Environmental Ethics

Biocentric Environmental Ethics, What is it?

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What is Biocentric Environmental Ethcis? Breaking it down, Biocentrism is the theory that all living things have equal and inherent worth, relating to the concept “deep ecology.” Take, for instance Matthew Hall, he believes plants are sentient beings. Hall argues that plants should be considered sentient beings, just like Paul Taylor.

Taylor is a philosophy professor at Brooklyn College, and he wrote on biocentric egalitarianism in his book Respect for Nature (1986). Stating that all things, including plants, have equal and inherent worth, Taylor wrote 10 lessons for respecting nature. First, humans centered and life centered systems of environmental ethics, second, the good of a being and the concept of inherent worth, third, the attitude of respect for nature, fourth, the justifiabiliy of the attitude of respect for nature, fifth, the biocentric outlook on nature, sixth, humans as members of the Earth’s community of life, seventh, the natural world as an organic system, eighth, individual organisms as teleological centers of life, ninth, denial of human superiority, and tenth, moral rights and the matter of competing claims. These are the ten sets of advice Taylor gives, he believes that non-humans have an inherent value just as humans do. Therefore, humans have five priority principles which help deal with the conflicts between non-human animals and humans, and each other’s values. The five principles are: self defense, proportionality, minimum wrong, distributive justice, and finally restitutive justice.blog 27.1

However, if any situation is too complicated to use one of the five presented principles then on should use ethical ideals. The overall aim is to live in harmony with all non-humans on Earth, and therefore any decision should keep that idea in mind. However, don’t we as humans have the right to fulfill our own interests? Yet, if our interests intertwine with what is best with non-human animals what do we do then? Most humans believe that it is the non-basic interests which are worth seeking out, but because some of our non-basic interests are not compatible with respect to nature’s interests. An example includes hunting for sport, and in this case, it does not infringe on human rights; it does not harm other humans.

But, if we apply environmental ethics, then these actions seem wrong because that would be saying that basic interests of non-human animals are not on par with the non-basic needs of humans. Thus, no one with respect for nature, including Taylor, would agree to non-basic interests which harm the interests of non-human animals. Then can we say that the pursuit for development has not only harmed us but the non-basic interests of non-human organisms as well?

Using Taylor’s five principles, one sees that basic interests should always be given priority regardless of species. Therefore, we should be more aware of our surroundings, and how our non-basic needs affect other species which surround us. Take, for example a zoo, it is a place for education and awareness; yet it harms the interests of non-human animals. Animals are not meant to be caged. Although it is beneficial for human kind, animals do not thrive in these “exhibits.” In fact, these exhibits limit cognitive growth, reduce a species interactions with other species, and reduces its environment down to the very basics; but how are they supposed to grow, figuratively and literally. We should think about what is best for the animals, as well as ourselves. Are there alternative programs than zoos? Maybe zoos with larger, life-like exhibits which allow the animals space, as well as interactions amongst species its would normally interact with in nature.

That is my belief. Animals, plants and humans live together on this big rock. Lets live cohesively  amongst each other, keeping each others basic and non-basic interests in mind.

Categories: animal ethics, animal rights, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Policy, ethics | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Wake Up Call

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VanDe Veer and Callicot are two critical modifcators of animal rights ethics and the hierarchical positions. The former, believes that there is this “internal,” critical modification, in some degree, of the sentience which is morally relevant. The latter, believes in a modified version of leoplodian critical modification. To some degree, the importance of ecosystems and their goods and services are morally relevant.

Basically, “VanDeVeer argues that the ‘species egalitarianism’ of Singer and Regan goes too far in acknowledging the moral standing of nonhuman animals and leaves us in a state of paralysis when it comes to those ethical conflicts in which we must make hard choices between human and nonhuman interests” (Diagrams of Environmental Ethics Theories). Instead, VanDe Veer takes a two-factor position. His two-factor position claims that, “in weighing our duty to sentient beings in ethical conflicts, it is ‘morally relevant’ to consider the first “factor” of what types of conflicting interests are in conflict.” First, we must evaluate our basic interests, which without a being cannot function satisfactory. Second, we must evaluate our serious interests, which still allows the being to function, albeit with difficulty and a cost to its well-being. This second factor can also include differing levels of psychological capacity, like self-awareness, memory, foresight, social-consciousness, and life-span. VanDe Veer sees a difficulty in measuring the sentience of human and non-human animals. How do we take each of their sentience into account during times of great conflict? (look at the chart to see his resolution).

