Professional Ethics Module 3 Notes


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Environmental Ethics, Sustainable development, Engineers responsibility to environment

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Professional Ethics Module 3 Notes

  1. 1. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 1 Environment It is the immediate space that we live in. It consists of biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere etc. The biophysical environment is the biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development and evolution. The term environment can refer to different concepts, but is often used as a short form for the biophysical environment. This practice is common, for instance, among governments which entitle agencies dealing with the biophysical environment with denominations such as Environment agency. Whereas the expression "the environment" is often used to refer to the global environment, usually in relation to humanity, the number of biophysical environments is countless, given that it is always possible to consider an additional living organism that has its own environment. The biophysical environment can vary in scale from microscopic to global in extent. It can also be subdivided according to its attributes. Examples include the marine environment, the atmospheric environment and the terrestrial environment. Environmental Ethics Environmental ethics is the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and its nonhuman contents. Environmental ethics is the part of environmental philosophy which considers extending the traditional boundaries of ethics from solely including humans to including the non-human world. It exerts influence on a large range of disciplines including environmental law, environmental sociology, ecotheology, ecological economics, ecology and environmental geography. There are many ethical decisions that human beings make with respect to the environment. For example: Should we continue to clear cut forests for the sake of human consumption? Why should we continue to propagate our species, and life itself? [1] Should we continue to make gasoline powered vehicles? What environmental obligations do we need to keep for future generations?[2][3] Is it right for humans to knowingly cause the extinction of a species for the convenience of humanity? How should we best use and conserve the space environment to secure and expand life?
  2. 2. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 2 Environmental ethics believes in the ethical relationship between human beings and the natural environment. Human beings are a part of the society and so are the other living beings. When we talk about the philosophical principle that guides our life, we often ignore the fact that even plants and animals are a part of our lives. They are an integral part of the environment and hence have a right to be considered a part of the human life. On these lines, it is clear that they should also be associated with our guiding principles as well as our moral and ethical values. What is Environmental Ethics? We are cutting down forests for making our homes. We are continuing with an excessive consumption of natural resources. Their excessive use is resulting in their depletion, risking the life of our future generations. Is this ethical? This is the issue that environmental ethics takes up. Scientists like Rachel Carson and the environmentalists who led philosophers to consider the philosophical aspect of environmental problems, pioneered in the development of environmental ethics as a branch of environmental philosophy. The Earth Day celebration of 1970 was also one of the factors, which led to the development of environmental ethics as a separate field of study. This field received impetus when it was first discussed in the academic journals in North America and Canada. Around the same time, this field also emerged in Australia and Norway. Today, environmental ethics is one of the major concerns of mankind. When industrial processes lead to destruction of resources, is it not the industry's responsibility to restore the depleted resources? Moreover, can a restored environment make up for the originally natural one? Mining processes hamper the ecology of certain areas; they may result in the disruption of plant and animal life in those areas. Slash and burn techniques are used for clearing the land for agriculture. Most of the human activities lead to environmental pollution. The overly increasing human population is increasing the human demand for resources like food and shelter. As the population is exceeding the carrying capacity of our planet, natural environments are being used for human inhabitation.
