The major one being overpopulation. Global warming, depletion of natural resources, waste disposal, deforestation, climate change and ocean acidification are just but a few of environmental challenges we are facing in the world today. There is the possibility of extinctions of some animals and plants from the face of the earth if things do not improve. Nature is not able to adapt to the changing environmental conditions especially climate change which will see a number of detrimental effects to plants and animals. Discovery news (2010) reports that with continued environmental conditions there will be mass extinction of marine life and coral reef growth by the year 2050.
Human beings have an obligation to change how they live so that they can reduce or eliminate the harm caused to the environment. The ways of man have adverse effects to the environment which consequently affects our lives. Roberts (2009) identifies carbon as one of the major sources adverse environmental effects and calls for reduction or replacement in the use fuel that emit carbon to the atmosphere. Lifestyle changes can include recycling, using alternative sources of energy and implementing environmental conservation measures at a community level. The government may help by putting in places policies towards environmental conservation. Technology may be used to reverse some adverse effects caused where possible and also monitor human activities.
Aldo calls for moral responsibility to the natural world. His core on land ethic is about caring for people and land and strengthening the relationship between them. Aldo advices that members of the community should treat one another with respect for the mutual benefit of all. The word community here is expanded to include not only humans but also other parts of the earth (Land). Good relationship between humans and land will bear good results for both. Aldo looks at ecological conscience as efforts to conserve land which is lacking among farmers. He holds the believe that direct contact with the natural world is crucial in shaping our ability to extend our ethics beyond our own self-interest.
Leopold views ecological consciousness in relation to relationship between man and lad which includes land ethics. He sees that farmers are not ecologically conscious because they did not recognize that farming is one of the greatest arenas for conservation. Taking only an economic approach to ecological conservation is doomed as it does not cover all the fundamental aspects. Aldo indicates that there can be no important change in human conduct without internal change in our intellectual emphasis on our loyalties and convictions (Rachels, & Rachels,2015).
On world poverty my position is that there is no moral obligation for the rich to give to those living in extreme poverty. Individuals should have the choice of whether to give or not. Morality is based on individual autonomy and in the case of making giving an obligation it takes away a person’s autonomy. I found the argument on giving improving the life of people convincing. There are people who live in extreme poverty and cannot afford the basic and necessary thigs in life and giving will help them acquire these basic human needs. The argument on giving as an exchange of extremities was unconvincing as it does not provide a strong basis to give.
My position on the treatment of animals is that it is immoral to eat meat as they go through torture to obtain meat and other products and that there should be equality in animal treatment. The convincing argument is one raised by Aldo that it doesn’t matter if you do it yourself or hire someone less to slaughter an animal it still goes through pain to have it on the table. Unconvincing argument is that stopping eating meat does not make to a difference as it actually does eventually with increased number of people not taking meat.
On environmental ethics, I believe that there should be a good relationship between man and land to ensure mutual benefits. Land ethics is essential to ensure that man conserves the environment to reduce the negative impact to the environment. Convincing argument is on the benefits of land conservation and improvement of the environment. Environmental conservation has proved to have much benefits to both human beings and the environment at large. His argument against modern technology having brought about disadvantages to land rater than improvements is unconvincing. Modern technology has played a central role in modernizing agriculture and improving land use. It is important however that this technology is used in a manner that does not harm the land.
Defining what is morally right and wrong sometimes goes beyond personal expectations and desires while in other cases it is more straight forward and easy to define. In the aspect of eating eat for example, it is possible to say that quite a large population of people eat meat and do not find it wrong as the vegetarians would. Therefore, when looking at moral aspects of world poverty, environmental ethics and treatment of animals its essential to address it broadly.
Available from: http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/oceans-fish-fishing-industry.htm (Accessed: 16 June 2020).
Discovery News (2010, May 17) Ocean’s fish could disappear by 2050 [Online].
Rachels, J. & Rachels, S. (2015) The right thing to do (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Roberts, D. (2009) Scientists identify “safe operating space for humanity” in seminal Nature study [Online]. Available from: http://grist.org/article/2009-09-22-scientists-identify-safe-operating-space-for-humanity-nature/ (Accessed: 16 June 2020).