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Disconnected futures: exploring notions of ethical responsibility in energy practices

Shirani, Fiona Jane, Butler, Catherine ORCID:, Henwood, Karen Linda ORCID:, Parkhill, Karen ORCID: and Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank ORCID: 2013. Disconnected futures: exploring notions of ethical responsibility in energy practices. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 18 (4) , pp. 455-468. 10.1080/13549839.2013.779236

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This article aims to explore people's connections to or disconnections from the future and the implications of this for their perspectives on equity, justice and ethical issues related to energy consumption. Everything people do is embedded and extended in time across the modalities of past, present and future, making time an inescapable aspect of our existence, yet one that often remains invisible and intangible. Debates about energy and environmental equity have raised questions about the extent to which people today should bear responsibility for the consequences of their behaviour for future generations. Seemingly intractable difficulties have been identified, however, in people's abilities to connect their present actions with their potential future consequences and thus take on such responsibilities. Drawing on data from interviews about energy consumption practices, this article explores whether people's living temporal extensions through younger generations of their families influence their views and practices around energy use in both the present and anticipated future. Through exploring these issues we offer a contribution to the ethical debate around responsibility for future generations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Additional Information: Invited paper for special issue of 'Local Environment', forthcoming
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1354-9839
Funders: ESRC, Leverhume Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 12:42

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