  3. 3. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 3 Thus human beings are disturbing the balance in the nature. The harm we, as human beings, are causing to the nature, is coming back to us by resulting in a polluted environment. The depletion of natural resources is endangering our future generations. The imbalance in nature that we have caused is going to disrupt our life as well. But environmental ethics brings about the fact that all the life forms on Earth have a right to live. By destroying the nature, we are depriving these life forms of their right to live. We are going against the true ethical and moral values by disturbing the balance in nature. We are being unethical in treating the plant and animal life forms, which coexist in society. Human beings have certain duties towards their fellow beings. On similar lines, we have a set of duties towards our environment. Environmental ethics says that we should base our behavior on a set of ethical values that guide our approach towards the other living beings in nature. Environmental ethics is about including the rights of non-human animals in our ethical and moral values. Even if the human race is considered the primary concern of society, animals and plants are in no way less important. They have a right to get their fair share of existence. We, the human beings, along with the other forms of life make up our society. We all are a part of the food chain and thus closely associated with each other. We, together form our environment. The conservation of natural resources is not only the need of the day but also our prime duty. Major issues that concern environmental ethics today Anthropocenterism or human centredness in development is one of the reasons for several environmental issue Conservation of biodiversity in biosphere Energy conservation including nuclear energy Global climate changes Over population and destruction of forests or animal habitats Exponential increase in depletion of natural resources Impact of Genetic engineering, cloning, genetically modified crops Water disposal and e-waste Intensive farming and over use of pesticides Ozone layer depletion
  4. 4. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 4 Anthropocentrism Anthropocentrism simply places humans at the centre of the universe; the human race must always be its own primary concern. It has become customary in the Western tradition to consider only our species when considering the environmental ethics of a situation. Therefore, everything else in existence should be evaluated in terms of its utility for us, thus committing speciesism. All environmental studies should include an assessment of the intrinsic value of non-human beings.[11] In fact, based on this very assumption, a philosophical article has explored recently the possibility of humans' willing extinction as a gesture toward other beings. The authors refer to the idea as a thought experiment that should not be understood as a call for action. What anthropocentric theories do not allow for is the fact that a system of ethics formulated from a human perspective may not be entirely accurate; humans are not necessarily the centre of reality. The philosopher Baruch Spinoza argued that we tend to assess things wrongly in terms of their usefulness to us. Spinoza reasoned that if we were to look at things objectively we would discover that everything in the universe has a unique value. Likewise, it is possible that a human- centred or anthropocentric/androcentric ethic is not an accurate depiction of reality, and there is a bigger picture that we may or may not be able to understand from a human perspective. Anthropocenterism is human centeredness in development. This philosophy puts human beings at the center of universe. Living and non living things have value only to the extent that they are of use to the human beings. It doesn‘t recognize the rights of animals and plants to live. The philosophy that gives equal importance to all living forms and recognizes their right is called biocentrism. ENGINEER – FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES Engineering is the professional art of applying, science to the optimum conversion of the resources of nature to benefit man. The words engineer and ingenious are derived from the same Latin root “ingenerare” meaning “to create”. Associated with engineering is a great body of special knowledge; preparation for professional practice involves extensive training in the application of that knowledge. Engineering is an art requiring the judgment necessary to adapt knowledge to practical purposes, the imagination to conceive original solutions to problems, and the ability to predict performance and cost of new devices or processes.
  5. 5. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 5 The function of the scientist is to know, while that of the engineer is to do. The scientist adds to the store of verified, systematized knowledge of the physical world; the engineer brings this knowledge to bear on practical problems. Engineering is based principally on physics, chemistry & mathematics and their extensions into materials science, solid and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, transfer and rate processes, system analysis, computer programming, electronics and optronics. Unlike the scientists, the engineer is not free to select the problem that interests him; he must solve problems as they arise; his solution must satisfy conflicting requirements. Usually efficiency costs money; safety adds to complexity; improved performance increases weight. The engineering solution is the optimum solution, the end result that, taking many factors into account, is most desirable. It may be the cheapest for a specified level of performance, the most reliable within a given weight limit, the simplest that will satisfy certain safety requirements, or the most efficient for a given cost. In many engineering problems, the social costs are significant. Engineers employ two types of natural resources – materials and energy. Since most resources are limited, the engineer must concern himself with the continual development of new resources as well as the efficient utilization of existing ones. The results of engineering activities contribute to the welfare of man by furnishing food, shelter, and comfort; by making work, transportation and communication easier and safer; and by making life pleasant and satisfying. ENGINEERING FUNCTIONS: The branches indicate what the engineer works with; the functions describe what he does. In order of decreasing emphasis on science, the major functions of all engineering branches are the following: Research. The research engineer seeks new principles and processes by employing mathematical and scientific concepts, experimental techniques, and inductive reasoning. Development. The development engineer applies the results of research to useful purposes. Ingenious and creative application of new knowledge may result in a working model of a new electronics circuit, a chemical process, an industrial machine, or a gadget of optronics. Design. In designing a structure or a product, the engineer selects methods, specifies materials, and determines shapes to satisfy technical requirements and to meet performance specification. Construction. The construction engineer is responsible for preparing the site, determining procedures that will economically and safely yield the
