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Explain the need for environmental ethics. What are the principles of ecological sustainability?

Most people recognize that some agreed-upon guidelines or general rules should exist between individuals when they interact with one another because if they did not, nothing in our lives would be predictable or safe. In other words, people need to know that besides actual laws, there are some basic, common ethics or principles of what is right and what is wrong that everyone agrees upon and usually follows or lives by. Ethics is sometimes called moral philosophy because it is concerned with what is morally good and bad or what is right and wrong. As a specialized part of ethics, environmental ethics is concerned with the morality (right and wrong) of human actions as they affect the environment or the natural world we live in.

There are some key principles if only ecological sustainability has to be achieved.
  • The society has to change its present habit of using resources as if they are infinite to a habit where the society lives within the ability of the earth to support it and one that maintains the diversity of living things.
  • Main greenhouse gas emissions have to be radically reduced, and new and improved economic ways developed based on clean, green technology.
  • Closer ties and relationships have to developed between all human beings in the world in respect to ecological practices and sustainable land management and farming
  • Every economic plan has to be planned way before hand to be more energy efficient.
  • By the same token, a transition strategy has to be put in place so that hydrocarbon fuels will not be depleted
  • Each economy of the world has to develop a population sustainability policy that will be in a good position to recognize ecological sustainability, social justice, as well as intergenerational equity. Developing such a sustainability policy though will require a broad global debate.
  • All governments have to show commitment in not only identifying but also reforming policies and legislation in a way that it will be consistent with the pursuant of sustainability goals.
  • Still on point, every government has to transform its operations in view of an ecological economic framework which will include a genuine sustainability indicator and transparent accounting systems.
  • All prices of consumer goods and services have to take into consideration the cost of maintaining and a fully fledged ecological support system.
  • A philosophy of sustainability has to form the foundation of education in all levels
  • Last but certainly not least, as per the sustainability indicator, all penalties for environmental damage should commensurate with the latent cost of the damage. It should also be sufficient enough to ensure proper corporate and individual conduct.


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