On the other hand there is Callicott, and he takes on Leopoldian land ethics. Callicott believes that to a certain degree, ecosystems, its good and services, are morally relevant. He believes in strong reformism. Meaning, we has human beings have a duty torwards animals because virtually all human beings are sentient beings; thus a plethora of animals are sentient creatures. Respecting the community, and each other, us sentient beings need to make sure, in times of conflict, that we are not letting the other sentient creature suffer. Of those animals who are capable of suffering, we can assume they have at least on interest, which is not to suffer.

However, there is another viewpoint. Although the above seem to be reaching for the middle-of-the-road, Radical Speciecism takes the far right. It believes that it is morally permissible to treat animals in any fashion one so chooses. Because animals are not sentient beings, therefore they have no intrinsic values. Yet, if we acknowledge that animals suffer, which they do, then radical speciesism is mistaken, and false.

From my perspective, I would rather take the middle-of-the-road agrument than take the radical speciecism route. Yes, I do admit that there are tons of radical beliefs out in this world, but I do not believe that all of them are right. I mean, if you cannot admit to yourself that animals are sentient, just like us, then you are fooling yourself; causing an injustice with not only yourself, your environment, but to your world as well. Although that might seem like a harsh slap in the face, it is a much needed, rude wake-up call. Listen people, we need to change our ways, because most animals are sentient creatures who can feel pain and perceive danger, they are like us. The only different between us and non-human animals is our ability to rationalize situations; but I do not believe that puts us on top of the prymaid.

Categories: animal ethics, animal rights, Corporate, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Policy | Leave a comment

The Fake, Disgusting, World.

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“As long as there are slaughterhouses ….there will always be battlefields.”

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Animal welfare is a difficult subject for most Americans, because some Americans believe that animals and humans are not created equal in the eyes of God. According to some believers, non-human animals are not sentian creatures. Because of this ignorance, there are some staggering statistics, “approximately 11 billion animals are killed annually in the United States, 86% are birds–98% of land animals in agriculture–and the overwhelming majority are “broiler” chickens raised for meat, aproximately 1 million killed each hour” (Humane Society).

The average citizen in the United States is unaware of the doings of the food industry; the mega food corporations rather veil their processes in deep secrecy than make them public. Publicizing these secrets would create immense hatred amongst consumers, and they will direct their anger torwards these corporations, and the U.S. government. The government has not been able to maintain the food industry, and without regulation it has turned into one giant slaughterhouse, literally. Take birds for instance, “on factory farms, birds raised for meat are confined by the tens of thousands in grower houses, which are commonly artificially lit, force-ventilated, and completely barren except for litter material on the floor and long rows of feeders and drinkers” (Humane Society). Yet, it is not just birds, “more than 116 million pigs, intelligent and highly social animals are slaughtered annually in the United States” (Humane Society). These animals are killed without a single extra thought given, and it happens daily. We need to change. This system needs to change.

First things first, all of us need to consider non-human animals as sentient beings. Sentient meaning, “able to perceive or feel things;” most animals, if not all, are able to think for themselves, feel for themselves, and perceive incidents for themselves (Dictionary.com). Therefore animals shall be considered sentient beings. They deserve to possess their own will and to control their own lives, yet we do not let them.

There are many acts out there which try to protect non-human animals by speaking up for them. Abolitionists believet that no animals should be used for any human purpose, referring to animal testing, and inhumane slaughter. Slaughtering sentient creatures goes against every moral rights and ethical codes built into our DNA. How can we kill our brothers and sisters? Take, for example the film, “Earthlings: Make the Connection,” which concentrates on chaos of the human world versus the non-human animal world. Focusing on the slaughtering of animals through various sectors: the food industry, the clothing industry (including leather and fur), and the entertainment industry. This film disgusts me; but not the actual film, instead I am referring to the content of the film.

