Among the most mentioned global issues is the climate change. Beyond doubt it has grabbed the attention of the entire world, and has become one of the most important issues, which gained the global attention. It is a fact that the cases behind the climate breakdown and its variant impacts have been discussed repeatedly. However, the content of this article is correlated to the environmental ethics, and in what extent the absorption of its principles to real life contributes to the confrontation of the present global crisis.
The term environmental ethics includes the word ethics, which need to be clearly pointed out in order for its environmental dimensions to be comprehended accurately. By the same token, ’‘ethics’’ is a Greek word with a wide philosophical aspects and social dimensions. It is a philosophy that has as content a system of morals, values as well as principles that delimit the social behaviour in collective and individual level. According to the British empiricist John Locke ethics is described as ’’seeking out these rules and measures of human actions which lead to happiness and the means to practice them” (Essay, 1954). Aristotle’s ethics state that the mechanism which delimits the human behaviour and gives it a virtues character it is a premise in order to obtain prosperity or “eudemonia” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2020). In other words moral and principles that constitute ethics entail of what we call respect, justice, a code of conduct as well as a shaping of the norms which ultimately form the accepted social behaviour and attitudes.
What is the environmental ethics?
Having discussed the widen meaning of ethics, its environmental dimension becomes more clear. In the same manner of speaking, one of the major means of facing the climate change is the sensitization through the understanding of the environmental consciousness. According to Brenner (1996) although the environmental philosophy started in a form of timid movements and opinions in 1836, it was developed years later after the upgrowth of the science and technology in the 19th century. More analytically, this discipline is related to questions such as how the well being of a human is related to the well being of nature, or what should be the form of ethics that humans should take into account towards the nature and the environment? The environmentalist philosophers including Rofley, Naess and Callicot came to respond to these questions, by their theories that emphasize the system of morals and values which human should adopt in order to behave in a legitimate manner, that protects and respects the nature and achieves sustainability. It is notable that this philosophy is differentiated from the anthropocentric centrism, where the human is the most important being and tends to be more ecocentric, where all the beings including plants, humans, animals should interact and interconnect in a sustainable environment.
The environmental ethics as a mean.
Embracing the theory of the aforementioned philosophy and espousing its principles, is a one way path for creating a relationship between the human being and all constituents including animals, nature and plants based on the mutual respect, protection and caring for their integrity. Despite the efforts for enhancing the environmental awareness around the world, the ecologic consciousness is still not integrated in the parental, school and committee education as much as the consciousness for other disciplines. For example, harming our big home as humans and destroying the environment is not considered yet an action at a level of a crime. In a different situation if the society was at a position to count it as unethical and by law condemned behaviour, we would have been able to raise up generations that would consider the love, respect and protection of the environment a privilege granted and not anymore discussable subject.
Sir David Attenborough, natural historian and author quoted “What we do in the next ten years will profoundly impact the next few thousands” (Gardian, 2019).Our biodiversity is so important, Earth as far as we know is unique in its capacity for life, millions of species and billions of individuals, each with its own characteristics, leading their own lives, but lives that are connected intermittently to the lives of others around them. This is the Earth’s great biodiversity, its a wonder to behold, and yet so easy to take for granted.
To conclude, likewise there are ethics that define how human should interact with the fellow human and in which framework, there is the philosophy of environmental ethics that shows the right manner that human should follow as a guidance in order to shape a healthy and ethical relationship with the nature. Despite the high risk of the implications of the climate change, its positive aspect is that it gets the cultures more close together and unifies the world population through a common line which requires a peaceful coexistence with nature.
MA in International Relations Middlesex University London/
Current Dentistry student UMF Craiova
Leyden., W.(1954). Essays on the Laws of Nature. Edited and translated by W. von Leyden. Oxford: Clarendon Press
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2020). Aristotle. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle/
Brenner.,F.,J.(1996). Historical and philosophical development of environmental ethics. Bios. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4608376
The Guardian. (2019). David Attenborough tells Davos: ‘’The Garden of Eden is no more’. dio/2019/jan/21/david-attenborough-tells-davos-the-garden-of-eden-is-no-more