Former Vice President Al Gore generated tremendous global awareness and concern for the issue of global warming through his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. His activism won him a Nobel Peace Prize, and the issue has become a central topic of discussion for many of the world's leaders. Despite the accolades the movie received, and mounting evidence that human activity contributes to global warming, there are many critics who argue that Gore's movie is rife with exaggerated claims and that any evidence is the result of some vast left-wing conspiracy.
[...] Nations & Global Warming In order for individual concerns and actions regarding environment to gain traction, national governments must also play a part in combating global warming, just like they played a part in creating global warming. To begin, most developed nations today, achieved power and wealth by encouraging rapid industrialization. The United States is a prime example of the past, and now China, India and Mexico all exhibit the same ambitions. The reason individuals alone cannot halt or reverse global warming is that massive inequality exists in terms of wealth and quality of life throughout the world. [...]
[...] Speth cites the World Commission on Environment and Development for a definition of sustainable development, which is, Development that ‘seeks to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the future.' Most analysts now agree that, from an environmental perspective, sustainable development requires living off nature's income rather than consuming natural capital. Booth provided philosophical reasons why the environment ought to be valued and deserve a moral claim; Daly provided theological reasons to sustain that value and moral claim; Speth initiates the discussion on conflict of values, which this paper will soon address, as it pertains to global warming. [...]
[...] Individuals & Global Warming The most important actor in the global warming debate hinges on individuals, both individual people and individual corporations. Individuals are the ones who can choose to cut down on consumption, to increase efforts aimed at conservation and recycling and to take advantage of modern innovations that can positively influence the warming of our Earth. To begin, since the industrial revolution and the improved capability of the human race to produce goods and human consumption has sky-rocketed. [...]
[...] Douglas Booth argues that those three approaches all leads to the same conclusion, which is that the environment is inherently valuable and has an inherent moral claim. The issue becomes more complex when those values come into conflict with other values and conflicts. The major conflict which Booth and this paper addresses is what claim the natural world has when in conflict with economic and developmental concerns. Traditionally, especially in economics, a cost-benefit approach is utilized to analyze conflicts, but Booth rejects such an approach based on Kantian ethics. [...]
[...] Background In order to properly explore the roots of the global warming problem and the possible solutions, it is important to address the philosophical, psychological and social underpinnings of environmental ethics. Additionally, this philosophical discussion will center on the conflict between environmental concerns and economic concerns, which should provide a basis for environmental ethics. If global warming is harmful to the environment, why is it a concern? To what extent should environmental damage be tolerated in favor of economic benefits? [...]
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