Environmental Ethics (2023)

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Title: Environmental Ethics

Environmental Ethics

(Video) PPD 270 Environmental Ethics, Introduction to Environmental Ethics

  • Chapter 2

Views of Nature

  • Problems of managing interactions between people
    and their environment has been transformed by
    unprecedented increases in the rate, scale, and
    complexity of the interactions.
  • Many people believe we have entered an era
    characterized by global change stemming from
    human-environment interdependence.
  • Example Stone age vs modern technology

Environmental Ethics

  • Ethics
  • Seeks to define fundamentally what is right and
    what is wrong, regardless of cultural
  • Morals
  • Reflect predominant feelings of a culture about
    ethical issues.
  • Examples War, Abortion, animal or human

Environmental Ethics

  • applied ethics that examines the moral basis of
    environmental responsibility.

Focuses on moral foundation and how far such
responsibility extends.
Theories of Moral Responsibility Anthropocentric

  • Responsibility derived from human interests.
    (Human centered)
  • Only humans are morally significant.

Theories of Moral Responsibility Biocentric
All life forms have an inherent right to exist.
Theories of Moral Responsibility Ecocentrism

  • Environment deserves direct moral consideration,
    not one derived from human interests. (GAIA
    hypothesis rev ch 1)

Ecocentric View

  • A thing is right when it tends to preserve the
    integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic
    community. It is wrong when it tends
    otherwise.We abuse land because we regard it as
    a community belonging to us. When we see land as
    a community to which we belong, we may begin to
    use it with love and respect. - Aldo Leopold

Naturalist philosophers -Henry David Thoreau

  • Walden, writer, recluse, live simply off the
    land quotes
  • Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the
    sky as well as the earth!
  • Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind
  • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!
    Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify
    your life, the laws of the universe will be
  • It is never too late to give up your prejudices.
  • My friend is one... who will take me for what I
  • http//www.nndb.com/people/468/000022402/

Naturalist philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Poet, writer, celebrate nature sexuality
  • Quotes
  • Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate
  • Do not go where the path may lead, go instead
    where there is no path and leave a trail.
  • Finish each day and be done with it. You have
    done what you could.
  • Give all to love obey thy heart.
  • Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the
    wild air
  • http//www.transcendentalists.com/1emerson.html

Naturalist philosophers John Muir

  • naturalist, writer, conservationist, and founder
    of the Sierra Club, convinced Roosevelt to set
    aside land for national parks
  • Quotes
  • Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places
    to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and
    give strength to body and soul.
  • I only went out for a walk and finally concluded
    to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found,
    was really going in.
  • The clearest way into the Universe is through a
    forest wilderness.
  • Tug on anything at all and you'll find it
    connected to everything else in the universe.
  • The gross heathenism of civilization has
    generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all
    that is spiritual.
  • http//www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/

Naturalist philosophers Aldo Leopold

  • Father of Ecology, writer, Sand County Almanac,
  • Quotes
  • We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity
    belonging to us. When we see land as a community
    to which we belong, we may begin to use it with
    love and respect.
  • We shall never achieve harmony with land, any
    more than we shall achieve absolute justice or
    liberty for people. In these higher aspirations,
    the important thing is not to achieve but to
  • http//www.bigeastern.com/eotp/ep_aldol.htm

Naturalist Philosophers Rachel Carson

  • Chemist, writer, naturalist, convinced JFK to
    start the EPA.
  • Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries
    of the earth are never alone or weary of life.
  • If I had influence with the good fairy who is
    supposed to preside over the christening of all
    children, I should ask that her gift to each
    child in the world be a sense of wonder so
    indestructible that it would last throughout
  • it is the public that is being asked to assume
    the risks...the public must decide whether it
    wishes to continueon the present road and it can
    only do so when in full possession of the
  • http//www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/cars-rac.htm

Environmental Attitudes

  • Development
  • Preservation
  • Conservation
  • Societal
  • Global
  • individual

Environmental Attitudes - Developmental Ethic

  • Assumes human race is, and should be, masters of
  • All resources exist solely for human benefit.

Developmental Ethic

  • -Based on individualism.
  • -Reinforced by work ethic.
  • -Humans should always be busy creating change.
  • -Bigger, better, and faster represents progress.

Preservation Ethic

  • Nature has intrinsic value apart from human
  • Seen as a refuge from economic activities, not as
    a resource for it.
  • Reasons range from aesthetic to scientific.
  • Humans dependent on environment.
  • Preserve nature for future generations.

