Environmental reform, negative duties, and petrocrats: A strategic green energy argument

Shmuel Nili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article constructs an argument for the development of green energy that can appeal to Americans moderately skeptical of climate change. Accepting-arguendo and in a qualified way-key empirical and normative assumptions of American environmental skeptics, I make two main moves. First, while environmentalists often justify the development of green energy through references to future generations, I try to show that they need a present-oriented argument focused on negative duties to respect rights in order to justify prioritizing the development of green energy to environmental skeptics in the United States. Second, I construct such an argument, calling on affluent democracies to develop green energy in order to be able to stop their complicity, through oil trade, in petrocrats' violation of their peoples' property rights. I anticipate multiple objections, including the objection that stopping trade with petrocrats will not lead to green energy as a replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-927
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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