Soon, society started to realize how humans were exploiting the natural environment and started to realize that humans may not be superior to other species on earth. Aledo Leopold said it best with his quote ‘We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect”(Leopold 1949). Aledo Leopold could easily be considered the one person who started the land conservation explosion with his writings and theories. Holmes Ralston Ill also argued that species protection was a moral duty (Ralston 1975).
In the mid 1970 environmental ethics was gaining momentum and society was starting to take a look at what we as humans were doing to nature because of our choices. Society’s moral views towards nature were starting to shift to conservation rather than the get what we can get attitude. Current Events The largest current event right now is the huge BP oil spill. The oil spill has leaked tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the gulf. The oil has polluted beaches, disrupted birds, fisheries and other wildlife. Some groups have scooted BP Oil because of the damage it has done to wildlife in the gulf.
In my opinion, although BP is cleaning up the oil in the gulf, their disaster is an example of their environmental ethics. This disaster could have been prevented if the proper procedures were used in maintaining the oil line. The ongoing current events are deforestation, drilling for oil on federal lands set aside as wildlife preserves, endangered species, and habitat loss, as well as the O-zone and global warming due to carbon emissions. These are all events that are based on a person’s moral and ethical views about the environment and how it should be used.
There will always be the questions of do we take out the forest, because the people need the land to farm. The cities are getting bigger, so should we allow farmers to graze their cattle on public lands, which turn into the problem with overgrazing and desertification. The Future The future of environmental ethics, in my opinion, is always gong to be who has the most power and money. There will always be conservative groups fighting for what they believe is right against those fighting for what they believe is right.