Conservation Ethic

(Video) Environmental Ethics

  • consideration of whole earth.
  • Some resource use
  • Stresses finding a balance between total
    development and absolute preservation.
  • Rapid, uncontrolled growth is ultimately

Societal Environmental Ethics

  • Western societies have long acted as if the earth
  • Unlimited reserves of natural resources.
  • An unlimited ability to assimilate wastes.
  • A limitless ability to accommodate unchecked

Societal Environmental Ethics

  • Growth, expansion, and domination remain the
    central sociocultural objectives of most
    advanced societies.
  • Economic growth and resource exploitation are
    attitudes shared by developing societies.
  • Since the first settlers arrived in North
    America, nature has been considered an enemy
    which needs to be conquered, or subdued.
  • Pocohantas video John Smith crew!!

Corporate Environmental Ethics
Corporations are legal entities designed to
operate at a profit, and are not intrinsically
Corporate Environmental Ethics
Corporate Environmental Ethics

  • Profit margin determines expansion, and more
    expansion leads to more production (and more
  • More expansion means more power is attained.
  • The more power attained, the more influence is
    gained over decision makers who can create
    conditions favorable for expansion.
  • Never-ending spiral.

Corporate Environmental Ethics

  • Practicing an environmental ethic should not
    interfere with corporate responsibilities.
  • It makes little sense to preserve the environment
    if preservation causes economic collapse.
  • Nor does it make sense to maintain industrial
    productivity at the cost of breathable air, clean
    water, wildlife, parks, and wilderness.

Corporate Environmental Ethics

  • Why are corporations becoming green?
  • Profitability
  • Image consumer driven
  • Long term planning finally
  • Laws EPA regulations

Industrial Ecology

  • Argues that good ecology is also good economics,
    and alternatives exist for corporations to
    provide goods and services in ways that do not
    destroy the environment.
  • Accounts for waste a useless or worthless
  • Waste should be viewed as residue our economy has
    not yet learned to use efficiently.

Environmental Justice
In 1998, the EPA defined environmental justice as
fair treatment, meaning
No group of people, including racial, ethnic, or
socioeconomic groups should bear a
disproportionate share of the negative
environmental consequences resulting from
industrial, municipal, and commercial operations
of the execution of federal, state, local, and
tribal programs and policies.
Environmental Justice

  • In the United States, waste generation is
    directly correlated with per capita income, but
    few toxic waste sites are located in affluent

NIMBY Not In My BackYard
Environmental Justice

  • -What should be the basic standard of living for
    all humans?
  • -NIMBY not in my backyard
  • landfills, incinerators, prisons, power plants

Individual Environmental Ethics

  • Recognition of individual responsibility must
    lead to changes in individual behavior.
  • Recent opinion polls have indicated Americans
    think environmental problems can often have a
    quick technological fix.
  • Many individuals want the environment cleaned up,
    but do not want to make the necessary lifestyle


  • Ecologist Paul Ehrlich argues the American
    lifestyle is driving the global ecosystem to the
    brink of collapse.
  • Economist Julian Simon argues human ingenuity,
    not resources, limits economic growth and


  • Food
  • Fertilizers, pesticides, and high-yield crops,
    have more than doubled world food production in
    the past 40 years.
  • Third world development
  • As more people around the world achieve the
    American dream, they will consume more resources,
    and generate more pollution.


  • Oil
  • At current rates of consumption, the worlds
    known oil reserves would not last through the
    current century.
  • Experts predict new technologies will avert a
    global energy crisis.
  • Fuel Cells


  • Water
  • Currently humans use about half the planets
    accessible supply of renewable, fresh water.
  • More than any other resources, water may limit
    expansion of consumerism in the next century.

How big is your footprint?
Earth Day Footprint Quiz
Go to site, take your own quiz after class
Global Environmental Ethics

  • Ecological degradation in any nation inevitably
    impinges quality of life in others.
  • Much of current environmental crisis is rooted in
    widening wealth gap between rich and poor
  • Rapid industrialization will cause intense
    production of pollution, which in turn will lead
    to increased localized environmental destruction
    and greater poverty.

