Editorial board Foreword
Volume II Issue I
Introducing the third issue of JPPE
In recent years, the world’s attention has increasingly turned to environmental issues. Once a subject that interested only a few committed activists and academics, climate change and other related issues have now gained the interest and concern of a large number of people all around the world. In recent years, we have witnessed the signing of a landmark protocol – the Paris Agreement – that seeks to tackle some of the causes of climate change. Moreover, world leaders of the caliber of Pope Francis, French President Emmanuel Macron and former US Vice President Al Gore have attempted to draw attention to the harm humans cause to the environment. Yet, concurrently we have seen the rise of those who deny the existence or minimize the importance of a concerning rise in world temperature, most notably President Donald Trump.
Aside from the political debate on climate change, academics have started engaging with the issue more and more often. Universities all over the world now have departments that focus on environmental studies. Pioneering scholars like Wallace Broecker, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Susan Solomon and Veerabhadran Ramanathan have devoted their entire career to the study of various aspects of this important issue. Notably, the work of Yale economist William Nordhaus was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2018 for “integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis.”
This edition of the Brown Journal of Philosophy, Politics and Economics is, in part, devoted to climate change both as a political and academic issue. To explore this guiding theme, we feature a submission by United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, from Brown’s home state of Rhode Island, who has led the charge to raise awareness about climate change in the American political arena. In addition, one of our submissions examines and compares how the environment fits into the political imagination in Germany and the United States. It is our hope that these two pieces will help our readers better understand this crucial global issue.
Yet, this edition of this Journal also features pieces on a number of other topics. Amongst others, our submissions explore subjects that range from realism in Chinese cinema to the value of shareholder activism, from gerrymandering in the United States to the ethics of using drones. Indeed, it is our sincere hope that by reading this semester’s edition our readers will be exposed to a number of distinct yet interrelated topics and that the value and insights of these papers will be enhanced when looking at them together rather than individually.