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People or penguins:

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kathy mora

on 11 November 2014

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Transcript of People or penguins:

People or Penguins: The Case for Optimal Pollution
Willam Baxter
A little pollution rather than none?
Baxter argues that public policy should aim for an optimal level of pollution, rather than for the total elimination of pollution.
-"Policies and Controversies in Environmental Ethics."
Baxter's Criteria
1. Every person should be free to do whatever he wishes to in contexts where his actions do not interfere with the interests of other human beings.
Why penguins?
2. Resources are limited and extremely scarce: even if we used the world’s resources in such a way that we got the most out of them, there would not be enough for every person to have all of their desires met. Therefore, the world’s resources should not be wasted.
"Pollution is the price we pay for the use of resources in the pursuit of the human interest."
3. Regard Humans as an ends rather than a means.
4. Human beings should be entitled to the ability to improve his share of satisfaction
Baxter's Position
Oriented towards Humans not Penguins
Damage to non human beings is irrelevant
These begins hold importance due to their instrumental properties
How bad can it be?
Briefly list Baxter's criteria
What is Baxter's position oriented towards
Why does Baxter feel we should not place more consideration on the environment.
DDT in food production is causing damage to the penguin population.

And if this is true we must stop the agricultural use of DDT.
"My criteria are oriented to people, not penguins (animals). Damage to penguins, or sugar pines, or geological marvels is, irrelevant."
"Penguins are important because we enjoy to see them walk about rocks; and furthermore, the well-being of people would be less impaired by halting use of DDT than by giving up penguins."
"In short, my observations about environmental problems will be people-oriented, as are my criteria.
I have no interest in preserving penguins for their own sake
So are we
or are we
Planet Earth
What is our moral responsibility to the earth?
What is optimal pollution?
Is there a possibility for optimal pollution?
Full transcript