Soc 120 Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility
October 3, 2010
Environmental Ethical Issues
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2008) environmental ethics began to come to the surface in 1970s. The environmentalists started urging philosophers who were involved with environmental groups to do something about environmental ethics. Most academic activity in the 1970s was spent debating the Lynn White thesis and the tragedy of the commons. These debates were primarily historical, theological, and religious, not philosophical. Throughout most of the decade philosophers sat on the sidelines trying to determine what a ...view middle of the document...
It can damage the ocean’s ecosystem, for example; when oil eventually stop floating on the surface of the water and begins to sink into the marine environment, it can have the same kind of damaging effects on fragile underwater ecosystems, killing or contaminating many fish and smaller organisms that are essential links in the global food chain. In addition the oil spill can kill animals, and threaten the fishing and shrimping industry. For example; Oil-covered birds are practically a universal symbol of the environmental damage wreaked by oil spills. Any oil spill in the ocean is a death sentence for sea birds. Some species of shore birds may escape by relocating if they sense the danger in time, but sea birds that swim and dive for their food are sure to be covered in oil. Oil spills also damage nesting grounds, which can have serious long-term effects on entire species. Oil spills frequently kill marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, seals and sea otters. The deadly damage can take several forms. The oil sometimes clogs the blow holes of whales and dolphins, making it impossible for the animals to breathe properly and disrupting their ability to communicate. Oil coats the fur of otters and seals, leaving them vulnerable to hypothermia. Marine mammals that eat fish or other food that has been exposed to an oil spill may be poisoned by the oil and die or can experience other problems. The United States experience a great tragedy during the DEEP WATER HORIZON, that take place at the Gulf of Mexico a semi-submersible drilling rig, sank on April 22, after an April 20th explosion on the vessel. Eleven people died in the blast. When the rig sank, the riser- the 5,000- foot-long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig became detached and began leaking oil. U.S. Coast Guard discovered the leak in the wellhead itself. As much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the water, threatening wildlife along the Louisiana coast. Home Land Security Janet Napolitano declared it a “spill of national significance.” British Petroleum, which leases the DEEP WATER HORIZON, is responsible for the clean up. Oil reached the Louisiana shore on April 30, 2010 affected about 125 miles of coast. By early June, oil...