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Ethical Sustainability Essay Example

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Ethical Sustainability

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Major global challenges related to the 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 human race as a keystone species have ethical and moral obligations and responsibilities towards protecting the environment. This paper attempts to identify and examine an environmental ethical challenge such as global warming due to climate change and explore its consequences in the light of eco-centric school of thought. The paper will also suggest various strategies for resolving the issue.One of the most important global challenge posing threats to human race in the 21st century is global warming. Anthropogenic activities such as rapid deforestation, uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels and emissions from vehicles have led to a substantial increase in pre-existing levels of green house gases, particularly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. These gases are responsible for entrapment of solar radiation of specific wavelength to keep the earth warm, a phenomenon called green house effect. The temperature can decline to as low as -18 Celsius in absence of these gases making the environmental conditions unfavorable for all life forms to even exist. However, the huge anthropogenic inputs in these gases since the industrial revolution have escalated green house effect causing rapid warming of the earth. Scientist have predicted that rise in temperatures overtime could result in rise of sea level reducing land cover, and trigger extreme climatic events such as floods, storms and droughts. In addition, a number of species are at the risk of extinction due to intolerable temperature extremes. Researchers studying past climates have revealed that humans have raised such levels of pollution in a single century, which are comparable to natural variations encompassing thousands of years (Maslin, 2009).The observation of all three key indicators of warming such as temperature, precipitation and sea level increase by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that 0.6 degrees Celsius temperature rise has occurred since the nineteenth century. Every passing year is found to be warmer than the previous one (Maslin, 2007). The impacts of global warming are evident

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COMEST. The Ethical Implication of Global Change. Paris: UNESCO, 2010. Print.

Gore, Al. An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It. New York: Rodale Press, Inc. 2006. Print.

Kibert, Charles J. et al. Working toward sustainability: ethical decision making in a technological world. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2012. Print.

Maslin, Mark. Global Warming: Causes, Effects, and the Future. USA: MBI Publishing, 2007. Print.

Maslin, Mark. Global Warming: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford, 2009. Print.

NASA. The Current and Future Consequences of Global Change. USA Gov. 2007. Web. July 02, 2012. < http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/>

Warner, Keith D. The Ethical Dimension of Sustainability. Santa Clara University. May 2009 a. Web. July 02, 2012.

Warner, Keith D. Climate Ethics. Santa Clara University. May 2009 b. Web. July 02, 2012.

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