The Environment Should Be Protected Because and Only Because Human Livelihoods Depend Upon It

Topics: Life, Organism, Biology Pages: 6 (1659 words) Published: April 19, 2013
Alex Tran

Business Ethics: Individual Assessment

The environment should be protected because and only because human livelihoods depend upon it.

The essay will treat the different problems that exist, nowadays, between environment and human beings, their difficulty to coexist, and mostly the ethical issues that result from it.


“There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but nor for man’s greed”- Mohandas K. Gandhi. This sentence is getting all its meaning since the previous decades. Nowadays, the question of environment, and its relation with human beings is one of the most central issues. Many things impact people’s life, but protecting the environment and the planet should be important to everyone all around the world. The questioning of environment was an ignored issue through time, and human beings hadn’t put this problem on top of his priorities.

For many years, people have satisfied their needs, without showing any concerns or awareness about the care of our planet, the way we treat our environment is described by some, like murder. Thus, it is natural to ask ourselves if the environment should be protected because and only because human livelihoods depend upon it or the opposite, that us, humans, exist only because of our planet, and that we should do all our best to save the air we breathe, the ground we live on, the entire environment that surrounds us. First of all the study will begin by what the environment is through time, then it will show the obvious relationship between environment and human beings and its issues, and it will finish by the question of ethics about human and nature.

The nature of the environment

In recent years, the term environment has replaced the term nature, environment may be understood by what is surrounding us, it can be separated into living components: fauna and flora, and non-living components. Environment provides resources that ensured the well being of each species in the world, it is a real support for all the living organisms that exist on our planet.

According to Raymond Williams, that is one of the most famous Britain writer and philosopher, the nature can be defined as “the material world itself, taken as including or not including human beings”, it means that nature includes everything that lives, and that human beings are fully part of nature. There are two ways of thinking, on one hand, the ecologists who focus on environment and living being relationship in general and on the other hand the ones who focus on human beings and its relation with the environment.

Firstly, the traditional meaning of nature was that God created it for all the living organisms, but basically, through history, people used to think that humans had a central place in it, like a king on his realm. As times has passed, with the industrial revolution, environment has another position in the society, and nowadays, human being is the one responsible for the environment’s change.

According to Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher and writer of the 16th century: “ Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understand her own affairs than we.” Montaigne tried to explain that nature could be by itself, and that it had always done. For decades, man gives itself the right to do everything, everywhere without any concerns for the planet. Before the creation of man, the environment was evolving by itself, and now, a new reliance emerges, the well being of the environment almost depends on man. The issue is that human nature didn’t respect what was offered to it.

The relationship between environment and human beings

Firstly, it is crucial to realise that humans have a unique position in nature because of the exceptional ability they have to adapt, to transform, to create. In the beginning, man could be compared...

References: * David L. Hawksworth; Alan T. Bull (2008). Biodiversity and Conservation in Europe. Springer. p. 3390
* FAO Fisheries Department. (2002). The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
* Gupta, S. et al. 13.2 Climate change and other related policies, in IPCC AR4 WG3 2007
* Juliet Eilperin (2009-11-02). "Seafood Population Depleted by 2048, Study Finds".The Washington Post.
* Kay, J. (2002). Kay, J.J. "On Complexity Theory, Exergy and Industrial Ecology: Some Implications for Construction Ecology."<>
* Odum, E. P. (1971). Fundamentals of Ecology (Third ed.). New York: Saunders.
* Yann Arthus-Bertrand. HOME. 2009
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