Containing a multitude of segments, “Earthlings” is one giant vomit inducing pill. It takes the audience on a journey through th various treatments of animals across a plethora of industries. Take, for instance the clothing industry, cattle in India are purchased from peasant farmers and take on long, brutal journey to a destination where the cattle’s skin is torn off. Tearing the skin right off the wriggling bodies of the still alive cattle, workers poke and prode these cattles to death. All of this is done in the name of obtaining an important commodity: leather. If that is not gruesome enough, lets look at the process of obtaining fur -yes fur is still a hot commodity amongst consumers. Consumers love fur. Obtaining fur is an interesting, albeit heinous. First, wild animals, dogs, cats, and various other species are capture and then caged. Then, the animals are taken by the workers who either rip the animals fur, along with their skin, right off their bodies, or they will stick a metal rod in the animals mouth and put an electrical prod up the animal’s anus, electricuting it to death. Beautiful proceedure, isn’t it?

Combatting these wrongdoings are acts such as: the Animals Cruelty Act of 2015, proposition two, or the Humane Slaughter Act; all acts are vying to prevent further atrocities to  non-human animals. The Animal cruelty act deals with the prevention of animals being transported and shown publicly, inhumanely. Where the Humane Slaughter Act states all animals shall be humanely slaughtered, which means the animal must be unconscious in time for the slaughter; yet most slaughterhouses slit the animals’ carotid artery which happens while the animal is still alive. Alive and inhumane slaughter will only be stopped by future acts, such as the ones above, but also from a push from American citizens. We can stop this.

Animal welfare has an abundance of contributors, including: Charles Darwin and Jane Goodall. They started from observations; strong examinations allowing them to see how non-human animals have evolved, and how animals truely feel, perceive, and

I believe, if an non-human animal can understand their surrounding then they must be sentient beings. Yet this viewpoint is not commonplace; however it seems to be growing rapidly. “We are all animals of this planet,” so lets share what has been given to us, evenly (Earthlings). Distributing welfare evenly would be most fair, and a good start. We are rational creatures, so lets start acting like ones. Stopping the inhumane slaughter, stopping the injustice, and stopping the mass murders of animals shall creater a greater, fairer, just world.

“Like us, first and foremost, they are earthlings”

Categories: animal ethics, animal rights, Corporate, Egoism, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Policy, sentian beings | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sustainable Development, the Wave of the Future

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Sustainable business and sustainable development are recent terms and systems which  grew out of a green 21st century motto. So what does business and economic development look like when they are guided by the kinds of higher economic and ethical criteria like: environmental justice, duty to future generations, as well as aesthetic and ecological criteria. Therefore, we need to use people for profit but also for our planet; using each to help develop sustainability. This means providing socially environmentally sustainable/beneficial goods and services, while still being able to make money.

There are some great green initiatives out there, and some modern practices include using recycled materials, using less controversial (harmful substances), and using more alternative resources. One Californian company goes in and takes apart buildings and reuses the parts by selling them to poorer areas of the state. Others use recycled materials, building LEED certified buildings, encouraging conservation, reducing the amount of packaging a product uses.

Unfortuantely, today’s stigma of being environmentally friendly portrays an ignorance instilled in the modern, global citizen. Many of these people seem to equate being environmentally, and socially conscionable with being unprofitable. However, using renewable engergies and manufacturing processes, bio-mimcry for example, allows the localization of  markets to continuously improve products and services. These products and services have already been shown to be profitable. People do not realize how profitable these solutions are for us, and our world. Developing sustainably for the future should be logical conclusion of all sustainable business practices. This idea has been around since the start of the environmentalism movement, circa 1960s.

Sustainable development, including green engineering and architecture, uses local knowledge such as indigenous practices and services. Using these practices, architects and engineers alike have developed new techniques for the built environment; buildings blog 22.3are now taking cues from nature, and mimicing their structures and patterns to help strengthen the structures, lowering their impact on the environment. However, there are some downsides to be considered, one being an ignorant mindset embraced by millions subsiding in developed nations.

Developed nations have enveloped this idea of sustainable design and business, whereas developing, and under-developed nations, have not been quick to embrace this trend. Most of these “other” nations have dealt with famines, droughts, and other environmental problems instead. These problems have caused great stress amongst the high leaders of these unfortunate nations, great stifes, like the ones mentioned earlier, were once viewed as environmental but now are recognized to be exacerbated by socio-political strife and climate change. Climate change and resource allocation has directly affected these strifes, impeding further development; this creates a self perpetuating cycle.

