It is reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry is to issue a clarion call for more 'global action' on climate change. This is all well and good but there isn't a 'global body' that can take 'global action'. There are economies competing in a 'global market'. How that translates into 'global action' against climate change I cannot see. Persuading individual countries that they are the ones that need to make a sacrifice for the sake of saving the world is very difficult. For the most part the West has already contributed its share of global emissions. Their damage is done. Now developing countries will have to be persuaded that there are better ways to economic growth and prosperity.
By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'. The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba