Chapter 13: Sustainable living (13.4 Sustainable Consumption (Virtuous of…
Chapter 13: Sustainable living
13.1 Concept of Sustainable Living
Sustainable living is about living a life that is deeply satisfying, fulfilling and appealing because it is:
Commoner’s Law of Ecology
Law 1: Everything is connected
Earth is like a super organism in which every part is dependent on every other part
Law 2: Everything has to go somewhere
The Earth and everything in it is finite and balanced and each is essential for the survival of the other. They do not go away but change their forms for the purposes intended.
Law 3: Everything is always changing
The survival of each organism depends upon their ability to adapt to changes in the natural environment.
Law 4: There is no such thing as a free lunch
‘We are at war with Nature and if by chance we win the war, we shall be the loser’ (Schumacher, 2011).
For every act/activity there are direct and indirect, financial and non-financial implications or costs.
Law 5: Everything has limits
All of Earth’s resources (goods and services provided to Man) are finite
13.2 Global Warming and Greenhouse effect
Greenhouse gases produce green house effects and global warming
-Greenhouse effect is the warming that happens when CO2 and other greenhouse gases made up of water vapour (H2O), methane (CH4) , ozone (O3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in Earth’s atmosphere trap heat.
-Greenhouse gases let in light but keep heat from escaping
-Enhanced greenhouse effects bring about global warming
13.3 Region and Environmental Sustainability
Declaration of Religion and Nature 1986
The universe is a system. Everything in the universe, or for that purpose in nature, is interrelated and interdependent, thus giving a holistic structure wherein man is not a supreme being but a part of a web of nature coexisting with other denizens of the cosmos. Therefore, the spree of victory over nature is nonsensical and can only lead him to his peril.
Emphasis on ecological ethics which highlights that human attitude towards nature has to be bound by certain ethical norms.
The need for a new eco-religio-social paradigm
13.4 Sustainable Consumption
Sustainable consumption is consumption that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Common Forces of Consumption
Consumption as an expression
Noticeable consumption becomes a thoroughly expressive activity
Created needs and wants
Consumerism is the 21st-century new culture.
Increasing speed of life
We live in a world of haste − of the ‘time impoverished’
Virtuous of sustainable consumption
13.5 Environmental Ethics
Environmental ethics is the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and its non-human content. (Brennan and Lo, 2008)
The golden rule is not to do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you. In environmental ethics, ‘others’ refers to other human beings, the environment and also its non-human contents. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Ethics and Sustainability
Principles of Sustainability Ethics
Do not diminish natural capital
Through the ethical principle of ‘do no harm’, we are expected to refrain from diminishing natural capital and to ensure that no harm befalls our contemporaries, nature and the future generation as well as ourselves
Do not diminish satisfying opportunities to experience nature
The principle of ‘do no harm’ also expects us to maintain the beauty of the natural world which has been created for us to take delight in.