This week we are taking a look into the ethics of the environment. For the paper that I chose, it is not exactly an apposing view but it talks about the ideology of the opposing side and how they are fueling the anti- environmentalist movement. In this article they talk about the complete denial of climate change and its impending effects on the environment and our future. This is being done by bashing the scientific community, the scientists themselves, and even leaving out the facts that could persuade people that the issue is indeed an issue. It then goes on to talk about the psychology of knowing versus not knowing and that blissful ignorance is more widely accepted than the negativity that lies with the fact that climate change is actually a real thing and not just a myth. People are persuaded that science is a lie and that the economy matters more than some radical view that the Earth cannot handle the toll we are dishing out to it.   There are also statements of the government that are more or less falsely claiming compliance with issues even though there are no clear goals of reduction of its own emissions.

2. What obligations do we have to future generations?

We have an obligation the future generations of this planet. Biologically speaking, a species should strive for self preservation and NOT extinction. We are supposed to be the most intelligent creatures on this planet, or at least have the potential for this title if we could only see the bigger picture that we are killing our future generations before they even have a chance to have a say. Previous generations, at least governmentally, basically gave us the middle finger as they plowed into their future emitting any consequences from their minds that their actions have a multitude of externalities. We owe it to the newcomers and ourselves to preserve our environment for the long run. Sure capitalism is fun and all, but at some point the ecosystem should come first before the economy.

Does nature have value in itself?

Yes. There is a reason that so many people that come to Alaska end up staying for the long-term. We are closer to nature than any other state. This is embedded in our lives deeply. We have clean air and clean water. There are claims that people instantly feel “more alive” up here just purely from breathing clean air. In a day of modernization and multimedia, we often seek nature as an escape. We are taking nature in its purest form for granted and if we keep chugging along as we are now, there will not be much of it left to go around.

4. Who should be responsible? This is a very biased answer, but we should all be responsible. We live on this planet, together, whether we like it or not we are stuck with each other. Corporate businesses down to the single individual, we all have to put in our share to help preserve our habitat. We all, especially the 1st world, are responsible for this pollution, yet we also all will benefit from the reduction of these pollutants in the long-term. Again, as stated in previous question, as a species we owe it to ourselves to combat this increase in emissions, the acidification of our oceans, and the misuse of animals. Simply existing in the 1st world we are cause of many of these problems, but we should also at least try and reduce our footprint, and stick up for the future generations that will eventually be handed our collections of environmental problems. By not acting as if we are responsible for our own home, we are asking for the future extinction of not only other species but ourselves. By our hands and our hands alone can we solve this problem and avoid what is now believed to be a soon to be catastrophe on a grand ecological scale.

McCright, A. M., & Dunlap, R. E. (2003). Defeating Kyoto: The conservative movement’s impact on US climate change policy. Social problems, 50(3), 348-373.