Doing Environmental Ethics / Edition 2

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Doing Environmental Ethics faces our ecological crisis by drawing on environmental science, economic theory, international law, and religious teachings, as well as philosophical arguments. It engages students in constructing ethical presumptions based on arguments for duty, character, relationships, and rights, and then tests these moral presumptions by predicting the likely consequences of acting on them. Students apply what they learn to policy issues discussed in the final part of the book: sustainable consumption, environmental policy, clean air and water, agriculture, managing public lands, urban ecology, and climate change. Questions after each chapter and a worksheet aid readers in deciding how to live more responsibly.

The second edition has been updated to reflect the latest developments in environmental ethics, including sustainable practices of corporations, environmental NGO actions, and rainforest certification programs. This edition also gives greater emphasis to environmental justice, Rawls, and ecofeminism. Revised study questions concern application and analysis, and new “Decisions” inserts invite students to analyze evaluate current environmental issues.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise from the Previous Edition:

"In this well-done, three-part work, Traer offers a solid introduction to environmental ethics. … Traer presents opposing views fairly, and is good at explaining/applying concepts. Recommended.”

"In the hands of Traer 'environmental ethics' become the critical search for wisdom for individuals and for society in dealing with the greatest crisis in human history. It includes, and draws from, the whole range of formal ethical systems, but it also treats specific environmental problems such as global warming. It shows how these cannot be separated from economic and political theory and practice. And it does all this in relation to our actual historical situation and cultural diversity. This is "ethics" at its transdisciplinary best."
John B. Cobb, Jr., Claremont School of Theology

"Doing Environmental Ethics stands out among the many available textbooks on the topic because of its clarity and inclusiveness. Most such books show clearly the bias or chosen position of the editor/author, and exclude much important material for that reason. In contrast Traer shows his thorough philosophical background and his strong understanding of morality in the variety of sources he uses, far beyond the usual material found in environmental ethics textbooks. I would recommend it as the first choice for any course on environmental issues."
Laura Westra, University of Windsor

"In this scholarly, extensively documented volume, Traer brings the discipline of ethics to our current environmental crisis. … Traer manages a unique blend of the philosophical with the pragmatic, ending with a discussion of 15 strategies using existing technology that would prevent a global warming disaster within 50 years."

“Traer provides not only an unusually coherent and laudable plan for canvassing the field of environmental ethics, but also takes a stance that … promises rich rewards for thinking critically about responsible earth citizenship. Facts and figures cited are up to date and telling. The science underpinning environmental protection is well presented and easy to understand.”
Environmental Values

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813347417
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2012
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,263,181
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Traer holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, a J.D. from the School of Law of the University of California at Davis, and a D.Min. from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He is a faculty member of the Dominican University of California. With Harlan Stelmach, he is coauthor of Doing Ethics in a Diverse World (Westview Press).
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Table of Contents


1 Moral Philosophy: An Adventure in Reasoning
Right and Good
Reasoning about Our Feelings
Environmental Ethics
Learning from Diverse Theories
Doing Ethics Together

2 Ethics and Science: Moral Consideration
What We Know and Can’t Know
An Evolving Theory of Evolution
Ecosystems and Emergent Properties
Ascribing Value to Nature

3 Ethics and Economics: The Common Good
Invisible Hand?
Economic and Ethical Issues
Globalization and Economic Growth
Green Economics


4 Duty: Nature and Future Generations
Doing Our Duty
Right Action
Commanded by God: Jews and Muslims
Government, Land, and Property
Applying the Golden Rule
Animals, Species, Ecosystems, and Landscapes

5 Character: Ecological Virtues
Being Good
Children’s Stories
Christian Stewardship
Virtues: Integrity, Gratitude, and Frugality
Respecting and Appreciating Nature

6 Relationships: Empathy and Integrity
Empathy Is Natural
Culture and Human Nature
Deep Ecology
Ecofeminism: A Social Ecology
Ecological Integrity

7 Rights: Humans and Animals?
Human Rights Law
Environmental Rights
Animal Rights?
A Rights Strategy

8 Consequences: Predicting the Future
Animal Suffering
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Biocentric Consequentialism
Scientific Consequences



9 Ecological Living: Sustainable Consumption
Duty: To Reduce Our Consumption
Character: Consumer Choices
Relationships: Our Natural Community
Rights: To a Healthy Environment
Consequences: Sustainable Consumption

10 Environmental Policy: Governments, Corporations, NGOs
Governments: International and US Policies
Corporations: Sustainable Practices
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs): Advocacy and Action
Ethical Reasoning: Analysis

11 Air and Water: A Healthy Environment
The Earth’s Atmosphere
Air: Pollution and Greenhouse Gases
Water: Quality and Scarcity
Economic Predictions: Shortsighted

12 Agriculture: Land and Food
Nature’s Cycles
Industrial Agriculture
Poor Farmers
Sustainable Farming

13 Public Land: Adaptive Management
Conservationists versus Preservationists
National Forests and Parks
Restoring Deserts and Wetlands
Wildlife Reserves in Asia and Africa
Ethical and Legal Presumptions

14 Urban Ecology: Building Green
The Built Environment
Water and Waste
Sustainable Cities
Environmental Justice

15 Climate Change: Global Warming
The Carbon Cycle
Predicting Consequences
Taking Action

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