9/24/2018Sustainability

9/24/2018Sustainability: My Ecological Footprint Essay Example for Free
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Sustainability: My Ecological Footprint
Sustainability: My Ecological Footprint Essay
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1273After taking my Ecological Footprint quiz, it seems that to support the lifestyle I’m living,
it takes 3.4 hectares of the Earth’s productive area and it requires the regenerative
capacity of 1.9 planets each year. If everyone lived the same lifestyle as I do, it would
take about 1.9 planets each year to sustain the human population – shocking, isn’t it? I
try to make a eort to help the environment by purchasing organic food where
possible, I don’t eat a lot of red meat products, I try to eat foods that are in season, I
drive in a carpool to work every week to save on fuel consumption, I service my car
regularly, keep my tyres properly inated and drive the speed limit to reduce CO?
emissions, I use energy saving appliances at my home and make minimal use of power
equipment, and still my footprint calculates that I need 1.9 earths to sustain the human
population. I expected this number to be much lower. This test reinforced my view on
environmental protection.
I do not think that this quiz may be eective for immediate widespread change, but it
can contribute to creating awareness that could lead to people being more considerate
of their use of the available environmental resources. The quiz challenged my mode of
thinking and what it means to be more environmental friendly. Recognition of our
ecological footprint could change the world, and therefore I see it necessary to raise
awareness to the crisis we nd ourselves in. It will take collective action from every
citizen from each country, all over the world. The assessment of my ecological footprint
has opened my mind, and I therefore believe it is possible to open everyone else’s
minds by raising awareness.
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“It’s all in the outcome – Consequentialism”
Human demand already exceeds the long-term carrying capacity of the planet. The
world is in a global ecological overshoot, because we turn resources into waste faster
than waste can be turned back into resources. To achieve an ecologically sustainable
society will require a virtual revolution in the values and beliefs, assumptions, and
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9/24/2018Sustainability: My Ecological Footprint Essay Example for Free
https://studymoose.com/sustainability-my-ecological-footprint-essay2/4
behaviours that govern our relationships with each other and with nature. The world
must acknowledge the full range of human behavioural possibilities and emphasize
those
qualities most appropriate for mutual survival. It was discussed in the learning unit that
one possible solution is that a wipe out is needed to bring the available footprint up to
the current consumption, reducing the number of people on planet Earth, to sustain
various consumption levels. By killing, or as discussed in assignment 3, “by the act of
letting 20 000 children die every day is justied on the basis of the good of the whole
species” would be wrong from my perspective. From a utilitarian perspective, there is
no morally relevant distinction between killing and letting die, at least not when that
death could be easily prevented by our actions. Utilitarianism is after all described as a
tradition in which actions are judged as good or bad based on the aggregate good or
bad which that act would lead to.
Rather we can try to achieve zero population growth – “a condition in which the human
population, on average, neither increases nor decreases”. We can try to achieve this
zero population growth by taking several possible approaches: •Delaying the age of
rst childbearing – this will slow the population growth. The marriage age could be
raised to drop the percentage fertility required to achieve zero population growth.
•Birth control – another way to lower the birth rate is breast feeding, which can delay
the resuming of ovulation after child birth (breast feeding provides more protection
against conception in developing countries than family-planning programs did). Family
planning is still emphasized, however. Methods can include the birth-control pill. In
Africa, only 18% of woman use them. •National programs to reduce birth rates – These
programs can explain the problems arising from rapid population growth and to
describe the ways that individuals will benet from reduced population growth and can
also provide information about birth-control methods and provide access to these
methods. Another way to increase our available footprint can be to increase production
technology to increase yield of food, thus not increase total land used or nding
another planet.
“Fair’s Fair – Distributive Justice”
Many of us would think it will be wrong or unfair to delay the age of rst childbearing,
as mentioned above. But what exactly will the nature of the wrong be? We must be
able to identify someone who has been harmed, in order to say that delaying the age of
rst childbearing is wrong or unfair. To delay conception might produce a better world,
or produce a world with higher levels of overall well-being. By producing a small
number of children which could have a higher quality of life rather than producing a
large number of children whose lives are barely worth living. It might be utilitarian to
think that morality requires acting for the impersonal aggregate good, but the world
could be better where people decide to delay conception, rather to have a world where
people reproduce a large number of children.
What would be fair, is for the current generation to preserve the opportunity to
develop and sustain social institutions. What we owe to future generations is a level of
each of the primary goods on a person’s list, sucient to sustain the most basic of
human needs and to secure enough beyond that minimum. We need to save a
sucient amount of our precious resources to guarantee enough economic and other
resources for future generations. If I were to pull on the veil of ignorance, not knowing
whether my children would have a high quality life, or a life that is barely worth living,
would I accept the fact that we must preserve our resources and the economic value
they have, to reap the benets for my children? My personal answer is yes. If not, then
there will be no resources left for future generations to live a high quality life.
“Greenies – Environmental Ethics”
“Granting a tree, a mountain and a bird intrinsic value is the rst step towards an
ecocentric world and a better planet.” Humans are the carriers of intrinsic value and,
therefore, all other living things are there to sustain humanity’s existence. The
ecological footprint resulted from human’s greediness and has lead to massive
alterations in nature’s balance. We as humans have a responsibility to all biological life
on Earth, because we are capable of thinking and perceiving Earth as a whole. We have
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9/24/2018Sustainability: My Ecological Footprint Essay Example for Free
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R el ated E ssa ys
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Ecological Pyramids Worksheet (https://studymo…Ecological Crisis (https://studymoose.com/ecolog…
Reective Journal Sustainability (https://studymo…Environmental Justice and Sustainability (https://…
Solutions to ecological problems (https://studym…Ecological Succession (https://studymoose.com/e…
a responsibility to the innate worth to all living things, regardless of their usefulness to
humans. Our anthropocentric perception of the world is the reason for the
environmental crisis we nd ourselves in, ranging from global warming, water scarcity
and the loss of biological diversity.
For example, people cut down trees to build houses or for making furniture – trees
inborn value in this situation is ignored, therefore, devastating overall outcomes
emerge. Deforestation contributes to global warming, less trees means less absorption
of carbon dioxide, leading to more greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere. To
make environmental decisions to satisfy both anthropocentrism and ecocentrism is
dicult. Humans can still make decisions that would benet themselves, but they must
weigh up the consequences of their decisions and give rst priority to nature. For
example, choosing oil as an energy resource is not environmental friendly – recycling
oil, on the other hand, can produce biodiesel to power automobiles. We can have the
best of both, but we need to apply the recycling process to reduce our natural resource
consumption.
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