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Environmental Ethics

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Environmental ethics is the part of environmental philosophy which considers extending the traditional boundaries of ethics from solely including humans to including the non-human world. It exerts influence on a large range of disciplines including environmental law, environmental sociology, ecotheology, ecological economics, ecology and environmental geography. There are many ethical decisions that human beings make with respect to the environment. For example: Should we continue to clear cut forests for the sake of human consumption? Should we continue to propagate? Should we continue to make gasoline powered vehicles? hat environmental obligations do we need to keep for future generations? Is it right for humans to knowingly cause the extinction of a species for the convenience of humanity? The academic field of environmental ethics grew up in response to the work of scientists such as Rachel Carson and events such as the first Earth Day in 1970, when environmentalists started urging philosophers to consider the philosophical aspects of environmental problems.
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Environmental Ethics
Environmental Ethics
Environmental ethics is the part of environmental philosophy which considers extending the
traditional boundaries of ethics from solely including humans to including the non-human
world. It exerts influence on a large range of disciplines including environmental law,
environmental sociology, ecotheology, ecological economics, ecology and environmental
geography.
There are many ethical decisions that human beings make with respect to the environment.
For example:
Should we continue to clear cut forests for the sake of human consumption?
Should we continue to propagate?
Should we continue to make gasoline powered vehicles?
hat environmental obligations do we need to keep for future generations? Is it right for humans
to knowingly cause the extinction of a species for the convenience of humanity?
The academic field of environmental ethics grew up in response to the work of scientists such
as Rachel Carson and events such as the first Earth Day in 1970, when environmentalists
started urging philosophers to consider the philosophical aspects of environmental problems.
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Page No. :- 1/4

Two papers published in Science had a crucial impact: Lynn White's "The Historical Roots of
our Ecologic Crisis" (March 1967) and Garrett Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons"
(December 1968).
Also influential was Garett Hardin's later essay cal ed "Exploring New Ethics for Survival", as
wel as an essay by Aldo Leopold in his A Sand County Almanac, called "The Land Ethic," in
which Leopold explicitly claimed that the roots of the ecological crisis were philosophical
(1949).
The first international academic journals in this field emerged from North America in the late
1970s and early 1980s - the US-based journal Environmental Ethics in 1979 and the
Canadian based journal The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy in 1983. The first British based
journal of this kind, Environmental Values, was launched in 1992.
Environmental Legislation
Environmental legislation means laws for the protection of the environment. Some of the
important environmental laws are
1) 1972 - UN conference on Human Environment held in Stockolm recommended that
a) People should be educated about the cause of environmental deterioration and ways to
check it.
b) Everybody has a responsibility towards protecting and improving the environment.
c) Seas should not be used as dumping areas for pol utants as it affects marine life.
d) Every state should ensure that its pollutants do not spoil the environment of other states.
2) 1976 - Indian Constitution was amended to incorporate that
a) The state shal endeavour to protect and improve the natural environment and safeguard
the forests and wild life in the country.
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b) It should be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment
including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for al living creatures.
3) 1987 - Amendment of Factories Act
It reads that the owner shal make effective arrangement for treating the wastes and effluents
so as to render them innocuous for their disposal.
4) 1988 - Amendment of Motor Vehicle Act
It requires that the manufacturers to ensure that the vehicle does not cause pol ution.
5) 1988 - Amendment of Water Act (Prevention and Control of Pol ution)
It has made the treatment of sewage and trade effluents compulsory so that water pol ution is
prevented.
6) 1991 - Amendment of Wild Life Act


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