When people first started to get involved In environmental ethics, the choices were based on “how does It benefit humans”. Most ethical perspectives were anthropocentric, human Interests at the expense of nonhuman things. Such as clear cutting, or burning because we as humans can benefit more from the wood or the land, than the animals can benefit from It. The value of nonhuman things would depend on what the human needed the nonhuman thing for. In the early sass’s some members of society started placing a value on nonhuman things based on the repose in their purpose in the environment, not based on what humans need them for.Soon, society started to realize how humans were exploiting the natural environment and started to realize that humans may not be superior to other species on earth.
Aledo Leopold said it best with his quote “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect”(Leopold 1949). Aledo Leopold could easily be considered the one person who started the land conservation explosion with his writings and theories.Holmes Ralston Ill also argued that species protection was a moral duty (Ralston 1975). In the mild 1970 environmental ethics was galling momentum and society was starting to take a look at what we as humans were doing to nature because of our choices.
Society moral views towards nature were starting to shift to conservation rather than the get what we can get attitude. Current Events The largest current event right now is the huge BP oil spill. The oil spill has leaked tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the gulf. The oil has polluted beaches, disrupted birds, fisheries and other wildlife.Some groups have boycotted BP Oil because of the damage It has done to wildlife in the gulf. In my opinion, although BP is cleaning up the oil In the gulf, their disaster Is an example of their environmental ethics.
This disaster could have been prevented If the proper procedures were used In malignantly the OLL line, for oil on federal lands set aside as wildlife preserves, endangered species, and habitat loss, as well as the Ozone and global warming due to carbon emissions. These are all events that are based on a person’s moral and ethical views about the environment and how it should be used.There will always be the questions of do we take out the forest, because the people need the land to farm. The cities are getting bigger, so should we allow farmers to graze their cattle on public lands, which turn into the problem with overgrazing and desertification. The Future The future of environmental ethics, in my opinion, is always going to be who has the most power and money. There will always be conservative groups fighting for what they believe Is right against those fighting for what they believe is right.Environmental ethics has come a long way, since the 1970 there are many laws to protect not only the environment but also the species and the CEO system as a whole.
Society is more aware now of the issues with the environment and society seems to nave netter morals as well as tenets tout using resources In ten environment. I believe environmental ethics is on the right track and believe it will stay there as long as there are two sides to every issue. References. Leopold, Aledo. Sand County Almanac. New York: Oxford University Press, 1949.
Ralston, H. , 1975. “IS There an Ecological Ethics, Ethics 85: 93-109