Environmental Ethics

The environment has been experiencing various issues today. The main reason of all issues is a human. This paper will discuss possible solutions of the problem and other aspects related to environmental ethics. Only cultivating love and respect to the nature could help the Earth. 

Aldo Leopold, the prophet of environmental ethics, states that an environmental policy is right when it preserves the integrity, stability and beauty of the land. I agree with this idea and believe that the main objective of humans is to consider the needs of the whole ecosystem. The particular   attention should be devoted to keeping wilderness because the presence of people makes it difficult to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the land. Without people around, ecosystems usually function well. Therefore, humans need to minimize their activity on the planet, which would allow nature to recover. However, this is not always possible due to the growth of human population of the Earth. The possible solution is increasing the capacity of inhabited areas. For example, humans could increase the amount of housing in cities through constructing higher buildings. They could also try reducing consumption. Humans produce more products than they really need. As a result, they destroy wilderness to open new factories and search new natural resources. 

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According to Dave Foreman, humans see wild things as good only due to their benefits to humans. In other words, we only think about the rewards we can obtain from the wilderness. Foreman believes that this approach is wrong because wilderness exists for its own sake. I agree with Foreman’s ideas. A human is only a component of the ecosystem, so the rest of the ecosystem does not view human needs as priority. The wilderness has functioned successfully thousands of years before appearing of first people. The wild nature actually does not need support or protection from humans. The wilderness only suffers due to harmful human activity because it leads to destruction of traditional processes in the nature. For example, deforestation forces animals search places for living. Moreover, the nature is required to satisfy the needs of people. For example, forests provide fresh air, soil gives food and rivers offer water. I think that this is positive that we can receive everything we need from the nature but it does not mean that the wilderness exists only for this. Animals and plants should be also able to grow and enjoy their existence on the Earth. 

Carly Leterro says that it is the time to change our attitude to the nature; particularly we need to reduce the amount of garbage, pollution and green-house gas emissions. I agree with Lattero because today humans have reached the bottom in their relationships with environment. Even my personal experience proves that it is time to stop. Thus, I sometimes use up to ten plastic bags during shopping. After returning home, all these bags transform into baggage. I also drive a car daily, which causes pollution. Although it requires time and effort, I believe that it is a time to make small steps towards reducing negative impact of humans on environment. Moreover, we should not rely only on our governments and various organizations. Each person should realize his/her responsibility for the future of the Earth. 

Another important environmental issue is birds. Shepard Krech III states that it is reasonable to focus on protecting something particular and concrete; particularly he encourages humans to support birds due to reducing their population. I agree with him because people know more about birds and see them daily, so they can develop empathy for them. Empathy is essential for starting real actions for protection these species. Even I try to support birds due to their beauty and helplessness. For example, I feed them in the winter and help the injured ones. Like with the rest of environmental issues, small actions of ordinary people are necessary for dealing with declining population of birds. Although individuals cannot address the climate changes, they are able to raise awareness of the public about this problem.

Besides, environmental issues also affect culture. Thus, Gary Paul Nabban says that climate change endangers traditional native plant foods and songs or stories about them. I do not agree that it is a significant issue because humans can easily replace traditional plant food by new ones. On the other hand, this argument can be effectively used in campaigns about the importance of environmental protection. For example, some people would be disappointed by the fact that Chile peppers might disappear soon due to climate changes. Therefore, some lovers of Chile peppers may begin to press the government and non-governmental organizations to reduce the negative effects of human activity on climate and plant foods.

At the same time, some people justify current human activities by Darwin’s theory. Like David Quammen, I believe that it is wrong because the processes, which were natural and moderate in the times of Darwin, have reached disastrous proportions today.  For example, it was not so harmful to hunt animals few hundred years ago. The Earth had significant populations of different species, so hunting could endanger them. Besides, industry was not very developed in Darwin’s time, so it could not affect the populations of animals either. Therefore, no theories can justify the current actions of people. The Earth does need constant development but the rest of ecosystem should suffer due to this. Moreover, the current development of humankind sometimes resembles involution because people create significant mess and spoil the Earth.

The findings of various researchers as well as my personal experiences demonstrate that genetic heritage does not allow us act wisely in situations with require moral towards future or are not connected with our species. In particular, Robert Michael Pyle stresses the importance of this issue as well as says that it is still unclear what humans will choose. The first option is acting accordingly to such values as generosity, cooperation or morality. The second option is acting accordingly to such inclinations as greed and power. I think the final decision of humans depends of their genetic heritage, which affects the level of their consciousness. The latest human activity allows concluding that people’s consciousness has being rising. Thus, many humans participate in initiatives relating to environmental protection. For example, they replace cars by bicycles and minimize the use of plastic products in their daily life.

On the other hand, even addressing negative genetic heritage cannot help to deal with all environmental issues. Normally, humans try to treat symptoms of the problem but they forget about the aspects that cause this issue. Thus, people try adopting new regulations and policies relating to environmental protection. Instead, I think that the main reason of the existing problems is that people have lost their physical, intellectual and emotional connections with the nature. I agree with Stephen R. Kellert that humans are biological beings and they should realize this to develop love, respect and appreciation of the nature. Today, humans often behave as they are not connected with nature at all. This attitude resembles as making mess in someone’s home. If people realized their links with the house, they would start to act as hosts or inhabitants.

In conclusion, we should try to create polices that preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the whole ecosystem.  For this, humans should realize that they are biological beings and have close links with the nature. Focusing on protecting specific species and increasing consciousness would help to develop higher interest to the problem.

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