Ethics is defined as a set of rules or principles that are followed by a broadly recognized race or group (lawyer, writers etc). So when we talk about environmental ethics, we hope to define certain set rules and principles that should be followed in consideration with the environment. By whom? By the human race. What are these rules and what are the other environmental ethical issues that need to be studied is what we will be touching upon in the following article.
Environmental Ethical Issues
Environmental ethics is like the questioning post, it chooses to question the human race about certain key factors that are associated with environmental issues. They hope to make the human race aware that they are not the only ones who inhabit the planet and that there are other species as well that need to be looked after and taken into consideration before mindlessly hogging the entire planet for themselves. These are some of the key l issues that have become a part of this mission:
- Is it important for us to preserve nature for the future generation? If so, are we even making an effort to do that?
- Is the human race alone important on the face of this earth? If not, then aren't our actions proving otherwise?
- What would happen if animals, plants, and other species are destroyed or there are more and more endangered species? Would we be affected or would we care?
- Are our future generations entitled to a clean and green environment? Do they even have a right?
- Should we be procreating and adding to the population growth?
- Is it right for us to be responsible for the extinction of certain species only for the sake of our consumption and greed?
- Is it our moral right to be clearing rain forests for the sake of human consumption?
- In spite of knowing that gasoline run vehicles lead to the destruction of natural resources, is it right for us to continue manufacturing and using them?
- Are the guidelines which are drawn to protect the environment and nature any effective? What is causing their failure?
- Is there a need to reform the way in which we deal with protection laws and clauses?
- What is environmental pollution and pollution of the air, soil and water doing to the world?
Where are the Answers?
When we ask all these questions as the moral police of the environment, we ask them with the hope that there will be answers. Or do we? Most don't, but those who do will know that this is almost never possible. Like a debate or an argument that ensues in the hope of finding the answers to any particular issue in society, and yet never reaches a consensus. Similarly, in the 'Let's save the environment' forum there are pointers introduced and theories formulated, and possible solutions provided, but when the time comes to implement those suggested solutions and bring into action those rules and clauses, there is always the easy path that is chosen―that of ignoring the environment to give in to the baser needs of the human race.
Yet, maybe somewhere there is that small niggling feeling that makes us think sometimes, that confirms that we all know the theory of course, we've learned it all in our texts and have seen advertisements that talk of the same. We also know what our responsibilities hold―waste management, non-pollution, growing trees, eradicating poaching/hunting/deforestation, water conservation, non-dumping of wastes into the sea, recycling, stopping the escape of harmful chemicals, and gases into the air... the list is endless. And that is exactly what environmental ethics will deal with.
Here's the question though, is environmental ethics just another fancy term that is to be added into the growing dictionary of environmental words or is it going to get us some action?