  6. 6. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 6 desired quality, directing the placement of materials, and organizing the personnel and equipment. Production. Plant layout and equipment selection, with consideration of human and economic factors, is the responsibility of the production engineer. He chooses processes and tools, integrates the flow of materials and components, and provides for testing and inspection. Operation. The operating engineer controls machines, plants, and organizations providing power, transportation, and communication. He determines procedures and supervises personnel to obtain reliable and economic operation of complex equipment. Management and other functions. In some countries (U.S.A.,Japan, etc) and industries, engineers analyze customer requirements, recommend units to satisfy needs economically, and resolve related problems. In some industries, too, engineers decide how assets are to be used. ENGINEERING RESPONSIBILITIES. One activity common to all engineering work is problem solution. The problem may involve quantitative or qualitative factors; it may be physical or economic; it may require abstract mathematics or common sense. Of great importance is the process of creative synthesis or design, putting ideas together to create a new and optimum solution of the problem. Since the engineer functions at the socio-technological ―interface‖ (with science and technology on one side and individuals and communities on the other), he bears a unique responsibility to decide on priorities, establish performance criteria, select materials and processes, and specify evaluation procedures. Problem solution. Although engineering problems vary greatly in scope and complexity, the same general approach is applicable. First comes an analysis of the overall situation and a preliminary decision on a plan of attack. In line with this plan, the usually broad and vague problem is reduced to a more categorical question that can be clearly stated. The stated question is then answered by deductive reasoning from known principles or by creative synthesis, as in a new design. The answer or design is always checked for accuracy and adequacy. Finally, the results for the simplified problem as stated are interpreted in terms of the original problem and reported in an appropriate form. In his search for solutions to problems, especially new problems, the engineer is in conflict with a rather intractable environment and often in competition with predecessors who tried and failed and with contemporary rivals who are trying to solve the same problem. His success depends on ability to create a new idea, a new device, a new process, or a new material.
  7. 7. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 7 Decision making. The engineer not only makes technological advances available to man but also may be charged with the responsibility to see that such advances do indeed enhance the welfare of man. By virtue of his knowledge, his skill, and his unique role in society, the engineer must concern himself with the results of technological progress such as its effect on the physical environment and its social and economic impact. A successful engineer is prepared for decision making on complex problems in broad areas. He is skilled in the use of sophisticated tools and creative in the development of new techniques. He has the vision to conceive vast projects, the talent to analyze them as integrated man-machine-environment systems, and the ability to predict their technical performance and their human impact. Engineering as a people serving profession Engineering is more than just employment. This profession is in public interest and engineers are motivated by a genuine and principled concern for good. Engineer gives importance to health, safety and welfare of public because of their moral development. Professional Morals Even with shortcomings in Kohlberg‘s theory, it is a valid approach to evaluation of moral character. The stages in professional development according to this theory are Pre Professional Professional Principled Professional Pre Professional Stage 1 Engineer is not concerned with social or professional responsibilities. Professional conduct is dictated by gain of individual, with no thought of how such conduct would affect the firm, client etc. Stage 2 Engineers realize there is something to be gained as ‗being nice‘. Thuswhile engineer is aware of the ideas of loyalty to the firm, client, confidenc and proper professional conduct, ethical behavior depends on motive of self advancement. Professional
  8. 8. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 8 Stage 3 Engineer puts loyalty to firm above any other consideration. Engineer concenterates on technical matters, becomes a team player. Stage 4 Individual retains loyalty to firm but recognizes that the firm is part of a larger profession and loyalty to the profession enhances the reputation of the firm and brings rewards to engineer Principled Professional Stage 5 Here service to human welfare is paramount. He realizes that sucha service will also bring credit to the firm and the profession . Thus rules of society determine professional conduct. Stage 6 Professional conduct follows rule of universal justice, fairness and caring for fellow human beings. Engineers responsibility to environment Central concepts in conventional ethics, such as rights & justice, do not work very well when applied to animals, plants, places and natural objects. Engineers unlike other professions are directly involved in environmental conservation & preservation. No matter what project it is, it is they who will do it. Hence we engineers have a special responsibility to environment and hence they can make a difference. Sustainable development "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."
