Unformatted text preview: Peter F. Strom, Professor, 228 ENRSB
732-932-9800 x6216, [email protected]
11-375:101 Introduction to Environmental Science
www.envsci.rutgers.edu/~strom Lecture 6:
Ethics Kakadu National Park Wetlands, Australia Opposition Jabiluka Uranium Mine
. • Costs/Risks/Concerns
– ____________ sites - suppose Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Mecca
_____________________ (health, environment)
local ___________________ economy
______ holding tailings (mining wastes) – earthquakes • To Whom?
– benefits and costs not equally distributed
– environmental justice Ethics and Economics Culture and Worldview
Culture = knowledge, beliefs,
values, and learned ways of life
shared by group of people
Worldview = person’s or group’s
beliefs about meaning, purpose,
operation, and essence of world
Both affect perception of
environmental problems Aborigines who saw
of Ranger mine
Mirrar culture and
natural land and
ecosystems. Environmental Ethics: Questions
• Should present generation conserve
resources for future generations? [oil?]
• Are humans justified in driving other
species to extinction? [develop/tree frog?]
• Okay to sacrifice a forest to create jobs (and
provide resources) for people? [spotted owl]
• Okay for some communities to be exposed
to more pollution than others? Ethics and Rights ?
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax Switzerland - 1971
Kuwait - 2005 Ethical Worldviews Environmental Ethics: Ancient Roots
• Plato: moral obligation to the environment
– must cherish land as ancestral home
– Earth is a goddess, “mistress of mortal men” – treat with
respect • Bible:
– “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and
have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of
the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
– “you shall not defile the land in which you live”
– if you have dominion, does that require good stewardship? Modern Environmental Protection Movement
Prompted by Industrial Revolution John Ruskin: Criticized polluted 19th-century cities, and
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau:
Transcendentalists viewed nature as divine, and opposed
materialism. Video: Henry David Thoreau and the Origins of Preservation and Conservation
(click below) President Teddy Roosevelt & John Muir
Yosemite National Park •Conservation
Refuges http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/symbols/mountrushmore.html • Preservation
• Sierra Club Aldo Leopold “The Land Ethic” “A thing is right when it tends to
preserve the integrity, stability,
and beauty of the biotic
community. It is wrong when it
tends otherwise.” Quotes from Aldo Leopold
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/aldoleopol164493.html *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.
*To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.
We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute
justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to
achieve but to strive.
Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and
chop off his left.
*Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as
what is economically expedient.
In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can
heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them. Environmental Justice
• OK for some communities to be exposed to
more pollution than others?
• Do the poor and minorities suffer more than
their share of environmental problems?
• How about Mirrar Clan/ Jabiluka Mine?
• How about in USA? Toxic Waste Dump, Warren County, NC
– important for:
• US EPA
• NJ DEP Navajo Uranium Miners, USA
mine shafts ...
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