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Environmental Ethics: Considering Humanity’s Effects On The Environment

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Environmental ethics deals with the moral and ethical relationship between humans and the nature. In other words it questions a human on its rights on non human world. While ethical issues concerning the environment have been debated for centuries, environmental ethics did not emerge as a philosophical issue until the 1970s i. e the start of Industrialisation. Its emergence was the result of increased awareness of how the rapidly growing world population and their demands was impacting the environment, the flora and the fauna, environmental consequences that came with the growing use of pesticides, technology, and industry. Environmental ethics helps define man’s moral and ethical disciplines toward the environment. But human values become a factor when looking at environmental ethics. Human values are the things that are important to individuals which are used to evaluate actions or events. Humans assign value to certain things and then use this assigned value to make decisions about whether something is right or wrong. Human values are unique to each individual because not everyone places the same importance on each element of life. For example, a person living in poverty in an undeveloped country may find it morally acceptable to cut down the forest to make room for a farm where he can grow food for his family. However, a person in a developed country may find this action morally unacceptable because the destruction of forests increases carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, which can negatively impact the environment. Everyone has their own perspectives according to the pros and cons faced by him after violating the ethical rule. Environmental ethics along with human values is a never ending topic for debating on mans interaction with the environment. Water and air pollution, depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, destruction of global systems and drastic climatic changes are all the effects of harmful practices of human towards the non-human world. With the advance in technology, societies are able to acquire and produce more food and to accumulate surpluses. This leads to a number of profound changes in social and ecological processes, including changes in the numbers of people living in a society, and, more generally, on the planet, and in the patterns of accumulation and distribution of resources among those people. Furthermore, as technology grows or increases, the potential for environmental impact increases dramatically. Because of the profound implications for the well-being, and perhaps even the long-term survival of humanity, questions about interactions of social behaviour among human beings, the technologies they produce, and their impacts on the natural environment, the flora and fauna are vitally important to people. They should keep in mind the actions they perform otherwise a lot shoud be payed as repent. Environmental impact was seen as being a function of population, technology, and human consumption levels.

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· Water Pollution In developing countries, approximately 90 percent of human sewage is simply dumped without any attempt at treatment. These discharges often go directly into water; yet even when the dumping is not direct, it often leaches into underground aquifers. Either way, this causes serious pollution problems and the public health risks associated with them. While adequate supplies of safe drinking water become more scarce worldwide, it is a particular problem in parts of the developing world where population growth is increasing day by day. Runoff of water contaminated by farming practices, such as indiscriminate use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, as well as from concentrations of livestock animal waste from huge feed lots leads to a number of ecological and health problems, particularly for those living downstream from them. Water can be managed by efficient use of the sewage by sending the water to purification plants and using up to the mark. We should not send the polluted water into the sea since all the sea animals may die due to infectious water. Here again we raise a question about the sewage water whether it has to be sent into a river or not. The obvious answer is no, because we have only acute amount of drinking water throughout the world which should be used wisely and there is no right for us to kill other beings.

· Deforestation The effects of population are often addressed in the context of urban population growth and rural population growth. For example, rural population growth increases the likelihood that forested regions will be transformed, cut, or burned for use in industrial activities, extractive processes, or agricultural production, and related technological developments only exacerbate the environmental impacts of these activities. Here a question arises that should we cut trees for the sake of human benefit and let the animals live without shelter and food or preserve and conserve for future generations. There can be many ways to curb deforestation. If we cut trees for industrialization then we should plant more trees in the outskirts of the city rather than leaving land barren. We can replace wood with steel in as many cases possible. We do not have any right to cut the trees which cause global warming. Even though if we cut the trees there should be another alternative to compensate the loss then only cutting of trees is acceptable. The other alternatives can be like using only bio organic fertilizers or pesticides for the plants which reduces the damage to soil and the roots of the tree stay firm and the tree lives longer without falling off.

· Global Warming The human dimensions of climate change and global warming are perhaps the most widely addressed human-environment relationships in the social sciences and policy venues. There is general consensus in the scientific community that global warming is indeed a reality and that human societies do contribute to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere through activities that lead to the emission of noxious greenhouse gases. Two of the most serious greenhouse causing gases emitted into the atmosphere as a by-product of human activity are carbon dioxide and methane. The gases after released into the atmosphere cause serious damage to the ozone layer, trees, animals and also human beings. The gases which are emitted by the fossil fuels are initiated by man by burning them and make the toxic to breathe. The only solution is to use these fossil fuels for a certain limit and not more than that. We can utilize water resources to generate electricity or energy, fossil fuels is not only the solution. Therefore we can limit the use of fossil fuels and other toxic gases by using other alternatives. A man cannot be selfish enough to satisfy his needs and let the non-human world to degrade. By doing so he is also polluting the air which he breathes, and the water which he uses.

The main reason for the imbalance in nature caused by humans are technology, population growth and consumption. In order to satisfy his needs man sorts to do all kind of activities which are harmful to nature. Increases in population and urbanization often tend to be accompanied by technological innovation, which could potentially be good for the environment. Yet if history is any indicator, as new technologies are developed, they are often used to make deeper and more lasting incursions into the environment. Technological innovation, thus, often has a net negative impact on the environment. As society develops in the twenty-first century, it will continue to be crucial that citizens remain vigilant about the ways in which technology is conceptualized and used.

10 December 2020

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