Climate change is one of the biggest global issues present today. Ever since the industrial revolution, the consistent amount of pollution added to the environment by humans has had a considerable environmental impact. This is evident in such calamities as the melting polar ice caps. In order to save ecosystems around the world, humans need to put aside their differences for the greater good of the planet. Only through a concerted and coordinated global effort can significant progress be made.
One of the biggest advocates of human action in the environment has been Gardiner. In Leah's summary and critique of his piece, "Ethics and Global Climate Change," she analyzes the ethical implications of the possible solutions to our current problems. Some critics of Gardiner have stated that we don't have to do anything; that there is a lack of data to cite on whether global climate change is caused by humans or is simply natural tendency. However, I agree with Leah in that we ought to take action as opposed to not. In my opinion, it is better to be safe than continue to do damage that winds up being irreversible. Humans need to stop having such an economic and anthropocentric viewpoint so that species besides our own can continue to flourish.
The article assigned to my group that I thought had the weakest argument was Ashley Dawson's, "The Emerging Movement against Green Capitalism." Throughout her writing she frequently mentions the city of New Orleans and the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. She critiques the manner in which the area was rebuilt, but her arguments for doing so are fundamentally flawed. Allie does a comprehensive analysis and points out these issues where they exist. She makes a convincing rebuttal of some of Dawson's ideas which to me, makes more sense. Allie's idea that the displacement of those in the 9th ward was based off of economic emigration from the area as opposed to racism seems to be more realistic than Dawson's argument. Allie's fact checking actually engaged my attention much more than this particular reading, and I have a much more thorough understand as a result.
The topic that I thought best related to climate change was that of pollution. French writes an essay considering air pollution and its effects on humans. She uses several facts to support her argument, which makes it difficult to dispute. Preet generally agrees with French's argument, and I cannot see much reason to do otherwise. However, the one thing that I disagree with Preet about is that French should have taken a more deontological approach in her writing. I believe that a utilitarian perspective is much more fitting. Just because the industry doesn't intend to do vast damage to the environment does not make it ok that it is occurring. A utilitarian point of view puts the blame on the corporations who are doing the damage, and places the responsibility on them for undoing it. Without this utilitarian perspective, there isn't much stopping corporations from continuing the course that they are on.
The assigned essay written by Baxter actually surprised me. I did not expect to see an article justifying the other side of the argument in a class like this. Baxter's writing makes sense when interpreted from an anthropocentric point of view, but is ignorant to other aspects of the environment. I find it a little ignorant that he fails to realize that humans are just a single species amongst a greater ecosystem. This interdependency will always exist regardless of how large out population grows. While I am glad Nick recognized this and pointed it out, I feel that he could have done more to expand on Baxter's theories. Whether or not Nick agreed with the article, there are many courses of action that could be implemented. Just because Baxter doesn't find it necessary to consider non-human species does not mean we need to completely disregard his argument. His theories should be taken into consideration with everything else we've learned, although in this case our final decision will clearly lie on the more anthropocentric end of the spectrum.
These two topics are very similar in that they show the wide array of positions that can be taken on such commonly discussed issues. However, I argue that this is actually detrimental to the process. I believe that it would be more efficient to start taking action, and improve on our methods as we go along. With the rates the polar ice caps are disappearing, it won't be long before humans have a citable environmental impact. The one thing that I found different between these two subjects is the amount of data. Climate change seems to be more of an abstract theory regarding change over a substantial amount of time. It's very easy to determine how much pollution was contributed to the environment, but very difficult to reference how much temperatures have changed over the past 10000 years. However, with these two aspects of data now coinciding, I feel that it will not be long before we see a significant correlation.