Fur seal Case Study
Fur seal Case Study

  • 1. What do you think the future of the seal hunt
    should be? Is this a conservation, preservation
    or development approach?
  • 2. Should the seals be spared at the possible
    expense of the Aleuts? Why or why not?
  • 3. What do you think would happen if the seal
    population were left alone with no human
  • 4. Do you think there would be any controversy
    at all if the mammals in question were not fur
    seals but rats? Why?
  • 5. Compare attitudes using this case study.
  • Development Preservation
  • Conservation Global

Waterfowl lead shot Case Study
Waterfowl lead shot Case Study

(Video) What is Environmental Ethics? Philosophy of Ethics

  • 1. Should hunters be required to use steel shot?
    Why or why not?
  • 2. Why does lead shot cause a problem whereas
    steel shot does not?
  • 3. Why doesnt lead shot just disappear?
  • 4. Apply each of the following terms to the
  • Development Preservation
  • Conservation Global

Environmental Activists

  • Greenpeace International
  • http//www.greenpeace.org/international/
  • ELF
  • http//www.earthliberationfront.com/index.htm
  • Sierra Club
  • http//www.sierraclub.org/
  • ALF
  • http//www.animalliberationfront.com/
  • PETA
  • http//www.peta.org/

Environmental Activists PETA Case Study

  • Dead Dog case
  • 2 PETA volunteers took dogs from Human Society
    killed them
  • Told ASPCA they would find homes
  • Claimed quiet, calm, ethical death for dogs.
  • Nation outraged
  • Which is worse, gas or lethal injections?
  • Moral objections by US?
  • Are your pets neutered?


  • Views of Nature
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Environmental Attitudes
  • Societal Environmental Ethics
  • Corporate Environmental Ethics
  • Global Environmental Ethics
  • Individual Environmental Ethics
  • Consumption
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Activism

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What are the environmental ethics answer? ›

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 non-human contents.

What question is most essential to environmental ethics? ›

In a nutshell, the two fundamental questions that environmental ethics must address are: what duties do humans have with respect to the environment, and why? The latter question usually needs to be considered prior to the former.

What is an example of environmental ethics? ›

There are many ethical decisions that human beings make with respect to the environment. For example: Should humans continue to clear cut forests for the sake of human consumption? Why should humans continue to propagate its species, and life itself?

Why environmental ethics important explain? ›

Environmental ethics provides moral grounds for social policies aimed at protecting the earths environment and remedying environmental degradation. That is why it can be viewed that environmental ethics involves ecological consciousness amongst us.

What are the 2 main types of environmental ethics? ›

Environmental ethics comes in two forms: human-centered and nature-centered (see “anthropocentrism” and “biocentrism”).

What is environment very short question answer? ›

Everything that we see in our surroundings forms environment. It is our basic life support system. It provides us air, water, food and land-the basic needs of our life. Was this answer helpful?

What are the three main questions in ethics? ›

Blanchard and Peale suggest that leaders ask the following three questions when making a decision about an ethical problem:
  • Is it legal? The purpose of this question is to get you to look at existing standards. ...
  • Is it balanced? ...
  • How will it make me feel about myself?
14 Aug 2011

What are the three great questions in ethics? ›

The central questions raised in this course in ethics are (1) What is the nature of the life of excellence?, (2) What is the ultimate worth of the goals you seek?, and (3) What specific courses of conduct, in keeping with these goals, will help lead to the life of excellence?

What is an example of a question of environmental ethics? ›

Should rivers, or for that matter, nature, have moral rights?

What are 5 environmental examples? ›

Air, water, climate, soil, natural vegetation and landforms are all environmental factors.

What is the impact of ethics in environment? ›

Ethical debates impact our ability to solve environmental problems because individuals differ on man's obligation concerning the natural environment. Those that place significantly higher value on human interests at the expense of non-human things are said to have an anthropocentric ethical view.

How can you protect our environment? ›

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Help Protect the Earth
  1. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. ...
  2. Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. ...
  3. Educate. ...
  4. Conserve water. ...
  5. Choose sustainable. ...
  6. Shop wisely. ...
  7. Use long-lasting light bulbs. ...
  8. Plant a tree.
11 Aug 2021

What are the 3 environmental attitudes? ›

The three environmental attitudes (i.e. egoistic, social- altruistic, and biospheric) were measured as beliefs about the consequences of environmental conditions for the individual (two items), all people (two items), or plants and animals (four items). To examine the link between values and attitudes, Stern et al.

What are the 3 Rs in the environmental ethics? ›

Students dive into the three R's–Refuse or Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle–as a framework for reducing plastic waste in the environment.

What is importance of environment? ›

Environment plays an important role in healthy living and the existence of life on planet earth. Earth is a home for different living species and we all are dependent on the environment for food, air, water, and other needs. Therefore, it is important for every individual to save and protect our environment.

