Environment and the Olympic Movement (Lecture 3 of 5)


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  • Only the energy of the wind in sailing – what about the huge footprint to moving the ships around? I think it’s probably one of the least friendly sports. I was told as much by the Head of the
  • Environment and the Olympic Movement (Lecture 3 of 5)

    1. 1. 17 th INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON OLYMPIC STUDIES FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS, 2009 July Professor Andy Miah, PhD University of the West of Scotland, UK Applied Ethics & the Olympic Movement Lecture 3 of 5 ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS & THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT
    2. 3. As a core pillar of the Olympic Charter, the philosophical and ethical foundation of environmentalism, along with the political commitment it implies, has become central to the philosophy of Olympism. This lecture will explore questions of environmental philosophy as they relate to the Olympic Movement.
    3. 5. <ul><li>The Environment as an Olympic Concern </li></ul><ul><li>The Environment as an Ethical Concern </li></ul>
    4. 6. The Environment as an Olympic Concern The Olympic Charter 2007
    5. 8. IOC (2002) report 269 <ul><li>1992, signature of the Earth Pact at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. </li></ul><ul><li>1994, sport and environment is on the agenda at the Centennial Olympic Congress. </li></ul><ul><li>1994, the environment becomes the third pillar of Olympism after sport and culture. </li></ul><ul><li>1995 Lillehammer first ‘Green Games’ 1994, the IOC President signs a cooperation agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme. </li></ul>
    6. 9. IOC (2002) report 269 <ul><li>1995, 1st World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Lausanne, convened by the </li></ul><ul><li>IOC and the United Nations Environment Programme. </li></ul><ul><li>1996, creation of the Sport and Environment Commission. </li></ul><ul><li>1999, adoption of Agenda 21 of the Olympic Movement </li></ul>
    7. 11. The Environment as an Olympic Concern <ul><li>THE COMMITMENT OF THE VARIOUS MEMBERS OF THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT TO THE APPLICATION OF AGENDA 21 </li></ul><ul><li>The III IOC World Conference on Sport and the Environment was held in Rio de Janeiro from 21 to 24 October 1999. The 300 participants to the Conference, comprising representatives </li></ul><ul><li>from: </li></ul><ul><li>the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), </li></ul><ul><li>the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), </li></ul><ul><li>the World Health Organisation (WHO), </li></ul>
    8. 12. the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), • Greenpeace, • the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), • the International Olympic Committee (IOC), • 19 International Federations, • 93 National Olympic Committees, • 4 Organising Committees for the Olympic Games,recognised organisations such as ICSSPE , WFSGI and IAKS athletes as well as other members of the Olympic Movement, appealed to the global sporting community to use the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21 as the basis for its policies and an inspiration for its action. The Environment as an Olympic Concern
    9. 13. IOC Members Code of Ethics <ul><li>The Olympic parties shall endeavour to protect the environment on the occasion of any events they organise. In the context of the Olympic Games, they undertake to uphold generally accepted standards for environmental protection. </li></ul><ul><li>Only standard commitment? Why not excellence of commitment? Which standards? At bid stage, or by Games? </li></ul>
    10. 14. <ul><li>Environmental Ethics has the same formal life span as Sport Ethics, but thes lecture is about Olympic Ethics and that’s different from each! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But read Arne Naess on ‘ecosophy’) </li></ul></ul></ul>The Environment as an Ethical Concern
    11. 15. Questions <ul><li>Is Sport sustainable? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of commitment do we make when caring for the environment? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there still an ethical dilemma to solve, in a context of assumed scientific consensus? </li></ul><ul><li>How should we choose between the need for progress and the need to preserve wild areas? </li></ul><ul><li>Should we be prepared to sacrifice some of the advantages of our standard of living for the sake of the future? (Why should we care about non-living persons?) </li></ul>
    12. 16. What kind of commitment is made by a concern for the environment? <ul><li>Philosophical Theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consequential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deontological </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtue </li></ul></ul>
    13. 17. Consequential <ul><li>Good for present and future people, peace and conflict, energy depletion, Species diversity </li></ul><ul><li>do ‘animals and the environment have the kind of value that would prohibit using them as mere means for human ends (or as &quot;anthropocentric resources,&quot; as environmental ethicists prefer to say’ (Weir 1998) </li></ul>
