Problem

Shallow environmental ethics

Other Names:
Superficial environmental values
Nature:
Shallow environmental ethics conceives of moral imperatives as restricted to humans. It stresses individual options over social options. It supports a fragmented vision of reality, and a gap between values and practice. Ethical reflection related to nature is reduced, and the environmental is relegated to resources for human use. It holds that humans have the wisdom to manage nature.
Incidence:
From a nationwide USA survey (1991), 8 out of 10 Americans regard themselves as environmentalists and half of those said they are strong ones; but over half think the need to protect jobs in forest areas is more important than the need to protect the endangered spotted owl, an indicator species linked to healthy forests. 8 out of 10 say protecting the environment is generally more important than keeping prices down; but only 46% surveyed said they had actually decided to buy (in the past six months) any items based on the environmental reputation of a product or manufacturer. 53% said it will take fundamental changes in lifestyle rather than scientific advances to bring about dramatic changes in the environment but only 1% to 5% of residents who lived in communities with hazardous waste collection programmes in 1989 actually used them. In 1990, 78% believed that a major national effort was needed to improve the environment; but only 22% were actively working toward solutions.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 15: Life on Land
Date of last update
08.02.1997 – 00:00 CET