarter-2007/

Despite successes, labor violations still haunt Apple

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/12/8024895/apple-slave-labor-working-conditions-2015

Reports – Supplier Responsibility – Apple

https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/progress-report/

Author: Lucy Atkinson, Ph.D. Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations Moody College of Communication The University of Texas at Austin

· Modified Case study from McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas Austin

Case Study #1

Dennis Kozlowski: Living Large

Dennis Kozlowski came from modest circumstances. He began his career at Tyco International in 1975 as an auditor, and worked his way up the corporate ladder to become CEO in 1992. Kozlowski gained notoriety as CEO for the rapid growth and success of the company, as well as his extravagant lifestyle. He left the company in 2002 amid controversy surrounding his compensation and personal spending. In 2005, Kozlowski was convicted of crimes in relation to alleged unauthorized bonuses of $81 million, in addition to other large purchases and investments.

As CEO, Kozlowski was lauded for his risk-taking and the immense growth of the company. He launched a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions, rapidly building up the size of Tyco. During his first six years as CEO, he secured 88 deals worth over $15 billion. Strong growth was bolstered by a booming economy, and Tyco’s stock price soared as the company consistently beat Wall Street’s expectations. However, when the economy slowed, the company began to struggle.

Allegedly, Tyco paid for Kozlowski’s $30 million New York apartment, as well as personal gifts and parties, including $1 million of a $2 million birthday party for his wife. After Kozlowski paid a $20 million finding fee to a board member without proper approval, and paintings invoiced for Tyco offices ended up in Kozlowski’s apartment (among other irregularities), Kozlowski was criminally charged with looting more than $600 million of assets from Tyco and its shareholders.

While many questioned his lifestyle, others questioned the trial and conviction. Commenting on the case, civil rights lawyer Dan Ackman wrote, “It’s fair to say that Kozlowski…abused many corporate prerogatives… Still, the larceny charges at the heart of the case did not depend on whether the defendants took the money—they did—but whether they were authorized to take it.” Kozlowski asserted his innocence of the charges, stating, “There was no criminal intent here. Nothing was hidden. There were no shredded documents. All the information the prosecutors got was directly off the books and records of the company.”

Essay directions –

Students will have to identify and analyze the above ethical dilemma. Write a 750 – 1000 word, double-spaced paper, and APA style.

Students are expected to identify the key stakeholders, discussion of the implications of the ethical dilemma, and answer the case study questions. Each paper should have the following sections: • Introduction of the case• The ethical dilemma • Stakeholders • Questions • Conclusions • References

Questions:

1) Do you think Dennis Kozlowski was an effective leader for Tyco International? Were his actions ethically permissible? Why or why not?

2) As CEO of a major company, how might entitlement bias have affected Kozlowski’s behavior?

3) What rationalizations do you think Kozlowski might have used to justify his behavior in his own mind?

4) If you were in Kozlowski’s position, how do you think your actions would affect the behavior of your employees? Why?

5) Can you think of any other examples of leaders who have abused the power of their position? What similarities and differences do you see between them and Kozlowski?

Resources:

Testosterone Inc.: Tales of CEOs Gone Wild

http://www.worldcat.org/title/testosterone-inc-tales-of-ceos-gone-wild/oclc/54503986

Deal-a-Month Dennis

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/1998/0615/6112066a.html

Tyco’s ‘Piggy,’ Out of Prison and Living Small

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/02/business/dealbook/dennis-kozlowskis-path-from-infamy-toobscurity.html

What Happens after You Serve Your White-Collar Prison Sentence?

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/03/dennis-kozlowski-life-after-prison

Dennis Kozlowski Was Not a Thief

https://hbr.org/2014/01/dennis-kozlowski-was-not-a-thief/

Taking Down the Lion: The Triumphant Rise and Tragic Fall of Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski

http://www.worldcat.org/title/taking-down-the-lion-the-triumphant-rise-and-tragic-fall-of-tycosdennis-kozlowski/oclc/852658404

Dennis Kozlowski: Prisoner 05A4820

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dennis-kozlowski-prisoner-05a4820/

Tyco Trial II: Verdict First, Law Second

http://www.forbes.com/home/business/2005/06/17/kozlowski-tyco-verdictcx_da_0617tycoverdict.html

Author: Robert Prentice, J.D. Department of Business, Government and Society McCombs School of Business The University of Texas at Austin

· Modified Case study from McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas Austin

Case Study #4

Buying Green: Consumer Behavior

Green consumer products, such as organic food, fair trade coffee, or electric cars, represent a fastgrowing segment of the consumer market. In the area of organic food alone, data from the Organic Trade Association reveals that consumer demand in the United States has seen double-digit growth every year since 1990. In 2014, the organic food market reached almost $40 billion in sales. Consumers of these products tend to be seen in a more positive light—they are deemed more ethical, more altruistic, and kinder than people who do not buy green products. But is there another side to this kind of consumer behavior?

