• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Moral Relationship Between Humans and the Natural Environment

Extracts from this document...


The Moral Relationship Between Humans and the Natural Environment Ralph M. Dahm April 2, 2005 Abstract The natural environment sustains and nurtures life of abundant variety. Over millions of years this environment evolved via natural processes. Human, animal, and plant life forms developed to create a global ecosystem. A symbiotic relationship exists for many species. Some are predator; others prey. Natural food chains developed that provide a population balance. Humans evolved to become the dominant intellectual species. The resulting moral relationship and obligations between human beings and the natural environment is explored. Positive and negative aspects of the interaction of humans with their natural environment are discussed. Potential solutions are proffered for contemplation. The Moral Relationship Between Humans and the Natural Environment "Humans...have a precarious place, of nature yet set in opposition to nature" (Jacobs, 2001, p. 607). The concept of "home" for the human species is the Earth. Life has not yet been discovered anywhere else. The environment of the Earth is finite. The environment includes oceans, land, and air. Humans share this environment with a vast number of life forms. ...read more.


This would support the Deep Ecology philosophy of "the impact of humans in the world is excessive and getting worse" (Naess, 1989, p. 26). Humans have a moral obligation to future generations. If the ozone in the atmosphere is depleted, harmful radiation will descend on our planet. The increased ultraviolet radiation may damage plants and animals. Food chains may be disrupted. The radiation may require humans to remain indoors much of the time. The effects of this situation would be wide-ranging to many species. No other species is capable of causing this level of change to the Earth. The entire natural environment of the planet could be affected. Morally humans can not allow this to occur. Fortunately, there exists the knowledge and ability to prevent ozone depletion. Increased radiation levels are not inevitable. As the dominant intelligent species humans can recognize and prevent this potential damage to the natural environment. It is not just ozone depletion that is worrisome. The release of carbon dioxide and pollutants into the atmosphere appear to be causing a global warming through the so-called "greenhouse effect." These gases inhibited the radiation of heat from the Earth's surface back into space much like the glass in a greenhouse. ...read more.


It is a symbiotic relationship. If humans were to destroy every tree or plant the consequences would be dire. The process of transforming carbon dioxide into oxygen would cease or be significantly reduced. Obviously this would affect many species on the planet and cause havoc. Yet humans continue to fell "old growth" forests at an alarming rate. Pollution of land, air, and water continues worldwide. The natural environment will not be able to sustain life if these harmful practices continue. The human species has a moral obligation to future generations to protect and cherish natural environments. This obligation extends to animals and plants. As the dominant species on Earth humans must assume this responsibility. The promise of advances in technology exists to remediate current hazards to the environment. Care must be taken that new technology does not create greater harm. The potential exists for the human species to repair the damage it has caused. It is possible to clean up the natural environment. Humans must accept the accountability to care for the Earth and its ecosystems. The natural environment must be treated with respect and care. It has provided a wonderful habitat for humans and other species. Human must care for it with the dynamic enthusiasm demonstrated by the environment. For it is a "living being" holistically. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Fungal Pathogens in Humans.

    more often than usual, increasing the amount of keratin available to the fungus (Kendrick 2000). There are three identified forms of infection in Tinea capitis. Endothrix infection begins by penetration of the hair, then the hyphae grow up the interior main axis of the hair, where hyphal segments fragment into arthroconidia.

  2. Sand Dune Ecology and Conservation Course Work

    Most significantly members of the communities surrounding the Winterton site have been educated about the importance of this ecosystem. Evaluation Overall this was a success most quad bike riders never go near the site and stick to specific quad biking areas.

  1. How Do Fishing Methods Harm The Environment?

    Note the dead coral in the background. -What does driftnet fishing do to the environment? Driftnet fishing (aka. walls of death) is the most destructive fishing method towards killing animals. Dolphins, Whales, turtles, sharks and lots of other animals are killed.

  2. The comparison of bacterial content in a range of milks.

    This shows there seems to be a declining amount of difference between the lactic acid content in the milks-the Raw milk obviously with the highest gradient. Using this information I could work out the general rule for this graph to suggest the difference between the gradients, but I do not

  1. An investigation in the different species of plant life through bare sand and grassland ...

    Site % marram % hawkweed Rank marram Rank hawkweed Di Di� 1 0 0 2.5 13 -10.5 110.25 2 0 0 2.5 13 -10.5 110.25 3 0 0 2.5 13 -10.5 110.25 4 80 0 22 13 9 81 5 90 0 28 13 15 225 6 84 0 23.5

  2. Estimating the population of non-grass plants on the school fields.

    example I will user the average of buttercups: 0.9* 6402= 5, 672 At the practical I have tried to make as much observations as it was possible. I can see that the numbers of plants are very different, some plants were found in a grater numbers then others.

  1. An Investigation into the water quality of the River Banwell in

    Inorganic phosphate is lost through excretion. If the plants are harvested the phosphate is also removed from the soil hence the need to replenish these sources. This cycle has no gaseous state. A few details to be taken into account about this cycle in the investigation are how humans effect the cycle.

  2. Early Humans?

    These volcanic strata have produced dates of 4.389 and 4.388 million years, respectively (Renne et. al., 1999). This location definitively places all Ardipithecus specimens just shy of 4.4 million years old. An interesting discovery coincided with these early ages; the associated floral and fauna were typically found in a heavily forested, flood plain environment.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work