Ethics and the Environment

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�PAGE � �PAGE �1� Ethics

Ethics and the Environment





Ethics and the Environment

Environmental ethics concerns human beings' moral relationship with the natural environment. It seeks to help people and their leaders to act responsibly when they do things that impact the natural world. This paper will discuss the origins and current issues of environmental ethics. It will also look at what the future of environmental ethics may hold for our population.


The emergence of the field of environmental ethics was due to the increasing

awareness in the 1960s of the effects that technology, industry, economic expansion and

population growth were having on the environment. It is all the more relevant today as

most environmental problems are the result of the unethical actions of individuals or


Current Events

"The need for a wisdom ethic for the environment stems from not only a requirement for practical wisdom…but also to bring hope to an uncertain world."

(Deane-Drummond, 2004) There are numerous examples of environmental ethics. Among them are; the protection of ecosystems, global warming, strip-mining, pollution, genetic crop mutation, and many more. For this paper, I will use the example of deforestation.

We as human beings may not understand the severity of the possible

consequences that deforestation poses. Since deforestation has had no severe effect on us

yet, we ignore the problem. Everywhere you go, you see pieces of paper on the ground,

people using multiple tissues to wipe their noses, and countless people pulling excessive

amounts of brown paper out of the paper towel dispensers in lavatories. These are just

few of the sources of paper that we use each day, without any thought whatsoever.

What we must realize is that the paper products we use daily could have been a

part of a...