This all leads one to question, what are the ethical considerations we should be providing the world? If we live comfortably does that mean we should care about how others are living, or help them develop sustainably? Do we really need to have any moral obligations towards nations which we have directly harmed through climate change? The world’s sustainable development relies on all of us to help each other out, and by helping the world’s companies become greener and developing new technologies together we can create a global economy without further destroying, and perhaps fixing most environmental issues. We need moral leadership. We need to be united, as one.

Categories: climate change, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Policy, New York City, Organic Farming, policy issues, Poorer nations, Priorities, Retail, Sustainability, Urban agriculture | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Toxic Display of Environmental Ethics

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Many skeptics of today believe that God created our great Earth for us humans, or that is how my father sees it. Seeing how is view point is skewed, I would take that with a grain of salt. Meaning, that is one opinion, of one man, lost amongst thousands of other opinions formed by humans daily. Human beings were created equal to every other specie we share this beloved planet with. So why do we treat animals, and other species so poorly? Because we are not the planet’s rulers, we are not the justifiers. We are all coinhabitants of planet Earth.

Society needs to see how we all have this innate connection with nature, we need it, it needs us, and we need each other. Unfortunately many people do not view the world this way, in fact the people who do, utilitarians, are usually criticized for focusing on the amount of happiness and ignoring fair distribution. Because most people do not believe in fair distribution of environmental burdens, countries are unequally subjected to environmental effects. Most countries affected are located in Africa, a continent which accepts toxic wastes for a cost.

Economics is the basis for how we decide to dispose of waste, like toxins. It is what is most economically efficient. Trading with countries, like ones in Africa, for space to dump our toxins in turn for various purchases, and materials. Yet, shouldn’t we respectblog 21.1 each others fundamental well being, which is living in a clean and healthy environment? Then, reapplying the equality of living to all creatures and organisms on the planet, Earth, is a must. Starting in our own backyard.

45% of Bronx residents live below the poverty line, those residents consists mostly of African Americans and Latinos. Tragically, most other people are against fixing situations that do not affect them personally, Fordham residents do not usually think twice about the surrounding community. Think about it, how often does a student hide their Iphone or Macbook from the streets of the Bronx. Never do they think about the community, and all the problems that the area has come across over time. Tons of areas here in America are veiled with ignorance, not realizing that there is an extreme difference amongst economic classes, races, nationalities, genders, and generations. Ignorance is a disease. A disease which consumes all of us, none of us think twice about other communities and situations which don’t affect us. This mentality, a theory of justice – veil of ignorance portrayed by John Rawls, needs to change and fast.

Just like Adam and Eve we do not know our place in society or the world. We need to bring environmental justice to the world, because it is the fair treatment of all. It brings meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to its development and implementation. The major benefits of implementing this idea is it allows a cleaner environment for all, with millions gaining access to cleaner environmental areas. Take someone like Peter Wenz, he believes people should receive an equal amount of environmental burden; therefore, those who consumer the most shall be burdened the blog 21.3most. Leading to less consumption of products, and materials, which results in less pollution emitted. If we are going to pollute, then we should suffer the consequences. We need a clean, pollutant-free environments. Without a sufficient amount of green space our world will be destroyed, and if we continue disposing harmful substances into the environment, like with the Love Canal incident, we will destroy ourselves.

There are a plethora of waves being made in the field of environmental ethics: Robert Bullard was able to push the movement forward with animated words about out future environment, Charles Lee’s 1987 study of toxic waste dumps and its correlation with race, and finally the fourteenth amendment created further equality amongst races involving the environment. I believe that these people, these solutions will pave a great future for not only our country but our world. Our world deserves a renewal. Without it will suffocate and die or possibly try restoring itself, who knows. Continuing this righteous path will permit our world and ourselves to regain the strenght we once had.

Categories: Environmental Ethics, Environmental Policy, Environmentalism, Ethical Egoism, ethics, human beings and the environment, Life, policy issues | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anthropocentrists, Are you Weak or Strong?

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Looking back it seems that there is this deep division between the world’s socially ideals of our world’s environmental conduct. It seems that most of us might have to choose between Baxter’s world, which justifies the greed of the human race, or with Aldo Leopold which equalizes all species, lowering the domineering stance of the human race down to a level on par with all species. However, will humans be able to see themselves as a specie with equitable virtues, as well as ethics, as other species such as trees or animals? Well, there is one option, Bryan Norton. Norton offers an in-between option which shoots to identify a pure, as well as distinct, environmental ethic.

