Environmental ethics is a branch of philosophy that considers the moral relations between human beings and their natural environment. As a field of study, it assumes that humans have certain responsibilities to the natural world, and it seeks to help people and their leaders become aware of them and to act responsibly when they do things that impact the natural world.
The need for ethics Most people recognize that some agreed-upon guidelines or general rules should exist between individuals when they interact with one another because if they did not, nothing in our lives would be predictable or safe. In other words, people need to know that besides actual laws, there are some basic, common ethics or principles of what is right and what is wrong that everyone agrees upon and usually follows or lives by. Ethics is sometimes called moral philosophy because it is concerned with what is morally good and bad or what is right and wrong. As a specialized part of ethics, environmental ethics is concerned with the morality (right and wrong) of human actions as they affect the environment or the natural world we live in.
Global environmental problems
As a branch of philosophy, environmental ethics is a fairly recent development, having become a body of organized knowledge only in the last decades of the twentieth century. It came about as a necessary response to a growing number of very obvious threats to the physical condition of the world in which we live. The list of some of these global environmental problems is a long and familiar one, and many of them came about because of the massive increase in the growth of the human population worldwide. As populations continue to soar, the various problems caused by too many people naturally increase in both their number and seriousness. It is predicted that the 2000 world population of six billion people will rise by another one billion people within ten years. To the many problems this causes, such as increased pollution of the air, water, and soil, is also added the depletion of these and other important natural resources.