Running head: Environmental Ethics essay

1- ) Describe three problems with including animal suffering in a utilitarian calculation. To begin with, it can cause great stresses to the natural systems as they are stressed to the maximum to ensure the people are provided with their demands. For instance, animals suffer greatly as they are subjected to higher products enhancing chemicals. To add to that, it encourages higher exploitation of resources to satisfy the people, a notion which may compromise the inter-generational sustainability of the same resources.

Finally, through being highly anthropocentric, the calculation gives less consideration of the effects that would result from satisfying their needs as the best good. This includes aspects like the ability of the natural systems to assimilate back wastes from the people. 2- ) What assumptions does cost-benefit analysis make about our knowledge of the likely consequences of an actions? Raise a critical question about one of these assumptions. Cost benefit analysis considers knowledge to be part of the driving factor in the achievement of the expected benefits.

It also does not consider this knowledge propositions about the consequences of actions to be taken. However, these assumptions are wanting in that human element is the most important factor in facilitating the consequences. How can the process omit the consideration which dictates the progress, nature, speed, and success? 3- ) Explain why using economic discounting to determine environmental policy is a problem. Economic discounting is wrong in determination of an environmental policy in that the future value of environmental resources is subject to the present natural and human induced dynamism.

To add to that, it leads to highly misguiding information about a resource in that some presently valued resources may became less useful in future while others considered to be valueless may become highly valuable, for instance asbestos (Bhaskar, 1998). Ecological Living: Sustainable Consumption 1- ) Give an ethical argument for accepting the challenge of Agenda 21 to developed countries. Explain why the US government has rejected this challenge? Accepting agenda 21’s challenge provides a holistic platform for taking responsibilities of all the actions the developed countries involve themselves in.

Therefore, it promotes sustainable use of their resources exploitation and consumption. With the understanding that developed countries indeed exploit resources more, and therefore contribute more to environmental degradation, accepting inter and intra-generational equity would lead to coterminous global development of all the states. This challenge has been rejected by US government in that it is views its vast resources exploitation and consumerism patterns would greatly be disturbed. It views the reduction in resources exploitation and use as a major threat to its internal development as well as its global position as a superpower.

The call for true global partnership for sustainable development as exemplified in chapters 23-32 of Agenda 21 makes it hard for the US government to cooperate with different members that are divergent to its governance ideals (Jane, 2004). 2- ) Argue for and against the assertion, “We have a right to buy what we can afford” The assertion “We have a right to buy what we can” is wrong and I strongly disagree with it. Whereas it is true that people indeed, can only buy what they can afford, people should focus on what they need.

This assertion seeks to create greater differences between the poor and the rich thereby acting against the very principles of intra-generational equity as advocated for by sustainable principles. Taking into consideration that those who can afford to buy more are the highest spenders, the assertion encourages them to consume as they have the ability and therefore promotes greater exploitation of the resources which is unsustainable. 3- ) Give a reason for supporting taxes to pay for government regulation of food production and trade. Is your argument about rights or consequences? Explain your thinking.

Taxes should be paid to the government to promote its ability to ensure that trade and aspects such as food production are effectively regulated in the country. This position is based on the notion and consideration of the consequences that might arise from substandard products. By empowering the government through taxes, it is able to establish the correct standards for food products, monitor their implementation, and seek improvement of quality for the benefits of its people. Therefore, the repercussion of possible one sided profit maximization at the expense of the peoples’ health is eliminated.

Environmental Policy: Governments, Corporations, NGOs 1- ) Identify three duties of the federal government asserted by NEPA and raise a critical question about one of these NEPA requires the federal government to establish and fulfill the responsibilities of the generations which act as the major environmental trustees of the subsequent ones. Secondly, it demands that the federal government should guarantee all the Americans the most productive, healthy, and safe environment that is culturally and aesthetically pleasing.

Then, the government also has the responsibility of seeking balance in the country’s population and all the accruing resources to guarantee high living standards and sharing of life support systems. The first duty identified in this question is highly controversial in application by the federal government. This is due to its great call for higher exploitation of resources to achieve the necessary development which compromises the direct need for consideration of intra-generation equity. 2- ) to achieve greater environmental sustainability, Interface has recommended changes in taxation policy and economic practices.

Explain two of these recommendations. Taxation policy involves all activities on different aspects that have varying effects on the environment. Higher taxes application for production and activities that have negative effects would be discouraged. On the other hand, reduced taxes are offered for those practices which are sustainable in order to encourage others to follow the same consideration. Economic practices denote use of market forces and incentives to encourage the producers assimilate effective production methods.

Such market based methods include operations that reduce the cost of production factors like through subsidies and promotion. 3- ) The Natural Step affirms four ethical presumptions. Summarize two of these and reflect critically on each. To begin with, society harvests and releases materials faster than the natural system can be able to replenish. This is correct as exemplified by the example of oil and coal mining and harvesting which are presently threatened with exhaustion. Then, the society produces materials at a faster rate than the natural processes can be able to break them.

Most of the human systems products like plytherene, PCBs, and Dioxins are highly persistent in the environment. Indeed, bio-geochemical cycles take long to break and restore the necessary balance in nature. Air and Water: A Healthy Environment 1- ) how does the Montreal Protocol protect the ozone layer in the stratosphere? Give three reasons why this international regulation has been successful. This protocol seeks to protect the Ozone layer in the stratosphere by establishing mechanisms of reducing and phasing out its depleting substances production.

After passing in 1987, it has been referred to be very successful in meeting its main objective. This is mainly because of the member countries ability to assimilate alternative sources (HCFCs) to replace CFCs and attain the same or better efficiency. Besides, the protocol established the Montreal fund which has greatly assisted the developing countries to phase out the Ozone depleting substances. Finally, there has been strong understanding of the possible resultant consequences from the members and therefore assimilated effective goodwill to track the CFC phase out plan (Environmental Law Institute, 2005).

2- ) Explain the EPA’s permissible pollution approach for water treatment. How is this different than the EU’s use of the precautionary principle? Permissible pollution approach for water treatment as applied by EPA denotes the maximum possible levels of various pollutants that the government accepts for any waste treated waste water. This approach considers the maximum levels to be the ones that the natural systems are able to assimilate without any harm to the natural systems.

However, the EU’s precautionary approach considers that waste waster should be fully treated as a guarantee of avoiding all the possible effects. The latter considers that by failing to fully treat the waste water, there are possible chances of causing ecological effects especially at the lower levels which can be manifested at the higher levels through aspects like bio-accumulation. 3- ) Construct and argue for an ethical presumption concerning bottled water. Bottled water is better as compared to the natural systems water systems water supply.

It is important to note that production of bottled water is done in the most hygienic method that frees it from all the possible diseases causing germs. To add to that, it makes it possible to store the water for longer periods in its bottled status. By attaching a price to the water, it assists the people to contribute towards the catchments protection programs by the companies. However, pricing should be done to reflect the people’s ability to afford the same quality at all times. Besides, it should be made available at all places to ensure greater accessibility by the people.