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Environmental ethics

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  1. Is it morally wrong to abuse and destroy the environment?
  2. Historically it has taken us awhile to take the earth's welfare into consideration.
  3. We utilize many resources from the environment.
  4. There are many reasons why people have disregarded the earth's importance.
  5. Buddhists keep in mind that everything is impermanent.
  6. The environment is a powerful force driving our progress and survival.

As a society, we strive for progress and we have come to view progress as a state of productivity and consumerism. Along this road of mass consumption and industrialization, we have negatively affected the environment; in the U.S. alone, 24 acres per person is consumed but only 4.5 acres are biologically productive worldwide (Earthdaynetwork N. Pag.). Conclusions based off of statistics foresee an ecological disaster in the near future if we persist to be unconcerned about how we affect the environment (See Appendix). It's obvious that humans have and are continuing to destroy the earth, but can we define this destruction as an immoral act?

[...] The American Museum of Natural History in NYC poled 400 scientists in 1998 and 70% of them agreed that one-fifth of all living species could disappear within 30 years (27). Another statistic states that 50% of the world's plants and animals will be extinct within 100 years, and this is detrimental to us because 25% of the drugs prescribed in the U.S. are derived from wild organisms (27). It is absurd to find out that in 1995 eighty countries had water shortages and 40% of the world didn't have clean water (28). [...]

[...] Similar to human-to-human relationships, if one person is always the taker and the other person is always the giver, the relationship is not healthy and eventually the relationship can no longer be beneficial to either party involved. Ultimately, the like the environment will have exhausted its resources or energies into the and no longer is able to give anything back. Since we are the only species capable of reasoning, this implies that we are responsible for the well being of other life forms. [...]

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