Environmental Ethics

Environmental Ethical Issues

By definition, environmental ethics refers to the discipline and exercise that guides the exploitation and interactions of human beings and their nonhuman subjects. Many traditions around the world evolved with individual based ethical appreciation of the environment as natural resources and coexistence with other humans was seen as a fundamental norm; thus propagated from generation to the next. The eruption of industrialization in the now new world led to dramatic transformations in the way people interact and use nonhuman environmental elements. Human beings devised discriminatory uses of natural resources as well as establishment of what is now referred to as law as need for power and control of economic resources ; and this unfortunately developed to be the principle valuation of environment. After centuries of overexploitation of environment, environmental ethics arose three decades ago after the inspired writer, Rachel Carson in her article called “silent spring’’ in 1963 (Light & Rolston, 2003, p. 18), shed light into what may be recalled as disappearing environmental morality. This paper explains ethical issues regarding environment providing some short history, what is happening, the expected future of environmental ethics and its positive role in the realms of natural earth.


The history of environmental ethics dates back to the early 1970s when ethical philosophers began to gain interest in describing the values of environment and remedying what they deemed ethical treatment of non human world to ensure persistence and restoration of the values (Light & Rolston, 2003, p. 18). The doctrine of environmental ethics soon after gained increased attention as its existed was sewn to human survival; but human activities were threatening the very adorable source of life on earth.

Environment does not refer to non human subjects but also other human beings; thus implying the seriousness of ethics...