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By looking at his paper, “Environmental Ethics and Weak Anthropocentrism,” one sees that Norton tries to identify a distinct environmental ethic. Beginning by deciphering what would make a distinct environmental ethic, Norton believes this ethic must take a distinct stance on either accepting or rejecting anthropocentrism. Anthropocentrism is “the position that human beings are the central or most significant species (more so than animal species)” (Wikipedia). Personally, I do not believe in this view point; I consider myself a non-anthropocentrists -considering how many animals I have grown up with I am not surprised. However, some non-anthropocentrists believe that humans are the source of all values here on Earth, but also they believe we can add value to any non-human thing. This removal of human beings as head haunches of the world allows the environmental ethic to become slightly more visible, due to this flexibility.

However if we are to measure this ethic, and its worth, we need to take into account human interest, and what those interests are. Anthropocentrism takes into account our interests, so what does Norton have to say about our traits? Norton states: there are two types of human interests, felt preferences and considered preferences. The former is a desire(s) which temporarily satisfies a specific experience for a specific individual. The latter is any want or need which an individual expresses after sometime of thinking it over, carefully. However, how does the world see these ideas of felt preference and considered preferences?

Well many original economic approaches see felt preferences as the basic platform for our decision making, economically.  I mean look at it this way, how many times does company look at a resource and see a profit, all they care about it money. Money this, money that… money money, and money. Whereas the concept of considered thought has more thought placed into the motive because it takes place after an individual spent sometime thinking the situation over. I have thought it over, and if I want to ace my test, or ace my blogs I will need to work hard and do well. Simple as that.

Finally, there are the concepts of strong and weak anthropocentrism. Strong anthropocentrist is a person who makes a choice based on felt preferences, most of the time. While a weak anthropocentrist is a person who makes a choice based on his or her blog 20.2considered preferences. Thus, weak anthropocentrist will allow us to see beautiful critiques of our values systems, especially here in the United States. When you live in a world which contains skewed mindsets, confusion between wants and needs you will never make any progress.

I believe that our world is filled with selfish people because they are most strong anthropocentrists. They would rather be rash with their decisions, thus putting certain things in front of others. I agree with Leopold’s land ethic, especially after his deal with the deer and the wolves. Our land needs us to make bold, smart and concise decisions allowing it to continue to thrive. If we kill off certain species the ecosystems will go out of whack. We need to learn to be weak anthropocentrists, but maybe not all of the time. Yes, we need to learn to make concise, thought out decisions but we also need to rash, quick in response to help fix the problems we created.

Categories: Corporate, Egoism, Environmental Ethics, Environmentalism, Ethical Egoism, Ethical Reasoning | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Consumption: The Mindless Dummy Edition

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Should citizenship, value and politics be able to override the free market? Well, maybe. Today’s global society is exactly that: global. Nothing can be said differently because our world is filled with consumer wants and needs, skewed by an unnatural consumer market, like I will state in the next blog. However, our global environment helps us to understand the crisis of environmental degradation that is at hand. First off what steps shall we take?

Well, changing our consumer culture would be the first I would change. It is impossible to move five feet without seeing someone with a shopping bag, or hearing an advertisement for some new, and “improved” product. America, as well as the world, has gone mad. Unfortunately I will say that I have delved deep into the consumer culture, and it is something I regret; however, it is something that helps the world’s economy move round.  So what should we, including myself, consider ourselves? Are we citizens or are we consumers of this vast culture? Well, lets comprehend what exactly is a moral citizen versus what is a model consumer,

"the perfect customers"

“the perfect customers”

then we can decide from there. The model consumer is the perfect egoist. Looking at the “Economic Man,” one can see this idea further explained. First, one must see the world through the “mind’s I,” and its want for satisfaction. Second, one’s values are interpreted as prices and the willingness to pay, thus moral values (i.e. virtues and justice) “are factored out.” Thus, anyone with a product to sell can sell the item/service in any shape or form as long as one can get away with it. If you have a little trouble getting away with selling the item one can us what is called, “junk science.” Junk Science is a false study, or science, which helps to persuade people to see value in a product when there is absolutely none. Personally, I can tell when there is real science being used for a product and when they are trying to outsmart people and use junk science, and I laugh. I will never be fooled, hopefully.

