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Environmental Ethics Essay

878 words - 4 pages

PAGE PAGE 1 Ethics
ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICSBy:SOC120SharonApril 26, 2010Environmental EthicsWith as much attention as the environment has been getting lately, you'd think that we'd be further along in our fight to preserve the world's species, resources and the beautiful diversity of nature. Unfortunately, things aren't nearly that rosy. In fact, many of the environmental problems that have received the most public attention are even worse than we thought - from destruction in the rain forest to melting glaciers in the Arctic. We've got a lot of work to do. Environmental ethics is the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and its nonhuman contents. In other words, they're many ethical decisions that human beings have to make with respect to the environment. The environment is all external conditions and factors, living and non-living, which affect an organism or other specified system during its lifetime. It can also be defined as the natural conditions, such as air, water, and land in which people, animals and plants live. The inspiration for environmental ethics was the first Earth Day in 1970 when environmentalists started urging philosophers who were involved with environmental groups to do something about environmental ethics. An intellectual climate had developed in the last few years of the 1960s in large part because of the publication of two papers in Science: Lynn White's "The Historical Roots of our Ecologic Crisis" (March 1967) and Garett Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons" (December 1968). Some of the environment problems we have include: 1.Mammal Extinction- If you think the extinction of an animal like the beautiful Iberian Lynx is no big deal, and wouldn't have that much of an effect on the planet, think again. Not only would we be losing - mostly due to our own disregard for our surroundings - so much of the awe-inspiring diversity of nature, mass extinctions like this would cause a serious imbalance in the world's food chain. When a predator disappears, the prey will multiply. When prey dies out, the predator will see its ranks decrease as well. Many people fail to realize just how interconnected all species on this planet really are. 2. The Ocean Dead Zones- In oceans around the world, there are eerie areas that are devoid of nearly all life. These 'dead zones' are characterized by a lack of oxygen, and they're caused by excess nitrogen from farm fertilizers, emissions from vehicles and factories, and sewage. The number of dead zones has been growing fast -...

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