About this book
The world's economy expands, food production increases, and technology links people as never before. But the human population grows, rainforests decline, species become extinct, climate change threatens extreme weather, cancer kills more than ever, and nearly a billion people starve as the gap between rich and poor widens. Environmental Ethics Today addresses these matters by exploring beliefs of fact and value guiding human interactions with nature. The style is journalistic, featuring actual controversies and individual stories, but the content is philosophically rigorous. Abstract theories, ideas, and methods, such as utilitarianism, contractarianism, and hermeneutics are introduced as needed to understand and solve practical problems. Should respect for nature limit genetic engineering? Is economic growth the best measure of progress or can materialism inhibit family values? Does globalization mostly help Third World countries or harm people and poor women? Are experiments on animals immoral? Is biodiversity valuable apart from any human advantage? Overall, does human welfare conflict with nature's integrity? Environmental Ethics Today considers many views including those of Aldo Leopold, Vandana Shiva, Garrett Hardin, Peter Singer, Julian Simon, David Korten, Jane Goodall, Holmes Rolston III, J. Baird Callicott, Karen Warren, Tom Regan, Val Plumwood, Wendell Berry, Father Thomas Berry, Daniel Quinn, and Arne Naess.
Preface; Acknowledgments; INTRODUCTION; What Is Environmental Ethics?; Enviromental Ethics Under Attack; Disturbing Trends in Human Health; Future Generations; World Trade; Population Growth and Obligations to the World's Poor; Obligations to Nonhumans; Preview of Chapters; PART I: ANTHROPOCENTRISM; 1. OVERPOPULATION, MARKETS, AND HUMAN RIGHTS; Overpopulation and Scarcity; What Are Free Markets?; Cornucopian Economics; The Tragedy of the Commons; Public Goods, Externalities, and Government Coercion; Trading Pollution Permits; A Market Approach to Overpopulation; Lifeboat Ethics; Psychological Egoism and the Possibility of Sharing; Human Rights; 2. ENERGY, ECONOMICS, AND FUTURE GENERATIONS; Global Warming and Future Generations; Human Rights and the Futurity Problem; Fair Contracts and Future Generations; Environmental Tradeoffs and Cost-Benefit Analysis; CBA and Increasing Scarcity; CBA and Political Equality; CBA and Future Generations; 3. COMPETING HUMAN-CENTERED VALUES; Environmental Hazards in the Third World; How Much Money Is a Human Life Worth?; Should Prostitution Be Legalized?; Non-economic vs. Economic Anthropocentrism; Aesthetic Values; National Heritage; Transformative Values and Future Generations; Moral Pluralism; Moral Relativism; PART II: NONANTHROPOCENTRISM; 4. ANIMAL LIBERATION AND UTILITARIANISM; Cruelty to Animals; Utilitarianism; Speciesism; Animal Husbandry; Vegetarianism; Rodeos and Bullfights; The Replacement Argument; Against Hedonism; Preference Utilitarianism; 5. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND MEDICAL RESEARCH; Introduction; The Nature of Rights; Immortal Souls and Rights; Language, Abstract Thinking, and Rights; Moral Personality and Rights; Contracts and Rights; An Animal's Right to Life; The Benefits of Experiments on Animals; Animal Rights vs. Animal Research; Limited Animal Rights in Reflective Equilibrium; Animal Research in Reflective Equilibrium; 6. SPECIES DIVERSITY AND GAIA; Massive Extinction of Species; Causes of Extinction; Why Do We Protect Endangered Species?; Animal Rights vs. Species Preservation; Species as Individual Living Things; The Gaia Hypothesis; From Science to Metaphor; Metaphors and Moral Implications; Mechanical and Organic Metaphors for Nature; 7. THE LAND ETHIC; Hunting Animals to Preserve Ecosystems; The Nature of Ecosystems; Does Hunting Help or Hurt Ecosystems?; Why Value Ecosystems?; Conflicting Moral Commitments; Tigers and Elephants in the Third World; PART III: ENVIRONMENTAL SYNERGISM; 8. HUMAN RIGHTS, AGRICULTURE, AND BIODIVERSITY; Poverty, Efficiency, and Human Rights; Environmental Synergism; The Benefits of High-tech Agriculture; Specialization Leads to Preoccupation with Money; Fouling Our Own Nest; Sustainability Problems; The Green Revolution; Biodiversity and Human Welfare; Anthropocentrism or Synergism?; 9. ECOFEMINISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE; From Feminism to Ecogeminism; Women as Subordinate; Indigenous People as Subordinate; Nature as Subordinate; Women and Nature; Subordination of Minorities Encourages Pollution; Subordination of Women, Environmental Degradation, and Overpopulation; Subordination of Native Peoples Reduces Biodiversity; 10. RELIGION AND NATURE; Should People "Play God?"; The Master Interpretation of Christianity; Hermeneutics and the Constitution; Hermeneutics and the Bible; Narratives, Grand Narratives, and Worldviews; Naess' Deep Ecology; Native American Religions; The Stewardship Interpretation of Christianity; The Citizenship Interpretation of Christianity; PART IV: APPLICATIONS; 11. PERSONAL CHOICES, CONSUMERISM, AND HUMAN NATURE; Consumerism vs. Synergism; Justifications of Economic Growth; High Consumption and Human Welfare; Marketing Discontent; Extrinsic Motivations and Their Limits; Some Instrinsic Motivations; Looking for Love; Your Money or Your Life; 12. PUBLIC POLICIES, EFFICIENCY, AND GLOBALIZATION; The Need for Collective Action; Subsidizing Inefficiency; More Efficient Transportation; Agricultural Politics; Corporate Welfare and Campaign Finance Reform; The Promise of Globalization; Globalization and Human Misery; The World Trade Organization, Environmental Protection, and Democracy; Each chapter ends with a section on "Judgment Calls"; FINAL REFLECTIONS - IS OPTIMISM JUSTIFIED?; Conflicting Trends; Fragmenting Societies; We Are the World; Value Nature and Limit Human Power; GLOSSARY