Then there is the moral citizen. He or she is a person who takes “the moral point of view,” by seeing themselves as an equal member of society. Recognizing his or her own duty, but also the duty of others as well. This viewpoint allows the moral citizen to see the moral goodness, or excellence, in everyone. Therefore, these moral values remain independent of economic values. In turn, the moral citizen is unmoved by the devious sales-men of the model consumer, and instead, following the clearer more coherent sides of all arguments.

blog 19.2The overall citizen, however is really a combination of the two, the model consumer and the moral citizen. We all have this skewed sense of the model consumers wants, versus the moral citizens needs. Basically, everyone is a mixture of the two, however each individual will vary. Although, more and more Americans are becoming like the model consumer instead of becoming more like the moral citizen.

Today’s world is getting smaller due to technology. The model consumer is what all this fortune 500 companies want us to be, they do not want us to care about the environment or second guess or choices, they just want us to make a purchase. Unfortunately I fallen victim to their skewed ways. However, I think the only way out of this is to realize we do not need to get so many different things, and we should move back to nature. Nature is where we grew up, it is where children have fun and one can discover the amazing world we live in. We need to get back to that time.

 

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Who is Made Worse off?

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The past few blogs explored economic and ethical problems with the libertarian free market environmental ethics idea, Baxter’s. There are different kinds of  problems arising from this situation, mainly market failures, ethical challenges, who is made worse off, and is the free market sufficient by itself.

Market failures stem from this idea of pareto inefficiences (moral extensionism). Failing to extend, as well as include, negative blog 18.2external costs, tragedy of the commons, overpopulation, into the market. Marketing our world, and its resources as infinite cause the multitude of resources being degraded, and lost.

Ethical challenges have grown from our markets failure of moral extensionism, the most obvious being who should be made better off, and who should be made worse off. Endangering the health of many species, our ethical questioning has divided us a population. Should animals receive full treatment, even without rational thought; or should humans control the welfare of all species? However, it is our duty to future generations to “distribute justice” fairly. Harming generations of non-human species created a lopsided, decapitated world lacking niche, and big time species to continue on the ecosystems vitality.

Making the question, “Who should be made worse off,” even more difficult then prior thought. Amongst the world’s citizens, most believe humans shall be held the highest amongst God’s creatures, yet that is not how our world was created. No one, not one specie, is held more prominently than another. While we live in a upside-down, backwards world, one thing still remains true: we are all God’s creatures — God had created this Earth and all within it in seven days, we cannot command creatures to move off and die.

Deciding whether or not the free market is qualified to run itself remains indecipherable. While our nations maintain proper control of their sovereign area, does not mean they contain all that goes on within their borders. Thus, redesigning higher political powers with reestablished ethical values is a priority. Too much of our markets, as well as political heads, measure species in terms of economic value, possibly social value too. Breaking this perception could help species’ cause, but how?

First off, we must include the extension of protection towards various species besides humans, and the price of any object extracted from the environment should have price where externalities are reflected. Establishing markets to create legally transferable property rights for environmental goods and services and including external pricing will give more rights to animals. Servicing mankind for years, ecosystems shall become protected and any source removed from its land shall be included in the final price of that material or animal, species. Focusing more on the benefits a variety of species provide allows us humans to understand our interdependence on a plethora of species; we need them to thrive, survive.

Categories: Egoism, Environmental Ethics, human beings and the environment, Poorer nations, Priorities, Retail, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

How many Humans Does it Take to Exploit the Earth?

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The Earth is filling up with people, their things, and their consumption related byproducts. Around 10,000 years the human population was made up of about five million individuals. It would not be until 1850 for the world’s population to reach over one billion individuals. Adjusting to this population explosion, mother Earth’s resources have been utilized to the extreme, taking a hit in its overall reserves. This begs the question: how much resources does the Earth have in store for us? Will its reserves be able to sustain an overall population north of seven billion individuals?

In 1798, Thomas Malthus published an essay on the Principles of Population. Malthus predicted that human population would start to grow exponentially and the production of food would not be able to keep up with demand. His prediction came true. Natural resources, such as: oil, timber, metals, minerals, and water, have been depleted. Worse, they are continuing to disappear, a time blog 17.3when our population really needs it — I mean it does not help that our population keeps growing, especially in developing nations. Perhaps the worst part was the number of people in poverty has reached over a billion individuals. These individuals are starving, or becoming extremely malnourished, just because not enough food is being produced where it is needed most. What can we do?