    14. 18. Deontological <ul><li>by virtue of our human intelligence, we adopt a position of responsibility, especially so because of human induced global climate change </li></ul><ul><li>obliged to act to protect and care for environment </li></ul>
    15. 19. Virtue <ul><li>care for planet displays good moral character. </li></ul><ul><li>The kind of people we should be. </li></ul>
    16. 20. Which of these arguments is... <ul><li>a) sound? </li></ul><ul><li>b) Compelling? </li></ul><ul><li>c) Persuasive? </li></ul>
    17. 21. Try Casuistry instead... <ul><li>As opposed to a top-down theoretical argument cases provide (i) data, from which (ii) generalizations are constructed, which generalizations then are combined into (ii) theoretical appeals. (bottom-up, rather than top-down; inductive, not deductive). </li></ul>
    18. 22. So, which do you do? <ul><li>a) running the tap when brushing your teeth </li></ul><ul><li>b) recycle your household waste </li></ul><ul><li>c) use plastic bags </li></ul><ul><li>d) drive cars / use public transport </li></ul><ul><li>e) use aeroplanes </li></ul><ul><li>f) buy locally produced food </li></ul><ul><li>g) use non-renewable fuels </li></ul><ul><li>h) fail to maintain industry standards of sustainability </li></ul>
    19. 23. <ul><li>Each of these cases has different implications for either state or individual ethical practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eg. How much of a scarce resource may a country use? What happens when your quota is used up? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What about a populations argument? What is an optimum number of people for the world (Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons , also see Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book, The Population Bomb ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Each is culturally specific </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we each clean our teeth differently. </li></ul></ul>Environmental Concern as GeoPolitical Philosophy
    20. 24. <ul><li>What does this mean for the Olympics? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is the environment the new third pillar of Olympism? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this intelligent geopolitical manoeuvring by the IOC? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the imperative strong enough? Is this an ethics of crisis or an ethics of a crisis to come? </li></ul>An Inconvenient Truth Olympics
    21. 25. Limits of Commitment <ul><li>What aspect of human endeavour must we sacrifice to make a full commitment to the environment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eg. golf in Las Vegas or, indeed, Spain. – perhaps these will die out and be replaced by new sports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How far should the commitment extend? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>which parts of the environment: animals, plants, the ocean, outer space </li></ul></ul>
    22. 26. Test Cases <ul><li>e.g 1: If a population is suffering from poor infrastructure and a sustainable construction project will take more time and money to construct compared with an unsustainable build, what should we do? What if the need is a hospital or something that implies loss of human life? </li></ul>
    23. 27. Test Cases: how far do we extend this commitment? <ul><li>Eg2. An insect is about to crawl into your laptop. If it succeeds, your laptop will need repair. You have a back up of everything you’ve worked on. You have a brief opportunity to kill it, but doing so violates your commitment to respecting the worth of this species. What do you do? </li></ul>
    24. 28. <ul><li>Is animal ethics a necessary component of environmental ethics? </li></ul><ul><li>Is animal ethics really environmental ethics? </li></ul>
    25. 29. <ul><li>Are the lives of future people worth more than the lives of the living? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>no obligation to future people, since nobody is harmed (non-identity problem) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ why bother preserving rare species of animal or oil reserves if humans in the future receive no satisfaction from the diversity of life and have developed some alternative fuel source?’ (IEP) </li></ul></ul>
    26. 30. <ul><li>What aspect of the Olympic Movement should engage environmental concerns? </li></ul><ul><li>If the most environmentally friendly Games is one that doesn’t take place, are there persuasive reasons for the Games to cease? </li></ul><ul><li>Is our obligation to the well-being of living people greater than it is to future people? </li></ul><ul><li>Is our obligation to the planet greater than it is to other animals? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the Olympics bring to the environmental debate that is novel? </li></ul>Discussion Questions
    27. 31. Finally... <ul><li>What aspects of our biology will we need to change to protect against new toxins in nature? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Human Enhancement – next lecture ! </li></ul></ul></ul>