Free Report About Ethics
1. Briefly discuss two environmental challenges that have ethical concerns.
Based on research on environmental ethics, it was learned that two (2) environmental challenges that have ethical concerns are as follows: air and water pollution, as well as depletion of natural resources (Gillaspy; Brown, The Ethical Dimensions of Global Environmental Issues). Air and water pollution are environmental challenges with ethical concerns, specifically in terms of inflicting damages to the health of man as well as contributing to global warming and climate change . Specifically, Gillaspy phrased the ethical dilemma as: “Is it morally wrong for humans to continue to burn fossil fuels knowing that this action leads to air pollution and global climate changes?” (1). Yet, despite the awareness and knowledge, human activity persists in burning fossil fuels to serve varied personal and commercial purposes .
Moreover, in terms of deplection of natural resources, it has been observed that ethical issues include situations where organizations, like mining companies, assuming accountabilities and responsibilities for depletion of resources due to their mining techniques . As such, the potentials and costs for restoration are ethical concerns. The challenging part is when the depleted natural resources could not be recovered or restored. As emphasized, “about 40 to 50 percent of the land on Earth has been irreversibly transformed (through change in land cover) or degraded by human action” (Ayensu, et al. 685).
2. Discuss how ethical questions can be distorted as a result of utilizing risk assessment procedures.
The use of risk assessment procedures were noted to present tendencies for distorting ethical questions . As emphasized, the “failure to identify the ethical positions that are
necessarily embedded in most risk assessment procedures leads toproblems” . One problem that was revealed focused on the alleged failure to disclose and identify ethical positions of experts who undertook risk assessment procedures; thereby, undermining democratic rights of the citizens. Another situation is the inability of the public to assess or critique risk assessment procedures made, as well as risk management decisions, when policy statements appear to have been imbedded in the process. As revealed, “if important policy questions are hidden in what appears to be rational, but neutral, technical calculations, communication about hazardous waste is distorted” . In addition, using cost estimates can influence or distort both risk assessment and management decisions, to cater to the users’ needs. The example that was provided explained that disclosing information regarding cleanup costs versus quantifying the extensiveness of environmental risks. It was noted that distortions occur when “some environmental professionals tend to change assumptions that have
been made in a risk assessment to accommodate these cost considerations” . Finally, there are statements commonly stated as within ‘acceptable levels’ where the emphasis to these levels are construed to be complied, despite the potentials for complete and extensive application of needed intervention or course of action. For instance, “there is a growing propensity to clean up only to those levels generated through the risk assessment despite the fact that, in some circumstances, complete removal of the hazardous chemicals may be feasible” . These instances confirm that ethical questions have the possibilities of distortion during the risk assessment process. As such, the public as well as risk practitioners and risk managers should be cognizant of these situations to ensure that objective and unbiased information are evaluated prior to making informed and mature ethical decisions.
Ayensu, E. and et al. "International Ecosystem Assessment." Science (1999): 685–686. Print.
Brown, D.A. "Superfund Cleanups, Ethics and Environmental Risk Assessment." Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review (1988): 181-198.
—. "The Ethical Dimensions of Global Environmental Issues." 2015. American Academy of Arts & Sciences. <https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=1292>.
"Environmental Issues of Business Ethics." 17 May 2011. Ethical Realism. https://ethicalrealism.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/environmental-issues-of-business-ethics/. 7 April 2015.
Gillaspy, R. "Environmental Ethics & Human Values: Definition & Impact on Environmental Problems." 2015. study.com. <http://study.com/academy/lesson/environmental-ethics-human-values-definition-impact-on-environmental-problems.html>.
Head, George L. "Why Link Risk Management and Ethics?" February 2005. IRMI. http://www.irmi.com/expert/articles/2005/head02.aspx. 7 April 2015.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "Summary for Policymakers, Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability." 2000. usgcrp.gov. http://www.usgcrp.gov/ipcc/wg2spm.pdf. 7 April 2015.
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