Ethics in the Environment

Please write one Five page, double spaced essay from the list of topics below. A publicly held corporation (let’s call it Burn Co) is searching for a location to build a hazardous waste facility to serve the needs of a major city. Studies show that it would be cheapest and there would be the least political opposition to it if it were sited in a neighborhood (let’s call it Plaidville) where most residents are poor, minorities, and renters.  Is it moral for the facility to be built in Plaidville?  What authors or ideas have we read that would support its being built there?  Who would oppose it?  Why?  What do you think?  Why? Assume for the sake of this question that a ski resort (let’s call it Silverado) gets United States Forest Service approval to build new chair lifts in what was previously designated wilderness. There are no upcoming elections or hearings to legally challenge the decision before construction begins.  Is it morally permissible for an environmentalist to break the law to stop it? If not, why not?  If so, why and what sort of laws are they permitted to break.  Be sure to reference ideas and readings/videos from the class in your answer. Here is a thought experiment: An easily captured, pretty dumb, but sentient species of alien crash lands on this planet. They self-replicate rapidly and it turns out that they are incredibly delicious if prevented from moving for a few weeks and then grilled. Should you eat them, knowing that they had been tortured before they were butchered for food? What if they were not tortured first, but were still killed and butchered for food? Is it OK to eat them in the second case but not the first? Why or why not? Be sure to reference ideas and readings/videos from the class in your answer.  Compare Tom Regan’s article with Jeremy Lloyd’s. Would Regan and Lloyd see eye-to-eye on subsistence hunting? In other words, is hunting animals for food/clothes (i.e. not sport) consistent with valuing animals equally as “experiencing subjects of a life” and as “conscious creatures having an individual welfare that has importance” for that creature? (Regan, 37). If no, explain. If yes, explain the context and circumstances where hunting animals for food would be consistent with the view that animals are inherently valuable and are deserving of equal respect.  Compare and contrast Aldo Leopold’s land ethic to Arne Naes’s view of deep ecology. What are the philosophical similarities?  What are the differences?  What meaning or significance does a wilderness philosophy have for environmentalism generally?  Is it a helpful one?  Be sure to reference ideas and readings from the class in your answer.

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