Write a 6 pages paper on ethical sustainability: environmental ethical challenge. Environmental ethics is a branch of applied ethics that is mostly concerned about the entire ecosystem and the relationship between humans and the natural environment. The concept gained traction in the west by works of Henry David Thoreau and John Muir, who raised concerns about the value of non-human nature. However, Aldo Leopold’s essay The Land Ethic published in 1949 is generally considered as the key turning point in the field of environmental ethics. As an academic discipline, environmental ethics surfaced only after the early 1970s when the effects of the industrial revolution on the natural environment were widely witnessed by ecological researchers. Environmental ethics includes anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric (bio-centric or eco-centric) schools of thought. The former is human-centered, considering only human species as of primary concern, whereas the latter focuses on other aspects and components of nature as well (Kibert et al., 2012).
The contemporary industrial consumer societies hold a planetary worldview (anthropocentric) which asserts that as humans are the keystone species, they have the right to exploit natural resources to maximize their own benefit. Other species and natural components are valuable according to their usefulness to us. This world view is quite widely accepted due to the advancement in human living standards after rapid industrial development since the 1970s. The eco-centric worldview focuses on conservation of natural resources and ecosystems so that they are sustainable for humans as well as all forms of life. Major global challenges related to environmental degradation such as biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems, natural resource depletion due to population growth, pollution and global warming due to climate change are all considered essentially ethical problems under this worldview. Eco-centric approaches emphasize that the human race as a keystone species have ethical and moral obligations and responsibilities towards protecting the environment. .
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