  9. 9. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 9 All definitions of sustainable development require that we see the world as a system—a system that connects space; and a system that connects time. When you think of the world as a system over space, you grow to understand that air pollution from North America affects air quality in Asia, and that pesticides sprayed in Argentina could harm fish stocks off the coast of Australia. And when you think of the world as a system over time, you start to realize that the decisions our grandparents made about how to farm the land continue to affect agricultural practice today; and the economic policies we endorse today will have an impact on urban poverty when our children are adults. We also understand that quality of life is a system, too. It's good to be physically healthy, but what if you are poor and don't have access to education? It's good to have a secure income, but what if the air in your part of the world is unclean? And it's good to have freedom of religious expression, but what if you can't feed your family? The concept of sustainable development is rooted in this sort of systems thinking. It helps us understand ourselves and our world. The problems we face are complex and serious—and we can't address them in the same way we created them. But we can address them The concept of ―sustainable development,‖ as coined by the World Commission on Environment and Development and with it, the term ―sustainability‖ itself, have been gaining increasing recognition in recent years all around the world. Wide- spread use, however, has been followed by growing ambiguity so that today both terms are employed within a very broad spectrum of meaning often, to the point of trivialization. The set of five Sustainability Principles proposed below is offered in order to advance and restore some rigor to the underlying ideas. Its development was informed by a number of existing frameworks and was inspired, in particular, by the work of R.Buckminster Fuller. The principles are articulated in a general fashion but can receive a specific operational meaning in relation to particular sectors of the economy, development issues, business strategies, investment guidelines, or initiatives taken by individuals.They are expressed in relation to five fundamental domains: The Material Domain: Constitutes the basis for regulating the flow of materials and energy that underlie existence.
  10. 10. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 10 The Economic Domain: Provides a guiding framework for creating and managing wealth. The Domain of Life: Provides the basis for appropriate behavior in the biosphere. The Social Domain: Provides the basis for social interactions. The Spiritual Domain: Identifies the necessary attitudinal orientation and provides the basis for a universal code of ethics. Sustainable Development is based on three pillars (economics, environment and society) and the art is to find a balance between them. Sustainable Development and Engineers Because of the role of engineers in our society, there is a great importance of them be concerned with Sustainable Development. Engineers should not only inform the society about the impact of the technologies and make companies aware about Sustainable Development issues, but also cooperate with all kinds of stakeholders (e.g. Non-Governmental Organisations) to improve the quality of our future. Principles of Sustainability The concept of sustainability is based on the premise that people and their communities are made up of social, economic, and environmental systems that are in constant interaction and that must be kept in harmony or balance if the community is to continue to function to the benefit of its inhabitants— now and in the future. Sustainability is an ideal toward which to strive and against which to weigh proposed actions, plans, expenditures, and decisions. It is a way of looking at a community or a society or a planet in the broadest possible context, in both time and space. There are six principles of sustainability that can help a community ensure that its social, economic, and environmental systems are well integrated and will endure.