In a series of experiments comparing consumption of green and “conventional” products, psychologists Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong demonstrated that those people who bought green products—like eco-friendly laundry detergent or organic yogurt—were less likely to share money with a stranger, more likely to cheat on a task in which they could earn money, and more likely to steal money when they thought they would not get caught. As the psychologists stated, “purchasing green products may license indulgence in self-interested and unethical behaviors.”

Mazar and Zhong, whose study received considerable media attention in their native Canada, as well as in American and British publications, said the results surprised them. Initially, they expected green products to provide a halo effect, whereby the positive impressions associated with green consumption would lead to positive outcomes in other areas. “Given that green products are manifestations of high ethical standards and humanitarian considerations, mere exposure [to them would] activate norms of social responsibility and ethical conduct,” said Mazar and Zhong in an interview.

But as the results indicate, the opposite can be true. “The message of this research is that actions which produce a sense of self content and moral glow can sometimes backfire,” Mazar stated in another interview.

These patterns have been shown to extend to other shopping scenarios. For example, one study tracked scanner data and shopper receipts at a California grocery store. Those shoppers who brought reusable grocery bags with them were more likely to buy environmentally friendly products, like organic food. But they were also more likely to buy indulgent products, like ice cream, cookies, candy, and cake. The researchers followed up this study with a series of experiments that showed these moral licensing effects only happened when the decision to bring the reusable bags was at the shopper’s discretion. When shoppers were told that the store required customers to use cloth bags, licensing effects disappeared and customers chose not to buy indulgent products. Only when consumers felt like using cloth bags was their own idea did the moral licensing effects hold.

Essay directions –

Students will have to identify and analyze the above ethical dilemma. Write a 750 – 1000 word, double-spaced paper, and APA style.

Students are expected to identify the key stakeholders, discussion of the implications of the ethical dilemma, and answer the case study questions. Each paper should have the following sections: • Introduction of the case• The ethical dilemma • Stakeholders • Questions • Conclusions • References

Questions:

1. Beyond green consumption, what other types of products might bring about similar kinds of moral licensing effects? Can you think of instances in your own life when your purchase choices have licensed you to make decisions that were less than ethically ideal? Explain.

2. Do you think these moral licensing effects are common across all kinds of green consumers? Or are there other factors (i.e. demographics, psychographics) that might either exacerbate or weaken the effects? Why or why not?

3. The authors of the study, Mazar and Zhong, initially thought green consumption would have a positive spillover effect and encourage positive behaviors. Why do you think they found the opposite?

4. What steps do you think can be taken to help minimize or mitigate these types of moral licensing effects among green consumers? Explain.

5. If you were the brand manager for a green product, for example an organic food item or an energy-efficient appliance, how would you go about marketing the product knowing these licensing effects were possible?

Resources:

Organic Market Analysis – Organic Trade Association

https://www.ota.com/resources/market-analysis

Research: Reusable Shopping Bags May Encourage an Unhealthier Diet

http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/news_events/news-releases/bollinger-shopping-bags/

How going green may make you mean

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/mar/15/green-consumers-more-likely-steal

Goodies behaving badly

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/mar/16/green-consumers-lie-moreethics

Are green consumers more unethical?

http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/thane_burnett/2010/03/16/13246791.html

When buying in means selling out: Sustainable consumption campaigns and unintended uncivic boomerang effects

http://www.comm.ucsb.edu/faculty/rrice/Atkinson

Author: Lucy Atkinson, Ph.D. Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations Moody College of Communication The University of Texas at Austin

· Modified Case study from McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas Austin

Case Study #2

Climate Change & the Paris Deal

In December 2015, representatives from 195 nations gathered in Paris and signed an international agreement to address climate change, which many observers called a breakthrough for several reasons. First, the fact that a deal was struck at all was a major accomplishment, given the failure of previous climate change talks. Second, unlike previous climate change accords that focused exclusively on developed countries, this pact committed both developed and developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the voluntary targets established by nations in the Paris climate deal fall considerably short of what many scientists deem necessary to achieve the stated goal of the negotiations: limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, since the established targets are voluntary, they may be lowered or abandoned due to political resistance, shortterm economic crises, or simply social fatigue or disinterest.

