Only 1% of extracted resources are in productive use within 1 year
Uses 40% of all extracted resources in U.S.
Built environment uses 30% of U.S. energy
90% of all extracted resources are stored in the built environment
What does ethics mean?
Why do we need ethics?
Major problems resulting from an “anthropocentric” value system
How can we overcome these problems
The Biophilia Hypothesis
What Does Ethics Mean?
“ A discipline dealing with what is good and bad, with moral duty and obligation”
Why Do We Need Ethics?
To establish a sense of right and wrong at every level of society:
Ethics is the preferable way society can achieve the “right” decisions without having to use
- physical force
Ethics which guides human behavior towards each other
Ethics which guides professionals within its group and toward society
Ethics which guides human behavior towards the earth
Environmental Ethical Value Systems
1. Humans are members of the Earth’s community
2. All species are integral elements in a system of interdependence
3. All organisms are centers of life, each pursuing its own good
4. Humans are not inherently superior to other living things
Expansion of biocentrism by including abiotic components of the environment. It cares less about individual life forms but emphasizes interaction between them and fosters a system approach
Emphasizes human domination over nature and views non-human environment as a bundle of natural resources to be managed and exploited for maximal human gain. The ecosystems have only instrumental value, not intrinsic worth.
All three value systems have the human stewardship for the natural world in common, however they different sharply for whom they do it.
The Two Main Problems Resulting From a Anthropocentic Value System
Preoccupation with possession, power and ambition
Why do we feel we need more children?
Lack of education
Sense of power for men
Sense of security in old age
Why do we feel we need more stuff
Missing non-material goals and spiritual values in life
Disconnection of humans from the natural world
Could Technological and Legal Fixes Make Sustainable Ethics Unnecessary?
A Population Growth:
Forced sterilization and other methods of birth control have not worked
Taxation or loss of subsidies had moderate success
Economic growth had moderate success
- taxes are partially effective (petroleum price in Europe vs. USA)
- some business are in the process of changing their business goals from making profit for any price to becoming a responsible player together with government, communities and environment.
- many initiatives towards sustainability are currently undermined by seemingly overwhelming economic global forces of liberalization, deregulation, homogenization and globalization.
Can we fix our ecological and social problems by a spiritual approach?
- Living in closer intimacy to the natural world
- Being more aware of our kinship and interdependence to nature
- Emphasizing within our churches the primary manifestation of the divine in the natural world and de-emphasize the view that we are “only passing through”.
- Abandoning our anthropocentric view of the world
How Could “It” Work
Adopt ecocentric values
within a community
within a country
Adopt a set of values (e.g.)
Apply these sets of values in once personal, professional and civic life
Re-connect emotionally to the natural world
Live simply so others may simply live
Welcome opportunity to conserve the earth’s recourses
Work in multi-stakeholder groups for an alternative local economy and community
Determine the moral responsibilities to other life forms in our economic activities.
Define an universal business ethic
Companies should adopt and live by a set of principles such as Valdez, Hannover, Copernicus, Natural Step)
Make the transition from an extractive economy to an organic economy.
Increase efficiency (Factor 10) and design for zero discharge.
Community, Nation and International
Incorporate our moral concept of justice applicable to human interaction with non-human life forms and their eco-system.
Change justice system to protect the natural world besides guaranteeing democracy, individual freedom and rights to property
Institute multi-stakeholder groups for an alternative local economy and community
Environmental Justice What Is Environmental Justice? The EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice defines Environmental Justice as: The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal programs and policies.
Community planning models include:
Mapping completely the capacities and assets of individuals, citizens’ associations, and local institutions;
Building relationships among local assets for mutually beneficial problem-solving within the community;
Mobilizing the community’s assets fully for economic development and information sharing purposes;
Convening as broadly representative a group as possible for the purposes of building a community vision and plan;
Leveraging activities, investments and resources from outside the community to support asset-based, locally-defined development.
Strategies for Community Participation
Source: John Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, Building Communities From The Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing A Community’s Assets , Chicago: Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, Neighborhood Innovations Network, Northwestern University, 1993.
Energy Technologies for the Future
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL): Use ¼ the electricity for same light, last 10x as long
Light-Emitting Diodes (LED): 2x as efficient as CFL, last 10x as long, emit only red and yellow light.
Wind energy: cheapest energy (3.9 cents/Kwh), growing at 25% per year
Photovoltaics (PV): Price dropping, shipments increasing, price needs to drop 50-75 percent ot be competitive
More Energy Technologies
Convert hydrogen (H 2 ) to electricity, reverse of electrolysis
Byproduct is water
Solar powered “water-splitter”
Dominant energy carrier of the 21 st Century
Technology need: cheap solar water-splitter
Natural gas is the “bridge” to hydrogen energy
Distributed energy system
Zero net energy buildings
Mass produced, site-assembled
Battery or fuel cell power
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL)
GM Ultralite Hypercar
Fuel Cell: Converts H 2 directly to electricity
Biomass – Cottonwood Trees
Biological fuels: Methane and Ethanol
15 kW PV Array on Pentagon
BIPV - Windows
BIPV – Skylight
BIPV – One Times Square
USF PV Recharging Station
Energy “Microsofts” n.a. 1989 Electric vehicles Solectria 74 1960 Solar PV cells Electric batteries Energy Conversion Devices (U.S.) 204 1987 Wind turbines Vestas (Denmark) 2,360 1979 Fuel cells Ballard (Canada) Capitalization (million $) Start-up Date Technology Company (Country)