AG Paper #1
AG PAPER #1 7
Waterpollution describes the addition of foreign substances or pollutantsto the water resources. The foreign substances contaminate waterresources, which destroy the water quality. The contaminants usuallyhave a detrimental impact on all living things, including the aquaticlife (Agarwal, 2008). Pollution may be introduced to water resourcesfrom diffuse sources and point sources. Diffuse pollution occurs whensubstances seep into surface and ground water due to soilinfiltration, soil erosion, rainfall, and runoff. On the other hand,point source pollution usually reaches a waterway in a localizedregion for instance, domestic sewage. Point source pollution can beprevented unlike the diffuse pollution since humans contributedirectly to the point source pollution (Agarwal, 2008). There arevarious types of water pollution, which have varying damaging effectsto the environment. However, ethically, it does not matter the mannerin which organisms die, but what matters is that they are dying andit is as a consequence of direct human actions. Therefore, in thefield of water conservation, it is exceedingly vital to considerprevention of water pollution.
Preventionof water pollution is a significant issue since it helps in themaintenance of organisms to the future generations. The issue ofwater pollution is not an emerging issue, but has always been there.This issue is not just an issue in one country, but it entails auniversal issue. This is because direct human actions such as the useof fertilizers and releasing waste substances to the water resourceshave been done globally. This has resulted in the water resourcesbecoming polluted.
Thereare various negative consequences in case the issue of waterpollution is left unresolved or is not addressed. In case the issueof water pollution is not addressed, substances such as thefertilizers are likely to make their way into the waterways. Extranutrients like nitrogen are likely to cause algae blooms. Vastnumbers of algae are likely to utilize all the excess oxygen in thewater, leading to death of water organisms such as fish. At times,this can cause the extinction of certain species of aquaticorganisms. Besides, pollutants such as heavy metals like mercury canlead to the elimination of some organisms in the ecosystem. Forexample, mercury can cause mercury poisoning as the toxin accumulatesas it proceeds up the food chain (Light & Holmes, 2003).
Onthe other hand, in case water pollution is not considered, there is alikelihood of an increase in human deaths emanating from diseases.Individuals are directly affected by water pollution in fact, 1.9million kids die annually because of drinking unsafe water (Light &Holmes, 2003). These kids die since the water they drink causediarrheal diseases, which lead to other problems. Apart from kids,adults are also affected by polluted water. For instance, sewage andmicrobial pollution may cause deaths, while toxins, including heavymetals may cause mental retardation. Furthermore, in case waterpollution is not addressed, higher levels of pollution are likely tomake water resource exceedingly scarce. Therefore, due to the ethicalissues surrounding polluted water, there is a need of addressingwater pollution and preventing the issue.
Ecofeministshave developed various approaches for comprehending the presentglobal state, including polluted waterways. All ecofeminists theorieshave a chief underlying factor of separating culture from nature.Most ecofeminists such as Carolyn Merchant believe the separation ofculture from nature is because of the scientific revolution. Sincethe scientific revolution views nature as extrinsic, animals are notviewed as scientific beings, but components of a machine or machineitself (Fellenz, 2007). Therefore, the use and destruction ofecosystems and creatures is usually not considered as unethical, buta sensible utilization of resources. The concept of using the planetas a tool or machine explains the vast dumps, mining sites andlogging sites. Waterways are usually viewed as a tool of diminishingwaste. This shows that there is no emotional or personal connectionwith nature. As long as this will continue, humans will not becapable of taking the necessary steps in changing the culture.
Otherfeminists argue that the separation of nature and culture occurredduring the religious transition. They have a feeling thatworshipping of the sky god gave man authority over nature since manbecame elevated above everything, creating a hierarchy in the processand placing nature at the bottom. This hierarchy separated nature andculture. Hence, man could do as he wished with nature this culturehas been carried through, making human feel convenient to dump wastein waterways since man is above nature. In this theoreticalperspective, the prominent individual voicing the argument is CarolynMerchant. She represents the views of feminists that care for theecosystems.
Thistheory is usually believed by many individuals as the chief problemin environmental ethics and the primary cause behind the ecologicalproblems. The theory of anthropocentrism is about the idea thathumans are the only most vital entity on the globe and their needsoutweigh all others (Boddice, 2011). This makes humans viewthemselves as vital compared to the nature this is why humans feelfree polluting waterways. The prominent person voicing the argumenthere is Howard Harris. He represents the views of individuals, whobase their view on the argument that humans are the central specieson the globe.
Careethics is a theory that is based on emotional feeling. As indicatedby Josephine Donovan, animals deserve respect since they are rationalbeings. Care ethics suggests that the road to justice and morality isthrough sympathy and empathy. According to the theory, one has to befair, when making his judgement by seeing another person’s world.This creates a bond between humans and the natural world, which makehumans protect the environment. This theory explains why humans donot pollute waterways because they do not want other living thingsto suffer (Slote, 2007). The key person voicing this perspective isJosephine Donovan. She represents the voice of individuals thatexercise sympathy and empathy by trying to understand the feeling ofothers.
Ecofeministshave a good point that indicates that the underlying feature, whichleads to a lack of concern for the environment is the separation ofnature and culture however, their explanation is far-fetched incomprehending the modern society. The anthropocentric theory also hasa point, but it misses to promote the sustainability of resources forhuman well-being. On the other hand, I feel that care ethicsperspective is the best and most practical in slowly diminishingpollution in waterways.
Waterpollution constitutes ethical issues since in case water pollutionis not addressed, a myriad of negative implications are likely to beexperienced. For instance, increase in deaths of humans and otherspecies and extinction of some aquatic organisms. Therefore,addressing water pollution is a critical aspect. From the differentethical theories, individuals should follow care ethics theory inmitigating water pollution.
Agarwal,S. K. (2008). Waterpollution.New Delhi: A.P.H. Pub. Corp.
Boddice,R. (2011). Anthropocentrism:Humans, animals, environments.Leiden: Brill.
Fellenz,M. R. (2007). TheMoral Menagerie: Philosophy and Animal Rights.Urbana: University of Illinois.
Light,A. & Holmes, R. (2003). EnvironmentalEthics: an Anthology.Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
Slote,M. (2007). TheEthics of Care and Empathy.London: Routledge.