Differing philosophers have suggested alternative theories to combat this situation, one being Garrett Hardin. He suggests this concept of the “lifeboat.” It is a theory that states each nation has a carrying capacity based on its endowed resource and ingenuity. When a nation uses up all its resources it is not up to the other nations to help them out. Whereas utilitarian theorists often are criticized because they would help only those in need, but not necessarily closest to them first. Instead, they would help the people who are the most beneficial to the population as a whole. Our world has a carrying capacity, our resources are running out… maybe it is time we limit resource use and limit our population.

Population is an uncontrollable force, ever since technology has advanced population have been growing at an unfathomable rate. Humans need food, that is a thing, but the amount of food necessary to feed the entire planet is incredible. Just thinking about how much chemicals are needed or how much carbon dioxide is produced just sustain this world population, it is crazy. However, is it fair for us to misuse this planet, to over populate it while other species continue to dwindle in numbers?

Our world was designed from the beginning to withstand a certain number of each creature, but when that number exceeds its limit things will go haywire. Resources will disappear, and land will disappear for all, including species which have maintained their populations and their use of resources. Then, if I am to be bold, humans do not deserve ownership of the Earth and her resources. Maybe, just maybe, animals deserve a larger chunk of the world’s global resource change.

We need population control, take, for instance a law put into place similar to China’s one child policy, or simple family planning. I do not know if most will take this sitting down, but they will have to… I mean who is gonna sit there and let the government tell him or her how many children they can have. It will not be easy, at all. However, if we do not do anything about this exponential growth we will meet our demise. Yes, we do not know the official carrying capacity of the planet, let alone the United States, but what I do know is the amount of people living on this planet is not natural.

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Categories: climate change, Corporate, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Policy, human beings and the environment, New York City, policy issues, Poorer nations | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethics of the Environment Continued

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Politics are messy, heck, we should have listened to George Washington when he said we should not allow parties in our system, but what are you going to do?! Unfortunately, we face varieties of issues dealing with the environment and coming up with a single plan will be messy, difficult and bloody. No one will get their way 100%, compromise is the game that must be played.

Different agencies have been working feverishly over past decade to help legislation get past here in the United States, even around the world. Take the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which checked out the consequences of change amongst ecosystems and watersheds upon human well-being. Working with experts, their findings proved scientifically we need to conserve our ecosystems, and its services they provide. Ecosystem services are benefits provide to us for free, mainly purification or water, air, soil, and helps to weed out dying species. Giving up something was the key because need to improve our ecosystems, restoring would be better actually. Enhancing our decisions planned will allow countries to obtain the pros and cons of a certain project, and whether its repercussions are worth the destruction.

There are four ways to evaluate our ecosystems and its good and services, ecologically, economically, socioculturally and intrinsically. All these values help us obtain information about our ecosystems and their goods and services. Ecological value is based on a system of natural sciences; ecosystems have value because they maintain diverse life here on earth. Providing material/immaterial important for sustaining life on our planet. Economical values quantify nature, because knowing how to treat nature will ease our pain when pricing it. We want to measure everything in monetary terms, therefore we measure all economic values of ecosystems monetarily. Thus, helping access the impact of each decision, economically. Then, socio-culture values combines the idea of anthropocentric values and non-anthropocentric values. We value ecosystems outside of the services they provide directly to us, they matter to our surroundings, religion, national and personal ethical values and spiritual values. Therefore, the decision of what to do with an ecosystem should be done in an open forum type deal. Finally, intrinsic value tries to show how we can place moral values upon non-humans, as well as non-living species. Everything deserves a chance especially species which cannot speak for themselves.

It is important to think this over, everyone has a different opinion on these types of situations and we are certainly not going to appeal to everyone’s ideal solution, but we can compromise. Different people view ecosystems differently, take the indians they worship animals, almost like deities. Differing cultures apply their beliefs to their ecosystems differently than others, so coming to a conclusion is cumbersome. Reevaluating our needs and wants will help us become more in sync of what too do, but before that our world will continue suffer.

Categories: Egoism, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Policy, Environmentalism, Ethical Egoism, Ethical Reasoning, ethics, human beings and the environment, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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