  11. 11. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 11 We should remember that, although the list of principles is useful, each of them has the potential to overlap and inter-relate with some or all of the others. A community or society that wants to pursue sustainability will try to: 1. Maintain and, if possible, enhance, its residents’ quality of life. Quality of life—or ―livability‖—differs from community to community. It has many components: income, education, health care, housing, employment, legal rights on the one hand; exposure to crime, pollution, disease, disaster, and other risks on the other. One town may be proud of its safe streets, high quality schools, and rural atmosphere, while another thinks that job opportunities and its historical heritage are what make it an attractive place to live. Each locality must define and plan for the quality of life it wants and believes it can achieve, for now and for future generations. 2. Enhance local economic vitality. A viable local economy is essential to sustainability. This includes job opportunities, sufficient tax base and revenue to support government and the provision of infrastructure and services, and a suitable business climate. A sustainable economy is also diversified, so that it is not easily disrupted by internal or external events or disasters, and such an economy does not simply shift the costs of maintaining its good health onto other regions or onto the oceans or atmosphere. Nor is a sustainable local economy reliant on unlimited population growth, high consumption, or nonrenewable resources. 3. Promote social and intergenerational equity. A sustainable community‘s resources and opportunities are available to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, cultural background, religion, or other characteristics. Further, a sustainable community does not deplete its resources, destroy natural systems, or pass along unnecessary hazards to its great-great-grandchildren. 4. Maintain and, if possible, enhance, the quality of the environment. A sustainable community sees itself as existing within a physical environment and natural ecosystem and tries to find ways to co-exist with that environment. It does its part by avoiding unnecessary degradation of the air, oceans, fresh water, and other natural systems. It tries to replace detrimental practices with those that allow ecosystems to continuously renew themselves. In some cases, this means simply protecting what is already there by finding ways to redirect human activities and development into less sensitive areas. But a community may need to take action to reclaim, restore, or rehabilitate an already-damaged ecosystem such as a nearby wetland. 5. Incorporate disaster resilience and mitigation into its decisions and actions. A community is resilient in the face of inevitable natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and drought if it takes steps to ensure that such events cause as little damage as possible, that productivity is only
  12. 12. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 12 minimally interrupted, and that quality of life remains at (or quickly returns to) high levels. A disaster-resilient community further takes responsibility for the risks it faces and, to the extent possible, is self reliant. That is, it does not anticipate that outside entities (such as federal or state government) can or will mitigate its hazards or pay for its disasters. 6. Use a consensus-building, participatory process when making decisions. Participatory processes are vital to community sustainability. Such a process engages all the people who have a stake in the outcome of the decision being contemplated. It encourages the identification of concerns and issues, promotes the wide generation of ideas for dealing with those concerns, and helps those involved find a way to reach agreement about solutions. It results in the production and dissemination of important, relevant information, fosters a sense of community, produces ideas that may not have been considered otherwise, and engenders a sense of ownership on the part of the community for the final decision. Environmental Sustainability Environmental sustainability involves making decisions and taking action that are in the interests of protecting the natural world, with particular emphasis on preserving the capability of the environment to support human life. It is an important topic at the present time, as people are realising the full impact that businesses and individuals can have on the environment. Environmental sustainability is about making responsible decisions that will reduce your business' negative impact on the environment. It is not simply about reducing the amount of waste you produce or using less energy, but is concerned with developing processes that will lead to businesses becoming completely sustainable in the future. Currently, environmental sustainability is a topical issue that receives plenty of attention from the media and from different governmental departments. This is a result of the amount of research going into assessing the impact that human activity can have on the environment. Although the long term implications of this serious issue are not yet fully understood, it is generally agreed that the risk is high enough to merit an immediate response. Businesses are expected to lead in the area of environmental sustainability as they are considered to be the biggest contributors and are also in a position where they can make a significant difference. Businesses can potentially cause damage to all areas of the environment. Some of the common environmental concerns include: damaging rainforests and woodlands through logging and agricultural clearing polluting and over-fishing of oceans, rivers and lakes
