The following sample essay on “Human Impact On The Environment”: tells about the limits of human impact on the environment.
After the observation of human impact on the environment base on myself and the people around me for two weeks, I notice that human behaviors cause certain levels of impact on our environment every day. The most obvious human impact on the environment is focusing on the consumption of electricity resources, water resources, food resources, and air pollution. In this observation, electricity is the main factor to maintain the operation of the whole society and support our daily living requirements.
Electricity prevents us from failing in the dark during the night, prevent us from the freezing weather of winter, and allows us to cook food or heat water. Water is another main resource consumption for us, we use water frequently every day to clean ourselves, the food that we eat, etc. Meanwhile, the emissions exhausted by vehicles in our daily transportation is one part of air pollution.
Moreover, some other resource consumption and pollution come from the plastic bags and disposable containers used in our daily lives.
Based on my observation journal, there is a connection between human practice and natural resources, however, whether human beings are responsible for the natural world is one of the most controversial topics among eco-philosophers. My perspective is I’m mostly focusing on Non-anthropocentrism, which is the approach of a nature-centered philosophy that grants ethical standing to all-natural objects besides humans. Because I believe the human is a part of nature, and we have both direct and indirect responsibilities for the environment.
The value of an organism should be defined by the values of its contribution to the ecosystem rather than human life. Based on my daily journal I’m on the stage of Ecocentrism where the whole ecosystems have its worth, the ecosystem is not the tool for the human to achieve our benefits. On the contrary, my roommate Iris is a person who lives an Anthropocentrism based lifestyle. In my observation, as a full-time college student, she always keeps the lights and heater on for the whole night even when she is sleeping or she’s not at home. Moreover, she orders takeout with several plastic bags and disposable takeaway containers most days of the week. In her living style, she is concerned resources such as electricity resources only have instrumental value to satisfy her benefit, and she ignores the negative impact of the way she overly consumes electricity resources and increases the plastic pollution to the environment. Iris can also be seen as a person who acts utilitarianism because her living is mostly focused on her happiness and pleasure regardless of the consequence of her behaviors on the environment. My other roommate Jerry is a person who lives under Kantian duty deontological ethics. Based on my observation he is the one who causes the least air pollution in our rental house. Every day he chooses to walk or ride bicycles instead of driving cars. He insists on cooking by himself rather than ordering takeaway food, which avoids the use of plastic containers. Although these facts do not indicate that his actions are based on the protection of the environment, he did have less resource consumption and environmental pollution. However, the reason why I classify him under Kantian duty deontology is that every night, he is the one who actively turns off the lights in the public area of the house, and he always helps us to accurately classify the garbage. Jerry is not the house owner, however, he is morally obligated to follow certain principles and rules which are the benefit the less consumption of electricity resources and is the benefit the environment.
According to the observations of people around me, although environmental protection is a popular topic in the current world, anthropocentrism has been rooted in the hearts of most people. Most people ignore their impacts on the environment, they obey Mill’s Utilitarianism and use energy and resources at will to satisfy their own needs. Anthropocentrism has been considered the primary reason for human conflict with the natural environment. There are some western environment philosophies are proposed under the Anthropocentrism approach. For example, Locke proposed the concepts of rights and libertarianism on life, nature, and property, and he emphasized duties for not infringing the interests of other people. However, his perspectives had a certain religious background and minimized the rights of the government. Kantian duty deontological ethics is also the concept of Anthropocentrism but mostly emphasizes moral restraints on human behaviors. Locke’s and Kant’s theories can advance and regulate the human society from the internal, but they both neglected the impact of the external impact of the environment on society. We should not only prevent our actions from infringing the interests of other people but also other organisms, and we can also consider environmental protection as a part of our moral rules.
Human lives are depending on a healthy environment. I believe nature-centered philosophy such as Non-anthropocentrism ethics is more convincing than anthropocentrism theory in explaining the connection between humans and nature. To better follow the Ecocentrism theory under Non-anthropocentrism ethics and protect the environment, the changes I can improve for my environmental impact can include using energy-saving lamps and electric vehicles. Historical precedents have provided that a healthy ecosystem is a key factor for human survival. The societal collapse of Rapa Nui caused by the overexploitation of environmental resources and the dire consequence caused by industry revelation to the European environment are both reminding us of the importance of the environment to the survival of human society.