New PDF release: The ethics of the global environment

By Robin Attfield

ISBN-10: 1557531897

ISBN-13: 9781557531896

This quantity issues itself with the moral rules and ideas when it comes to the surroundings: nature, assets and the planet. this is often put within the context of moral idea, and attention is given to the best way those values have reworked bought moral traditions. concerns contain the intrinsic worth of nonhuman species, duties to destiny generations, and the classy wishes of humanity. either the common obligations and their program are investigated. The foreign tasks to the planet are noticeable within the context of a few of the main alarming destiny eventualities: restricted entry to water, the altering worldwide weather, inhabitants explosion, the destruction of ecosystems, or even the extinction of humanity.

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Extra info for The ethics of the global environment

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What is more, all human beings depend on them, and all other living creatures too. The definition of 'nature' just given in no way precludes recognition that the natural world (and thus the natural environment) has been significantly affected by humanity, and thus that nature itself, by now, has a history. For example, some more or less stable ecosystems (such as the Long Mynd in the Welsh Marches of England) have depended for centuries on being grazed by sheep, and ecologists now seek to preserve the plant and insect species of this modified environment, as opposed to those which preceded human occupation.

They are often necessary, as in their absence awareness of the need for common efforts and concerted action might lack for a spring-board. Yet if people's loyalties stay confined to the local level, they will remain ludicrously inappropriate to these challenges, like mice pitted against mountains. Unless individual agents and communities in all countries (or at least Page 24 in a majority) act in solidarity and mutual support, many of the problems will remain unsolved. Some problems could be tackled by single nation-states, or by coalitions of states; others cannot be tackled without the agreement of all or at any rate most countries.

For the same reasons, the concept of the global environment is indispensable. Indeed every intentional environment, every local environment, every landscape and every neighbourhood depends on the global environment, and could not exist without it. Hence claims that commitment and loyalty to the global environment are impossible are themselves confused. People who recognise the dependence of themselves and their surroundings on something greater have in every age shown themselves capable of loyalty (and sometimes of devotion) to whatever was believed to be this greater being, whether Nature, the Earth Mother, the gods or the Creator; hence there is nothing impossible in commitment to the cause of the global environment, based on belief in a comparable dependence, and in the shared destiny and common interest of creatures sharing this dependence.

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The ethics of the global environment by Robin Attfield

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