  13. 13. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 13 polluting the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels damaging prime agricultural and cultivated land through the use of unsustainable farming practices For much of the past, most businesses have acted with little regard or concern for the negative impact they have on the environment. Many large and small organizations are guilty of significantly polluting the environment and engaging in practices that are simply not sustainable. However, there are now an increasing number of businesses that are committed to reducing their damaging impact and even working towards having a positive influence on environmental sustainability. Environmental sustainability forces businesses to look beyond making short term gains and look at the long term impact they are having on the natural world. You need to consider not only the immediate impact your actions have on the environment, but the long term implications as well. For example, when manufacturing a product, you need to look at the environmental impact of the products entire lifecycle, from development to disposal before finalizing your designs. Achieving sustainability will enable the Earth to continue supporting human life. In ecology, sustainability is how biological systems endure and remain diverse and productive. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long- term maintenance of well being, which has ecological, economic, political and cultural dimensions. Sustainability requires the reconciliation of these environmental, social equity and economic demands - also referred to as the "three pillars" of sustainability or the 3 Es. Healthy ecosystems and environments are necessary to the survival and flourishing of humans and other organisms. There are a number of major ways of reducing negative human impact. Among the first of these are environmentally-friendly chemical engineering, environmental resources management and environmental protection. This approach is based largely on information gained from green chemistry, earth science, environmental science and conservation biology. The second approach is management of humanconsumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained fromeconomics. A third more recent approach adds cultural and political concerns into the sustainability matrix. Sustainability interfaces with economics through the social and environmental consequences of economic activity. Sustainability economics involves ecological economics where social aspects including cultural, health-related and monetary/financial aspects are integrated. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails internationaland national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism.
  14. 14. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 14 Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganising living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), reappraising economic sectors (permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or work practices (sustainable architecture), using science to develop new technologies (green technologies, renewable energy and sustainable Fission and Fusion power), to adjustments in individual lifestyles that conserve natural resources. Despite the increased popularity of the use of the term "sustainability", the possibility that human societies will achieve environmental sustainability has been, and continues to be, questioned—in light of environmental degradation, climate change,overconsumption, and societies' pursuit of indefinite economic growth in a closed system. The word sustainability is derived from the Latin sustinere (tenere, to hold; sus, up). Sustain can mean ―maintain", "support", or "endure‖. Since the 1980s sustainability has been used more in the sense of human sustainability on planet Earth and this has resulted in the most widely quoted definition of sustainability as a part of the concept sustainable development, that of the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20, 1987: ―sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs Venn diagram of sustainable development: at the confluence of three constituent parts[8] The simple definition "sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems",[22] though vague, conveys the idea of sustainability having quantifiable limits. But sustainability is also a call to action, a task in progress or ―journey‖ and therefore a political process, so some definitions set out common goals and values Economic opportunity[edit]
  15. 15. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 15 Treating the environment as an externality may generate short-term profit at the expense of sustainability.[154] Sustainable business practices, on the other hand, integrate ecological concerns with social and economic ones (i.e., the triple bottom line).[155][156] Growth that depletes ecosystem services is sometimes termed "uneconomic growth" as it leads to a decline inquality of life.[157][158] Minimising such growth can provide opportunities for local businesses. For example, industrial waste can be treated as an "economic resource in the wrong place". The benefits of waste reduction include savings from disposal costs, fewer environmental penalties, and reduced liability insurance. This may lead to increased market share due to an improved public image.[159][160] Energy efficiency can also increase profits by reducing costs. The idea of sustainability as a business opportunity has led to the formation of organizations such as the Sustainability Consortium of the Society for Organizational Learning, the Sustainable Business Institute, and the World Council for Sustainable Development.[161] Research focusing on progressive corporate leaders who have embedded sustainability into commercial strategy has yielded a leadership competency model for sustainability.[162][163] The expansion of sustainable business opportunities can contribute to job creation through the introduction of green-collar workers.