ENV ethics and economics p 29-65.docx

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School of Environment
Stephen Scharper

ENV ethics and economics: Values and choices pgs. 29-65  the ppl of Deneneh have mined and traded metals (ex: copper) since long b4 the arrival of Europeans  Mnining continues today in the north but the emphasis has shifted to diamonds with the development of new mines st like ekati and diavit, 1 diamond mines cnda  Mining isn’t good 4 aboriginal ppl Deneneh claimed that their spiritual and cultural use of land was in jeopardy this included many practical issues like locations of gravesites as well as improperly managed waste materials from exploration  Mines can leave a huge amount of contamination  The discovery of gold mine in Yellowknife began in 1944 -1969 if left uncontrolled waste rock piles, mercury, and cyanide contamination  Mining=social and economic changes too inability to maintain traditional food systems and cultural practices can undermine community health and wellness; impacts included substance abuse and family breakdowns  Today when transforming an area into a mine the responsibility of post operational management and remediation and a commitment to ongoing quality of life for workers and the community  The new diamond mines at Ekati diavik have been designed so that once mining finished the land will be reclaimed and restored; no waste rocks left behind. the new mines distinguish themselves in the consideration they give to traditional knowledge including learning from elders about env conditions and applying this knowledge to construction, aquatic monitoring etc  Env scn examines earth’s natural systems how they affect humans nd how human effect them  Culture can be defined as the ensemble of knowledge beliefs values and learned ways of life shared by a group culture together with personal experience, influences each person’s perception of the world and their place within it, something described as persons world view worldview reflects persons beliefs about the meaning and essence of the world  Ppl with diff worldviews can be in the same situation as someone else yet have different view on it ex: mining; some ppl say good for jobs, income, economic growth. Others say to much env problems from mining, pollute air and water, aboriginal ppls land  In Australia conflicts arose between an Aboriginal group (Mirrar Clans) and miners Uranium mining is key to autralia’s economy but mad for the aboriginal ppls land/home  Landscape to aboriginals is sacred because they see it as their home & where they’ve experienced things some blieeve the landscape is inhabited by spirits and must be honoured and protected they scared that mining will impact their hunting routes, water sources and noise will be disruptive ot animals  Traditional Ecological knowledge (TEK) or indigenous ecological knowledge; the intimate knowledge of a particular env possessed and passed along by those who have inhabited an area for many generations. ex: knowledge of medicine plants, trapping/killing an animal, geography of land  Sometimes TEK can be assigned a market value. ex: knowledge of medicine plants can be helpful to a pharmaceutical company  Ecology has made clear that all organisms are interconnected and what affects plants and animals affect humans too  Evolutionary bio has shown that humans are merely 1 species out of millions nd have evolved subject to the same pressures as other organisms  3 ethical perspectives: Anthropocentrism, Biocentrism, Ecocentrism  Anthro: takes a human-centred view of our relationship with the env denies the notion that nonhuman entities can have rights and measure the cost and benefits of actions solely according to their impact on ppl to evaluate an action that affect the env they use criteria as impacts on human health, economic costs, benefits etc ex: if a mine provides a net economic benefit while doing no harm to human health and having little esthetic impact anthropocentrists would say good even if animals suffer. anything not providing benefit to ppl is considered to be of neglible value  Biocentrism acribes values to actions, entities or properties on the basis of their effects on all living things or on the integrity of the biotic realm in general. they say all life has ethical standing evaluates actions in terms of their overall impact on living things. biocentrist will oppose the mine if it posed a serious threat to living things even if there were other benefits some say all living things should have equal value others say certain organisms r more important  Eco: judges actions in terms of their benefits to the while ecological systems they wud value the well being of entire species communities/ecosystems over the welfare of a given individual implicit in this view is that the preservation of larger systems generally protects their components whereas selective protection of the components may not always safeguard the entire system its a holistic perspective it encompasses a variety of entities and stresses preserving the connections that tie entities together into functional systems and  Env ethics arose as an academic discipline in 1970s The industrial Revolution Inspired ENV philos  As the industrial revolution spread from great Britain throughout Europe its tech advances and resultant pop growth amplified human impacts on the env in this period of social and economic transformation, agricultural economies became industrialized, machines enhanced, much of rural pop moved into city  During 1840 philo movnt called transcendentalism arose primarily by American philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau & Walt Witman they viewed nature as a direct manifestation of the divine (mainly our soul’s ones with God) promoted a holistic view of nature  John Muir; Scottish, chooses to live in solitary in Sierra Nevada motivated by the rapid deforestation and env degradation he saw in north America  John Muir is associated with prevention ethic which holds that we shud protect the natural env  James Bernard Harkin believed in preserving the beauty of nature too influenced by muir credited for saving area of Canadian wilderness from devel believed in spiritual healing of nature; he was drawn to mountains came to be known as the father of national parks of cnda  Gifford Pinchot; influenced by both ^^ opposed rapid deforestation and unregulated economic devel of land he took a more anthropocentric view of how/y nature shud be valued today hes most closely related with the conservation ethic, which holds that humans shud put natural resources to use and manage them wisely whereas preservation aims to preserve nature for its own sake and the esthetic, spiritual and symbolic benefit of ppl, conservation promotes efficient and sustainable extraction and use of natural resources for the benefits of present and future generations. conservation uses a utilitarian standard, stating in using resources human shud attempt to provide the greatest good to the greatest # of ppl  Clifford Sifton; controversial politician and conservationist. he lured immigrants to settle and farm in the west; he was committed to agricultural development particular devoted to forest conservation and reforestation  Aldo Leopold began as a conservationist he argued saying humans should view themselves as the land and members of the same community  “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the intergrity, stability and beauty of the community, its wrong when it does otherwise”  Deep ecology= emerged in 1970s; describe the mvnt as resting on principles of self-realization as the awareness that humans are inseparable from nature and that water air and food we consume is a part of nature just like they are a part of us biocentric equality is the concept that all living beings have equal value and that becuz were truly inseparable from the env we shud protect it like we protect ourselves  Eco feminism: argues that male dominated structure of society is a root cause for social/env problems  ENV mvnt= Chipko Andolan from ecofemininsm chipko means hug or stick to in hindi emerged in the early 1970’s in the northern Uttarakhand region in india as an effort to stop clear cutting Leader Garua Devi reportedly said “the forest is like our mother you will have to shoot us b4 u cut it down. she hugged the tree till she won the battle (a.k.a tree hugger)  Env justice is based on that all ppl have the right to live and work in clean env, receive protection ad to be compensated for having suffered impacts  The env justice mvnt is fuelled by the fact that certain areas that are poor have much more contaminated air, water and are not safe (twice as much in a devel country) researches find that those living in these places r more prone to health issues  Protest in 1980 by black ppl against toxic waste dumps in their community was the beginning of this movment mvnts like these were mainly run by low income ppl and minorities; today is bigger and being heard  2 basic ways that env injustice is manifested 1- group is denied equitable access to env resources ex: rich ppl get bigger and better agricultural land 2- group has disproportionate risks/costs of pollu/degradation transferred to them Economi
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