environmental ethics

by Pooja Sharma
(Ladnun, Rajasthan, India)

Jain Vishva Bharati University

Jain Vishva Bharati University

Hello Friends - We all are hearing a lot about our endangered environment. Much is being said about what to do to save our mother earth.

We need to be conscious about our precious earth. The problem lies in our so-called development model which triggers more and more consumerism making all of us Antropocentric towards our mother.

Now the time has come when we rethink about our activities, our development model. The continuing degradation of environment and depletion of life supporting natural resources by exploding population and its reckless consumerism are matters of serious concern.

The air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil, which produces our food, are getting more and more polluted. In many cities air has become so much polluted by vehicular and industrial emission that people require masks and frequent oxygen intake.

The water in most of rivers and other surface and underground water bodies is so dangerously polluted by industrial household and other effluents that it is not safe even for bathing, much less for drinking. Experts fear that if population, pollution and consumerism continue to grow there will be fierce wars for water in future.

Because of over exploitation of underground water the water table is receding fast and has gone down at many places from few meters to hundred of meters. This has also increased the fluoride content in water at several places causing fluorosis.

Even in the largest water bodies, oil spills and the other wastes including the hazardous atomic wastes are polluting the seas surrounding the planet earth. Because of pollution and over exploitation of various products from sea, its fishes, corals, shells, minerals and others, the eco-systems so important for climate balance on earth, are being damaged dangerously.

The problem lies in our prevalent model of development, which has established consumerism as an index of development. Nation, societies and people are considered developed and even more civilized on the basis of their scale of consumption. This has triggered mad race for more and more consumerism in tendentious pursuits of insatiable sensuous pleasure ignoring the fundamental principal of sustainability, which has remained merely a slogan.

A development can be sustainable only if the consumption inter-Alia exploitation of resources is limited to their carrying capacity and renewablity. Ignorance of mankind has put the whole living fraternity in crisis of existence.

Now the peak time has come when it is mandatory to step forward to save our mother earth. Science and technology cannot be blamed for all this calamities of environment and ills of the societies. Much depends upon how we use them.

There have been saner, enlightened people, saints in all ages at different places in all societies, who have been cautioning against reckless consumerism for sensuous pleasure resulting in degradation of environment and its life supporting system. They analyzed the root causes triggering transgression on nature.

These are greed, ego, lust and infatuation for sensuous pleasure, which have no limits or points of satiety as more they are provided for more they increase and continue to multiply, ultimately eating away the very basic resources necessary for survival of all life forms including humans. They suggested us to adopt code of conduct to keep wants of people minimum so that demands or pressure on resources remain within the carrying capacity and renewability of resources and such societies and people under their influence lived in harmony with ambient environment in a given situation.

Every individual, young or old group of people, societies, nation big or small, high or low, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, strong or weak are responsible for environmental degradation.

Gone are the days when pollution at one place did not have significant adverse effect on other places. The degree of pollution now is so high that it is affecting everyone. It should therefore, be not only necessary but also mandatory for all to follow the fundamental principles for environment restoration and sustainable maintenance.

A universal holistic approach which draws from religious or cultural values and beliefs to environmental protection is imperative if we desire to give to ourselves and to future generations an opportunity to enjoy their lives in peace and harmony with nature.

Though, nature was not facing the calamities in contemporary times which it is suffering from today, yet our religions are full of environmental concern. We can find many scriptures and sayings, which can prove to be helpful in building a model of environmental ethics.

What is common among various great religious tradition with regard to ecology and environment will provide us the clue for identification and formulation of an appropriate code of conduct for environment protection, conservation and reconstruction.

Now the duty of mankind is to adopt a model of environmental ethics derived from the convergence of the perceptions of world religions. That model of ethics will involve stewardship of the living and non-living systems of the earth in order to maintain their sustainability for present and future, allowing development with forbearance and equity.

Barry's Response - Thank you Pooja. I see you have written extensively on the topic at northwest India's Jain Vishva Bharati University, as evidenced by this web page.


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by: Sandi

very wordy, not very specific, are you just venting or do you have a plan.

by: John

I really did not think that some of the information in this article to be that true

Lots of facts. Wow.
by: Anonymous

I found this article very interesting and informative. It is scary how rapidly our environment is worsening, and that very little is being done about it. What I like about this article is that it is brutally honest and not scared to state the facts, even though they are horrifying.

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