Environmental Ethics (5)

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: oyinlola
  • Created on: 08-04-13 19:18

Explain the ethical reasons behind attempts to restrict Third World development.

 Restriction of Third-World development is generally recommended in connection with fuel emissions, for example, since emerging technologies are heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and are generally not able to manufacture electricity by nuclear reactors

 In countries with large supplies of oil, there is no incentive to develop other sources of fuel. Where this is not true, the issue is clouded by the suspicion that some countries seek uranium enrichment technology for military rather than economic purposes.

 The obvious by-products of any expansion of an industrial-base is the proliferation of pollution sources, with damage to the air through inhalation of carbon particles, to rivers and lakes through industrial effluent, to wetlands and other open spaces by the need for factory development, and so on. In particular, the effects on global warming are an ever-increasing threat to the survival of all species.

 Technological development often leads to increased population pressure, which can also lead to the purchase of military hardware to annexe land.

 Thus the drive to restrict TW development is often linked to fear of global military expansion, e.g. with the nuclear arsenals of India, Pakistan and China.

 The problem is compounded by a lack of ethical investment by First-World countries in TW businesses. A low level of technology in a Third World country guarantees the perpetuation of low labour costs, hence some companies out-source parts of their businesses to TW countries.

(30 marks)

‘Protection of the environment should be an issue only for the rich.’ Assess this claim.

In favour of the statement

 The question can of course be looked at from the point of view of rich individuals and rich nations. There are some aspects of environmental concern that can be addressed only by the rich nations, such as those aspects of First World involvement in Third World countries which are causing many of the problems.

 From a pragmatic point of view, the poor do not have the financial ability to effect change unilaterally, since they lack investment capital, educational opportunities, and a host of other factors that are needed before there is time and effort available to be used for looking after the environment.

Against the statement / other views

 Many of the environmental problems facing Third World countries need to be addressed in partnership with the First World nations, such as: as fair trade to minimise environmental impact; planned economic change and development; development of educational infrastructure; political cooperation to minimise the damaging effects of unstable governments in the Third World, and so on

 For individuals, wealthy donors do make environmental issues their concern (although in many cases those individuals have become wealthy through developing technologies that are damaging to the environment), and many of the environmental agencies are funded by donations from the wealthy middle classes; nevertheless there are many agencies within Third World countries that operate effectively, albeit on a smaller scale. They call on rich and poor alike to join forces to protect the environment and to provide opportunities at all levels.

(15 marks)

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Ethics resources »