What is environment answer long answer? ›

Environment is everything that is around us. It can be living or nonliving things. It includes physical, chemical and other natural forces. Living things live in their environment. They constantly interact with it and adapt themselves to conditions in their environment.

What is an environment one word answer? ›

Detailed Solution

All the physical surroundings on Earth are called the environment. The environment includes everything living and everything nonliving.

What is the aim of ethics? ›

Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime. As a field of intellectual inquiry, moral philosophy is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, and value theory.

What are the two big questions ethics seeks to answer? ›

As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions "What is the best way for people to live?" and "What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?" In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality, by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, ...

What is the main problem or question in ethics? ›

The first and most fundamental problem of Ethics is about the nature of moral judgments and the concepts 'ought', 'right', 'good', etc., which are the most characteristic elements in them.

What are the 8 key ethical questions? ›

The 8KQ ethical reasoning strategy, best used in groups that include outsider perspectives, encourages asking an array of moral questions — fairness, outcomes, responsibilities, character, liberty, empathy, legitimate authority and rights – to expose moral blind spots and stimulate reflection before acting.

What are the 3 main types of environmental issues? ›

The list of issues surrounding our environment go on, but there are three major ones that affect the majority of them overall: global warming and climate change; water pollution and ocean acidification; and loss of biodiversity.

What are the 4 types of environments? ›

Four Components of Environment

The four major components of environment include lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, corresponding to rocks, water, air and life respectively. Lithosphere is the outermost layer of earth called crust, which is made of different minerals.

How can a student save the environment? ›

7 ways college students can help save the environment — and not go broke
  1. Reduce single-use plastic waste. ...
  2. Find other ways to get around. ...
  3. Buy clothing and other items at thrift stores. ...
  4. Make changes to the way you wash your clothes. ...
  5. Try eating less meat. ...
  6. Join the sharing economy. ...
  7. Turn off the lights.
21 Nov 2021

What are the 3 environmental ethics? ›

The three classic ethical principles of justice, sufficiency and solidarity can be traced back to many different sources: Greek philosophy, religious teachings, and reflection on human experience.

What are environmental ethics class 10? ›

Hint: Environmental ethics is a branch where the study of the relation between humans and environment is studied and how ethics play a role in this. It's believed that humans are part of the society as well as other living creatures which includes plants and animals.

How many environmental ethics are there? ›

We review the three leading, but conflicting, approaches to ethical theory in environmental ethics: consequentialism, deontology, and virtue theory.

What are the ethics of environmental education? ›

Environmental ethics includes "principles and values that a man as an individual and as a member of the society should follow so as to conserve, preserve and manage the environment". Thus, ethics has direct relationship with human behaviour mediated through the value system developed by an individual.

What are ethics give 3 examples? ›

Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty.

What are the 5 environmental principles? ›

What are the environmental principles?
  • The precautionary principle: ...
  • The prevention principle: ...
  • Environmental damage should be rectified at source: ...
  • The polluter pays principle: ...
  • The integration principle:

What are the 7 principles of ethics PDF? ›

The principles are beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, justice; truth-telling and promise-keeping.

What are the 3 types of ethics PDF? ›

1 Introduction Normative ethics comes in many varieties, but three stand out: ffl utilitarian or consequentialist ethics, ffl deontological ethics, and ffl Aristotelian ethics.

What are the 4 main environments? ›

Four Components of Environment

The four major components of environment include lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, corresponding to rocks, water, air and life respectively.

What are the 4 types of environment? ›

The atmosphere or air, lithosphere, or rocks and soil, hydrosphere, or water, and the biological component of the environment, or biosphere, are the four basic components of the environment.

What are the 7 ethics? ›

The Fundamental Principles of Ethics
  • Beneficence. ...
  • Nonmaleficence. ...
  • Autonomy. ...
  • Informed Consent. ...
  • Truth-Telling. ...
  • Confidentiality. ...
  • Justice.

What subject is environmental ethics? ›

Environmental ethics is the philosophical study of the value of nature (ecosystems, animals, plants), the human-nature relationship, and the ethical issues that arise from these two issues.


1. Environmental ethics
2. Environmental Ethics
(Sir Bungisngis)
3. Environmental Ethics
4. Environmental Ethics: The Land Ethic and Aldo Leopold
(Ryan Hubbard)
5. Anthropocentrism (Environmental Ethics)
(Centre for Academic Technologies)
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