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Environmental Ethics - Essay Example

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Environmental Ethics

Both authors have provided different categories of costs and benefits obtained from ecosystems, and more universal environmental principles. However, Steve Kelman does not agree with Freeman’s argument that cost-benefit analysis can be related to objectives mentioned above (e.g. human health protection, security, etc.). According to Kelman, regulatory judgments concerning the environment, security, and health are moral issues, and hence analysis of cost and benefit is improper since it necessitates the implementation of a poor moral mechanism. Kelman strengthens his position with several illustrations, majority of which concern individual or private judgments. He claims, in these circumstances, supporters of cost-benefit analysis, like Freeman, should abandon any moral doubts about human rights violation, deception, and corruption. These arguments about cost-benefit analysis can be used in addressing the poor food manufacturing process of fast-food companies, as discussed by Eric Schlosser. In his article, Schlosser gives a series of accusations against the unethical practices and processes of fast-food companies, such as refusal to give medical privileges, creating modern-day slavery, aggressive marketing to gullible children; these are the strategies employed by fast-food companies to maintain high profitability. Given this, and an idea of the arguments of Freeman and Kelman, cost-benefit analysis in this case may or may not be appropriate. Using the similar premises of Freeman and Kelman, cost-benefit analysis may be appropriate in determining how fast-food companies have powerfully changed the agricultural sector of industrialized nations, such as the United States. These fast-food companies, like McDonald’s, have generated marginal benefits to agriculture by centralizing production. However, because of this production consolidation, farmers and small enterprises are vanishing. There are also drastic alterations in animal domestication and food production which caused spates of food-related diseases, like the foot-and-mouth disease, mad cow, bird flu, and others. This situation, according to the arguments of Freeman and Kelman, may be subjected to cost-benefit analysis because of the nature of its effect to environmental policy. However, in terms of actual threats to human health, in accordance to Kelman’s arguments against the moral deficit of cost-benefit analysis, the case of poor food production practices is unviable. The unethical way fast-food companies conceal to the public the actual health perils of their products substantiate Kelman’s argument. Furthermore, the industry of meat packing even benefits more from government protection or immunity. Question 2 According to Christopher Stone, corporations should not be socially responsible because they are inherently irresponsible. The primary justification Stone provided is that nobody, from the ordinary citizen to large organizations, has a basic idea of the nature and requirement of corporate responsibility. In order to develop a model of his argument, Stone raises fundamental issues and thoroughly ...Show more


Name Name of Professor Environmental Ethics Question 1 The ideas of Freeman and Kelman about cost-benefit analysis are largely similar, except for a few differences that will be discussed next. In general, Freeman argues that the objectives of environmental policy can be founded on economic productivity or appropriate cost-benefit analysis, or on several other objectives, like attainment of technologically viable extent of emissions regulation, human health protection, and security…
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