As philosophy professor Stephen Gardiner aptly explains, the challenge of climate change presents the world with several fundamental ethical dilemmas. It is simultaneously a profoundly global, intergenerational, and philosophical problem. First, from a global perspective, climate change presents the world with a collective action problem: all countries have a collective interest in controlling global carbon emissions. But each individual country also has incentives to over-consume (in this case, to emit as much carbon as necessary) in response to societal demands for economic growth and prosperity.

Second, as an intergenerational problem, the consequences of actions taken by the current generation will have the greatest impact on future generations yet to be born. Thus, the current generation must forego benefits today in order to protect against possibly catastrophic costs in the future. This tradeoff is particularly difficult for developing countries. They must somehow achieve economic growth in the present to break out of a persistent cycle of poverty, while limiting the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere to protect future generations. The fact that prosperous, developed countries (such as the U.S. and those in Europe) arguably created the current climate problems during their previous industrial economic development in the 19th and 20th centuries complicates the tradeoffs between economic development and preventing further climate change.

Finally, the global and intergenerational nature of climate change points to the underlying philosophical dimensions of the problem. While it is intuitive that the current generation has some ethical responsibility to leave an inhabitable world to future generations, the extent of this obligation is less clear. The same goes for individual countries who have pledged to reduce carbon emissions to help protect environmental health, but then face real economic and social costs when executing those pledges. Developing nations faced with these costs may encounter further challenges as the impact of climate change will most likely fall disproportionally on the poor, thus also raising issues of fairness and inequality.

Essay directions –

Students will have to identify and analyze the above ethical dilemma. Write a 750 – 1000 word, double-spaced paper, and APA style.

Students are expected to identify the key stakeholders, discussion of the implications of the ethical dilemma, and answer the case study questions. Each paper should have the following sections: • Introduction of the case• The ethical dilemma • Stakeholders • Questions • Conclusions • References

Questions:

1. On the one hand, what harms are potentially produced by failing to take action to control climate change? On the other hand, what harms are potentially produced by acting to lower carbon emissions?

2. To what extent do humans have a moral responsibility to future generations that are yet to be born? Explain your reasoning.

3. Arguably, actions to cut carbon emissions and curb global warming right now have real costs for certain segments of the global population while the benefits of such actions are more abstract. How should we balance the tangible costs in the present and abstract consequences in the future when addressing climate change? Explain.

4. If you were in a position to recommend environmental policy changes or actions, what would you advocate and why?

5. Do prosperous countries have a greater responsibility to take action and bear more of the costs of controlling climate change than developing countries? Explain your reasoning.

6. Considering that the negative impacts of climate change will likely fall disproportionally on the poor, yet developing countries must often increase consumption and emissions to achieve greater economic growth, do you think developing nations should be exempt from actions to control climate change? Why or why not?

7. The climate change agreement approved in Paris is based on voluntary goals and pledges by participating countries. Would it be ethically permissible to impose carbon emission goals on countries and individuals and enforce them with penalties? Explain your reasoning.

Resources:

Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html

Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/science/global-warming-antarctica-ice-sheet-sea-level-rise.html

What Does a Climate Deal Mean for the World?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/12/science/What-Does-the-Climate-Deal-Mean.html

Peter Singer on the COP21 Agreement and the Ethics of Climate Change

https://www.good.is/articles/peter-singer-climate-cop21-agreement

The Ethical Dimension of Tackling Climate Change

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_ethical_dimension_of_tackling_climate_change/2456/

Here’s what political science can tell us about the Paris climate deal

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/12/14/heres-what-political-sciencecan-tell-us-about-the-paris-climate-deal/

Authors: Robert Moser, Ph.D. and Patrick McDonald, Ph.D. Department of Government College of Liberal Arts The University of Texas at Austin

· Modified Case study from McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas Austin

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