Ethical Environmental Issues
SOC 120: Introduction To Ethics & Social Responsibility
“Ethics is the study of the choices people make regarding right and wrong” (Ruggiero, 2008). Environmental ethics, it is more of a study about moral relationships of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and its nonhuman contents. Humans have been sharing our lives with nature for many of years; we have to make many ethical decisions with respect to the environment everyday. We have been concentrating on finding ways and ideas to make our lives easier. Over time we have forgotten to take in the immoral consideration of what we might be doing to our environment itself. In the past, future and even present, there have been many controversial issues on environmental ethics that need to be answered. There are environmental issues affecting our world today such as deforestation and pollution. These problems have even begun to affect us at a global scale and not only have we put ourselves in grave peril but we have also managed to endanger every other species that exist on earth. As noted by Yamamoto (2001), “In Buddhism, human life, and other forms of life are regarded as being of the same matter. Therefore, since they are always related to living things, Buddhism regards environmental problems as essentially an issue of ethics.” There are many environmental issues that need to be taken care of as soon as possible. One issue would have to be deforestation. For years we as humans have depended on trees as a resource to our everyday life. We have built homes, paper, and many other products from this precious resource. If the forest provided us with low cost homes and so many good resources, why is it an ethical issue or problem? “ This is a problem because deforestation destroys not only forests but also reduces the biodiversity, which means a reduction in the amount, as well as variation of, living things which can cause havoc on whole ecosystems.” “The cutting down of tropical rain forests is particularly detrimental to wildlife and other living things. “ (Yamamoto, 2001) We have been so concern in finding different ways to make our lives easier. Pollution is another issue that is affecting our environment. Pollution is killing off our wild life each and everyday. We as humans must take control of this problem very quickly. With so much pollution we are killing plants, animals, polluting our water, and causing the depleting of the Ozone layer. I once had to do a project about the effects of The Morris J. Berman oils spill of the coast of the Escambron beach in the island of Puerto Rico. From the pictures that I saw, I can say that I had never seen a more horrendous sight. This beautiful blue beach whose waters had turned into a murky black and filled with dead fish covered in oil. The damage was vey overwhelming especially. I will never forget the awful pictures of so many animals suffocating with the poisonous oil. Luckily this problem has been dealt with by the government for many years and they have found many solutions to ensure that these disasters do not repeat themselves. This is a great example of how government involves itself in Environmental Ethics. It was evident to every one the damage and the horror that was inflicted on nature by this human mishap. It is a fact that the government had always prioritized the restoration of the ocean that was damaged by the barge when it crashed and destroyed the homes to a vast number of oceanic wildlife. Last year the government of Puerto Rico was compensated with $10 million for damages caused by the oil spill almost 14 years ago. These funds will be used to build an artificial coral reef and a shore line nature reserve (Michael Melia, FoxNews.com, 2007). Our rain forests and the tribes that live in there are being affected by this pollution and deforestation also. “The Kayapo are an indigenous group of Indians...
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