Q. What are the distinctive features of environmental ethics? Why has environmental ethics become one of the major concerns in the contemporary world? (250 words)05 Mar, 2020 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions
- Define environmental ethics
- Mention distinctive features of environmental ethics.
- Explain, how and why environmental ethics has become a concern for the contemporary world
- Conclude by explaining its global significance.
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. This branch of ethics emerged due to effects that technology, industry, economic expansion and population growth have on the environment.
Distinctive features of Environmental ethics:
- Environmental ethics believe that humans are a part of society as well as other living creatures, which includes plants and animals.
- It is teleological as it is aiming for the welfare of human along with other species through different means.
- It is inter-disciplinary, which involved politics, environment, science, ethics, etc.
- It is global where every country whether rich of poor is participating.
Environmental ethics has become one of the major concerns in the contemporary world because of the following reasons:
- According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019- “Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into a catastrophe”.
- Global warming and climate change have threatened the lives of billions of people.
- Loss of biodiversity, which is not just environmental issues; it is also a threat to global development, security, and economic prosperity.
- The apathy of the ruling class toward the environment. For example, the withdrawing of the USA from the Paris Climate treaty
- Climate change-induced conflict. According to the Global Environmental Change (scientific journal), there is a direct correlation between climate change, migration, and conflict.
While the world is divided on the basis of ideology, nation-states, religion, language, etc, environmental ethics has united this divided world. The challenges posed by global warming, climate change, deforestation, desertification, etc, affect people irrespective of any boundaries, so it requires a unified effort.
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