Environment Magazine

What Are Environmental Ethics?

Posted on the 27 March 2014 by Rinkesh @ThinkDevGrow

Environmental ethics is a branch of ethics that studies the relation of human beings and the environment and how ethics play a role in this. Environmental ethics believe that humans are a part of society as well as other living creatures, which includes plants and animals. These items are a very important part of the world and are considered to be a functional part of human life. Thus, it is essential that every human being respect and honor this and use morals and ethics when dealing with these creatures.

As per Nature.com, “ Environmental ethics is a branch of applied philosophy that studies the conceptual foundations of environmental values as well as more concrete issues surrounding societal attitudes, actions, and policies to protect and sustain biodiversity and ecological systems.

According to Wikipedia, “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.


Global warming, global climate change, deforestation, pollution, resource degradation, threat of extinction are few of the issues from which our planet is suffering. Environmental ethics are a key feature of environmental studies, that establishes relationship between humans and the earth. With environmental ethics, you can ensure that you are doing your part to keep the environment safe and protected. Every time that a tree is cut down to make a home or other resources are used we are using natural resources that are becoming more and more sparse to find. It is essential that you do your part to keep the environment protected and free from danger. It is not as difficult to do as you may think so long as you’re willing to make a few simple and easy changes.

With the rapid increase in world’s population, the consumption of natural resources has increased several times. This has degraded our planet’s ability to provide the services we humans need. The consumption of resources is going at a faster rate than they can naturally replenish.

Environmental ethics builds on scientific understanding by bringing human values, moral principles, and improved decision making into conversation with science. It was Earth Day in 1970 that helped to develop environmental ethics in the US, and soon thereafter the same ethics were developed in other countries including Canada and North America. This is important because the ethics of the environment are of major concern these days.

What Causes Environmental Pollution?

The acts of humans lead to environmental pollution. The stronger demand for resources is also a factor that contributes to the problem as we all need food and shelter. When these things are so desired and need the natural balance of the environment is disturbed. Engineering developments are resulting in resource depletion and environmental destruction. There are several environmental issues that have created havoc on our environment and human life. If ignored today, these ill effects are sure to curb human existence in the near future.

The major environmental issues include Pollution, Overpopulation, Industrial and Household Waste, Acid Rain, Climate change, Ozone Layer Depletion, Urban Sprawl, Genetic Engineering, Deforestation and Global Warming. These environmental issues have taken toll on our environment and we’ve already started seeing some disastrous effects in the form of effect of health on humans, rise in sea level, depletion of non-renewable resources, melting of glaciers, extinction of species, polluted landfills, toxic dust, decreasing soil fertility, rise in air and water pollution and many more.

Human beings are considered to be the most intelligent species living on earth. This could be why it is the only species on earth which has civilized itself over the decades to a large extent. Today, human beings boast as being superior to all other animals but what is the use of such great intelligence when environment ethics are not followed?

Cutting down of trees is something that many humans do for their own benefit, without any concern for the  animals which are dependent on trees for survival. Using fossil fuels erratically, industrialization, pollution, disturbing ecological balance, all these are attributable to human activities. Just because we are in possession of all of these natural resources does not mean that we can use those resources in any manner in which we choose without keeping anything for the future generations.

Environmental Ethics and Environmental Philosophy

Environment ethics has produced around environmental philosophy. Many scientists have taken up the belief of philosophical aspect of environmental hazards thus giving rise to environment ethics. Currently environment ethics has become the major concern for the mankind.

Environmental Ethics

Industrialization has given way to pollution and ecological imbalance. If an industry is causing such problem, it is not only the duty of that industry but all the human being to make up for the losses. But how long an artificial and restored environment will able to sustain? Will it be able to take the place of the natural resources? Environmentalists are trying to find answers to these difficult questions and all these together are termed as environment ethics.

It is the responsibility of all to ensure that environmental ethics are being met. It is somewhat difficult to make adjustments that are necessary to ensure that you are following all environmental ethics.

Ethics plays an important role in our society today, and environmental ethics and business ethics must be considered. This has become more prevalent in today’s society.

Both oil and coal are bad, but not only for the environment, but for all living creatures, including plants and animals. Both are highly toxic in their natural raw state. They pollute the air and ground and water, and whether or not they are helping to create these natural disasters should be irrelevant. They are both finite, and will not last forever, and the sooner we rid ourselves of the need for these two demons, the better. While oil and coal companies continue to promote their products, and the best yet is clean coal, which is an unethical definition of something that just isn’t possible, their ethics come into question, especially environmental ethics. Most of the worlds ills are derived from both of these, with oil spills, mining accidents, fires, and now climate change and global warming.

Ensure that you are doing your part and following all environmental ethics that are out there.

Image credit: smif , Stephendun

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