ENV 221Y Assignment





ANICE TRY,@ SAYS TAYLOR


ABAD AIR ALERT: IT=S KILLING US!@ Did that catch your attention? The Blue Ribbon Committee=s strategy poses to be quite effective and powerful when trying to make us understand the devastating final consequences to the pollution problem that we encounter every day of our lives. To many of us, knowing that something can kill us, human beings, is such a devastating concept that it seems incomprehensible. Knowing that even one of us can be slaughtered by the air we breathe brings upon us a different kind of insight. One that makes us stop, even for a split second, to think of how we are contributing to the future mass destruction of the human species. The Municipal AClean Air@ Summit report proposes certain resolutions that the Greater Toronto Areas can adopt in order to decrease pollution and to promote environmental awareness.
The sirens started to go off when human health problems soared during the hot and humid summer months. No one thought there was a problem with the air or the water until scientists noticed that there was a correlation between environmental degradation and human well-being. In the GTA, concentration levels of ground level ozone exceeded the Ontario objective and this adversely affected human health in this region. The Blue Ribbon Committee proposed that all municipalities in the GTA should support a mandatory enhanced vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program. This would eventually lead to reduced automobile use and enhance the development of sustainable transportation through public or other various forms of transportation pooling. The committee also proposed a concept of preventing environmental problems through public education and prevention programs. All these resolutions are deemed to be effective and probable in the near future. However, environmental philosophers, such as
Paul W. Taylor, may or may not agree with the strategy of the Blue Ribbon Committee.
Taylor, being a biocentric egalitarian, may oppose the methods in which the Blue Ribbon Committee used. The Clean Air Report is strictly based on an anthropocentric form of belief. This kind of belief is Ato humans and only humans that all duties are ultimately owed (p.198).@ Taylor would criticize this form of persuasion because in the report we do not see any concern or consideration directed towards other forms of nature. Everything the report proposes we do is strictly based on the well-being of the human species. Taylor=s main issue is to develop a life-centered theory of environmental ethics which is composed of three components: (1) Arespect for nature@ attitude, (2) the Abiocentric outlook," and (3) a resulting system of moral rules and standards. Every organism, human and nonhuman, possess inherent worth and must be recognized as deserving moral consideration. A...We are all members of the Earth=s biotic community (p.198)@ and thus are all interrelated in one form or another. We depend on other species to promote and protect the well-being of our species just as other species depend on other forms of life, including ours. By adopting environmental proposals and awareness just because human health is affected, loses the entire concept of biocentricity. Nonhuman organisms are affected way before humans realize it is affecting themselves. If we had taken a biocentric standpoint, we would have realized the present problem long before today. The respect for nature attitude takes into account that all organisms have a common goal and that is to promote and protect the well-being of its species and its individual self. Thus, we, as humans, do not have a right to obstruct the progress of an organisms= pursuit to attain its goal, even when it seems to be deemed necessary. If we had adopted this attitude when technology began to soar, we would not be interfering with our lives as well as others.
Taylor would agree that to prevent the problem before it happens is an excellent concept. To know all the consequences to a particular disaster would enable us to further our environmental awareness. This would result in an appreciation for nature and thus respecting nature. We would value all the species that Mother Nature gave birth to and recognize that all things do possess inherent worth and moral consideration. However, some of the resolutions proposed by the Blue Ribbon Committee, are subjected to critique by Taylor. Some