After calculating my Ecological Footprint I found it would take 4.4 Planet Earth’s to provide enough resources for everyone to live like me. And it takes 19.8 global acres of the Earth’s productive area to support my lifestyle (most of which for energy). It definitely took me off guard that I wasn’t as eco-friendly as I try to convince myself. I personally may say that I try to reduce my carbon footprint but while I was taking this test I realized there was so many more things I could be doing. Many policies do not support alternative energy or at least growing access to them and I think if we can find a solution to that we can decrease the need for unclean and non-renewable energy. As such I think there are few important steps I can take in reducing my carbon footprint. First off is ensuring I am not using more energy than I need. That mean’s making sure outlets and lights are not continually left on and not always using the heater or air conditioner. Secondly is making a bigger attempt to buy local food with less packaging.
The ecological footprint quiz I took was very interesting and eye opening. As I progressed through the quiz I began to become more conscious of my impact on the planet. According to the quiz, if all the people on this planet lived like I did, it would 5.5 planet Earths to support everyone! Regarding food, to support my lifestyle it would take 24.4 global acres of the Earths area. I can see that my biggest areas of impact to the planet are: services and food. Knowing this know I believe that by cutting back on buying processed foods and cutting back on the services I use will leave less of a footprint. I also believe that by buying my food locally will also help in the long run. From this exercise I learned that humans have a huge impact on Planet Earth. I always thought that my impact was little to none, but the quiz proved otherwise. I was shocked to see that I and such an impact on food and services. I realize now that are impact on this beautiful planet can be devastating if we keep this up, but I feel that if more people are informed we can drastically change this.
Next we want you to think back to your previous assignment – assignment 06. In that assignment we asked you to actually answer the virtue ethics questions of:
Do I practice the values I am describing?
Yes I do practice this values
Can I really claim that these are my virtues?
Is what I’m saying really what I do?
In light of what you have discovered in this assignment in relation to your own ecological footprint, we want you to critically reflect on the answers that you submitted in assignment 06. Do you think that they might need some adjustment or are you still happy that they are an accurate reflection?
I’m still happy with my answer provided in assignment 6 even though I realized that I need to make lifestyle changes and need to make better choices in what I consume and how I produce and use energy.
“It’s all in the outcome – Consequentialism”
Utilitarianism states that something is moral, or good when it produces the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people and the ecological footprint informs us about the human pressure on the earth’s resources and allows comparisons between the demands placed on nature and the earth’s capacity to meet these demands therefore to be able to be sustainable, humanity needs to know where they are now and where they need to go in respect of their impact on earth and its resources. Every day we make choices in our lives that affect the environment, the climate and other species. From what we eat to how many children we decide to have so there’s a lot we can do to choose wild and reduce our environmental footprint to leave more room for economic growth that provides fairness and opportunity for all the world’s people, not just the privileged few, without further destroying the world’s limited natural resources and without compromising the world’s carrying capacity.
As discussed in the study unit that one of the possible solution to bring the footprint up to the current consumption is to reduce the number of people on planet Earth where we would need to wipe out more people in order to sustain consumption equivalent. With reference from my assignment 3 the act of letting 20 000 children die every day would be justified on this basis for the good of the whole species however I feel that its morally wrong for children to suffer for their parents choices as there are ways that can be used to prevent pregnancies in clinic such as contraceptive and condoms which can result in population growth reduction.
Fair is Fair – Distributive Justice
According to the research by the World Wildlife Fund they’ve calculated that South Africans have an average ecological footprint of 2.8 hectares which means that we are spending more resources than the Earth can sustain us and the way we use the planet’s resources makes up our environmental footprint hence If we continue living the way we do, by 2030 we will need two planets to sustain us. I believe that what keeps us fighting for a healthy world is the future of our children and they should not have to inherit our environmental problems and in order to keep their future bright, spreading awareness is imperative not only for us but children as well and they must be educated about saving the environment at a young age itself. In this way, the awareness is created early and they can also influence other kids to do the same. Global warming, pollution and other environmental concerns are on the rise which is greatly harming the environment. If kids can play a role in helping to save the earth, it will be great and we can together strive towards a cleaner and greener Earth.
According to Wikipedia, “Environmental ethics is the part of environmental philosophy which considers extending the traditional boundaries of ethics from solely including humans to including the non-human world. The major environmental issues include pollution, overpopulation, Industrial and household waste, climate change and global warming and these environmental issues have taken toll on our environment and we’ve already started seeing some disastrous effects in the form of health on humans. With over seven billion people on Earth, there’s simply no way that humans can exist without impacting our surroundings. We have come a long way from our primitive ancestors, and with such evolutionary changes have come new tools and technologies, but also new ways in which we affect the ecosystems of Earth. Everything we do, make, or use comes from nature in one way or another. We cut down trees, so we can build houses of wood. We remove water from lakes and aquifers for drinking and cleaning. We extract oil, coal, and natural gas from deep underground to power our cars, cell phones, and computers. And we fulfill our dietary needs with both wild and farmed plants and animals. The use of all these resources is not without consequence. We are very good at utilizing Earth’s resources for our own benefit, sometimes too good in fact! Through various means we have altered, destroyed, and even reconstructed ecosystems and habitats all over the globe.
We need to ensure that we doing our part to keep the environment safe and protected as it is essential to keep the environment protected and free from danger so long as we willing to make a few simple and easy changes like cutting down of trees is something that we do for our own benefit, without any concern for the animals which are dependent on trees for survival because we are in possession of all of these natural resources does not mean that we can use those resources in any manner in which we choose without keeping anything for the future generations.