Doing Environmental Ethics

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-02-24
  • Publisher: Westview Pr
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Doing Environmental Ethics offers a way to face our ecological crisis that draws on environmental science, economic theory, international law, religious teachings, and philosophical arguments. It engages readers in constructing ethical presumptions based on our duty (to other persons, species, and ecosystems), our character (personal virtues), our relationships (with other persons and nature), and our rights (to sustainable development and a healthy environment). Then it tests these moral presumptions by predicting the likely consequences of acting on them. Readers apply what they have learned to specific policy issues discussed in the final Part of the book: sustainable consumption, environmental policy, clean air and water, agriculture, managing public lands, urban ecology, and climate change. Questions after each chapter and a worksheet aid readers in deciding how to live more responsibly as consumers and as citizens. "What you do matters," Robert Traer writes, "and the person you are also matters. In ethics we look for reasons to explain why this is so." Book jacket.

Author Biography

Robert Traer led the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) from 1990-2000. He served with the Ecumenical Accompaniment program in Israel/Palestine sponsored by the World Council of Churches. In 2002 he was a resident scholar at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies in Israel. He is a member of the core faculty at Dominican University and teaches courses in ethics and religion.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Ethics and Science
Moral Philosophy: An Adventure in Reasoningp. 3
Right and Goodp. 4
Reasoning about Our Feelingsp. 6
Environmental Ethicsp. 9
Learning from Diverse Theoriesp. 10
Doing Ethics Togetherp. 13
Questions-Moral Philosophy: An Adventure in Reasoningp. 17
Ethics and Science: Moral Considerationp. 19
What We Know and Can't Knowp. 20
An Evolving Theory of Evolutionp. 22
Ecosystems and Emergent Propertiesp. 25
Ascribing Value to Naturep. 29
Questions-Ethics and Science: Moral Considerationp. 33
Ethics and Economics: The Common Goodp. 35
Invisible Hand?p. 35
Economic and Ethical Issuesp. 37
Globalization and Economic Growthp. 40
Green Economicsp. 45
Questions-Ethics and Economics: The Common Goodp. 50
Constructing and Testing Ethical Presumptions
Duty: Nature and Future Generationsp. 55
Doing Our Dutyp. 55
Right Actionp. 58
Commanded by God: Jews and Muslimsp. 60
Government, Land, and Propertyp. 62
Applying the Golden Rulep. 65
Animals, Species, Ecosystems, and Landscapesp. 67
Questions-Duty: Nature and Future Generationsp. 68
Character: Ecological Virtuesp. 71
Being Goodp. 72
Children's Storiesp. 75
Christian Stewardshipp. 76
Virtues: Integrity, Gratitude, and Frugalityp. 81
Respecting and Appreciating Naturep. 83
Questions-Character: Ecological Virtuesp. 85
Relationships: Empathy and Integrityp. 87
Empathy Is Naturalp. 88
Culture and Human Naturep. 90
Deep Ecologyp. 94
Ecofeminism: A Social Ecologyp. 97
Ecological Integrityp. 100
Questions-Relationships: Empathy and Integrityp. 102
Rights: Humans and Animals?p. 103
Human Rights Lawp. 104
Environmental Rightsp. 108
Animal Rights?p. 111
A Rights Strategyp. 117
Questions-Rights: Humans and Animals?p. 118
Consequences: Predicting the Futurep. 121
Utilitarianismp. 122
Animal Sufferingp. 124
Cost-Benefit Analysisp. 128
Biocentric Consequentialismp. 130
Scientific Consequencesp. 134
Questions-Consequences: Predicting the Futurep. 136
Worksheetp. 138
Learning from Nature
Ecological Living: Sustainable Consumptionp. 145
Duty: To Reduce Our Consumptionp. 146
Character: Consumer Choicesp. 146
Relationships: Our Natural Communityp. 152
Rights: To a Healthy Environmentp. 154
Consequences: Sustainable Consumptionp. 157
Questions-Ecological Living: Sustainable Consumptionp. 161
Environmental Policy: Governments, Corporations, NGOsp. 163
Governments: International and US Policiesp. 163
Corporations: Moral Leadershipp. 166
Nongovernmental Organizations: Advocacy and Actionp. 173
Collaborative Strategies: GLWQA and the Apollo Alliancep. 176
Consequences: Incentives and Taxesp. 178
Questions-Environmental Policy: Governments, Corporations, NGOsp. 181
Air and Water: A Healthy Environmentp. 183
The Earth's Atmospherep. 183
Air: Pollution and Greenhouse Gasesp. 184
Water: Quality and Scarcityp. 189
Economic Predictions: Shortsightedp. 195
Questions-Air and Water: A Healthy Environmentp. 198
Agriculture: Land and Foodp. 201
Nature's Cyclesp. 202
Industrial Agriculturep. 203
Poor Farmersp. 208
Sustainable Farmingp. 210
Questions-Agriculture: Land and Foodp. 216
Public Land: Adaptive Managementp. 219
Conservationists versus Preservationistsp. 220
National Forests and Parksp. 223
Restoring Deserts and Wetlandsp. 226
Wildlife Reserves in Asia and Africap. 230
Ethical and Legal Presumptionsp. 234
Questions-Public Land: Adaptive Managementp. 234
Urban Ecology: Building Greenp. 237
The Built Environmentp. 238
Transportationp. 243
Water and Wastep. 245
Sustainable Citiesp. 248
Consequencesp. 251
Questions-Urban Ecology: Building Greenp. 255
Climate Change: Global Warmingp. 257
The Carbon Cyclep. 258
Responsibilityp. 259
Predicting Consequencesp. 263
Taking Actionp. 271
Questions-Climate Change: Global Warmingp. 274
Notesp. 275
Bibliographyp. 349
Indexp. 357
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