At least 360 words
At this point in time you have built a foundation in the earth sciences and ecology allowing you to begin to see the connections between the living and the non-living world as well as the the larger dynamic processes that occur (and have occurred) in the biosphere over billions of years. You are also well aware of that one species in particular (our own species) has created an array of environmental issues over historical time (and in particular over the last century). At this point in time many individuals, groups as well as nations have started to respond to these issues in different ways. Consider the overall controversy revolving around the climate crisis. The changes over the last fifty years have led to a different view of the environment. In many cases we find ourselves in the position of stewards of the Earth. If our actions caused problems perhaps we can remedy these actions? Can we create a sustainable world? This is perhaps the ultimate question addressed by this course. Regardless, the final answer to the question will very much depend on humanity’s collective view on environmental ethics and values, and of course, ultimately, on the choices we make as we move towards the future.
In this forum I would like you to discuss your own environmental ethics and values. Read the section below before posting in the forum:
Does nature matter? Is nature important? Is there a purpose to nature? To a raccoon? To a beetle? To the falling rain? Is nature beautiful? Does the fog rising over the ocean, the sun slowly setting over the forest, the grace of a songbird, the intricate pattern on an insect wing or similar events in nature affect you? Does the scent of plants or the sound of the wind in the top of the pine trees matter? Does nature provide services for us? Do we depend on nature? Is nature worth protecting? Can natural systems continue to function in the presence of humanity? Are we really the stewards of the Earth? If so, are we qualified to take on such a role?
FOCAL POINT: How did you (as an individual) build your own views of nature and the environment? Did they come from people around you (family, friends, peers), role models, school (K-12), knowledge acquisition, experiences, traveling or other avenues? What kind of environmental ethics do you currently have? How did you arrive at those values?
How do you make choices in regards to your own environmental impact? Is there an environmental component in terms of how you make your choices in your daily life? Do you worry about other species and natural environments? Do you do anything to make a difference? Why or why not? How does that make you feel? Can one say that one’s community has some type of environmental ethics and values? Our state? Our nation? Humanity as a whole? Or is it too dangerous to generalize such important questions?
What do you think about the ethics of our nation? Or of the choices we collectively make to continue our privileged existence (meaning high tech/high resource usage)? Do you think that your own values and choices have impact on others? Do we matter as individuals within our culture when it comes to environmental choices? Consider the voices/interviews you were assigned (the film clips)? Do any of your own views resonate with theirs? Did you find any connection to any of these voices? How did the speech by Chief Seattle affect you? How does our culture’s environmental values compare with those of Chief Seattle’s culture? Does it matter? What do you think?
Finally: Please embed an image (Links to an external site.)that represents environmental ethics (in your opinion) to supplement your primary post. Please be respectful.
After reading all the questions above your mind must certainly be full of thoughts in regards to this theme. Write a thoughtful, analytical and comprehensive post in response [350+ words) (15 points). You are, of course, expected to examine the works of the other students and respond to them in a thoughtful and creative fashion. You can agree or disagree as long as you provide a solid argument. Post at least three responses to the posts of other students over the week to gain a full response score (15) on the forum. The forum is worth 30 points total.
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