[164] Social dimension[edit] Sustainability issues are generally expressed in scientific and environmental terms, as well as in ethical terms ofstewardship, but implementing change is a social challenge that entails, among other things, international and national law,urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. "The relationship between human rights and human development, corporate power and environmental justice, global poverty and citizen action, suggest that responsible global citizenship is an inescapable element of what may at first glance seem to be simply matters of personal consumer and moral choice."[ Peace, security, social justice[edit] Social disruptions like war, crime and corruption divert resources from areas of greatest human need, damage the capacity of societies to plan for the future, and generally threaten human well-being and the environment.[166] Broad-based strategies for more sustainable social systems include: improved education and the political empowerment of women, especially in developing countries; greater regard for social justice, notably equity between rich and poor both within and between countries; and intergenerational equity.[57] Depletion of natural resources including fresh water[167] increases the likelihood of ―resource wars‖.[168] This aspect of sustainability has been referred to as environmental security and creates a clear need for global environmental agreements to manage resources such as aquifers
  16. 16. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 16 and rivers which span political boundaries, and to protect shared global systems including oceans and the atmosphere Sustainable agriculture is the act of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. The phrase was reportedly coined by Australian agricultural scientist Gordon McClymont.[1] It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term" For Example: Satisfy human food and fibre needs Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls Sustain the economic viability of farm operations Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole Sustainable agriculture can be understood as an ecosystem approach to agriculture.[3] Practices that can cause long-term damage to soil include excessive tillage (leading to erosion) and irrigation without adequate drainage (leading tosalinization). Long-term experiments have provided some of the best data on how various practices affect soil properties essential to sustainability. In the United States a federal agency, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, specializes in providing technical and financial assistance for those interested in pursuing natural resource conservation and production agriculture as compatible goals. The most important factors for an individual site are sun, air, soil, nutrients, and water. Of the five, water and soil quality and quantity are most amenable to human intervention through time and labor. Although air and sunlight are available everywhere on Earth, crops also depend on soil nutrients and the availability ofwater. When farmers grow and harvest crops, they remove some of these nutrients from the soil. Without replenishment, land suffers from nutrient depletion and becomes either unusable or suffers from reduced yields. Sustainable agriculture depends on replenishing the soil while minimizing the use or need of non-renewable resources, such as natural gas (used in converting atmospheric nitrogen into synthetic fertilizer), or mineral ores (e.g., phosphate). Possible sources of nitrogen that would, in principle, be available indefinitely, include: 1. recycling crop waste and livestock or treated human manure
  17. 17. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 17 2. growing legume crops and forages such as peanuts or alfalfa that form symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria calledrhizobia 3. industrial production of nitrogen by the Haber Process uses hydrogen, which is currently derived from natural gas, (but this hydrogen could instead be made by electrolysis of water using electricity (perhaps from solar cells or windmills)) or 4. genetically engineering (non-legume) crops to form nitrogen-fixing symbioses or fix nitrogen without microbial symbionts. Water In some areas sufficient rainfall is available for crop growth, but many other areas require irrigation. For irrigation systems to be sustainable, they require proper management (to avoid salinization) and must not use more water from their source than is naturally replenishable. Otherwise, the water source effectively becomes a non-renewable resource. Improvements in water well drilling technology and submersible pumps, combined with the development of drip irrigation and low pressure pivots, have made it possible to regularly achieve high crop yields in areas where reliance on rainfall alone had previously made successful agriculture unpredictable. However, this progress has come at a price. In many areas, such as theOgallala Aquifer, the water is being used faster than it can be recharged. Several steps must be taken to develop drought-resistant farming systems even in "normal" years with average rainfall. These measures include both policy and management actions: 1) improving water conservation and storage measures, 2) providing incentives for selection of drought-tolerant crop species, 3) using reduced-volume irrigation systems, 4) managing crops to reduce water loss, or 5) not planting crops at all.[6] Indicators for sustainable water resource development are: ¤ Internal renewable water resources. This is the average annual flow of rivers and groundwater generated from endogenous precipitation, after ensuring that there is no double counting. It represents the maximum amount of water resource produced within the boundaries of a country. This value, which is expressed as an average on a yearly basis, is invariant in time (except in the case of proved climate change). The indicator can be expressed in three different units: in absolute terms (km3/yr), in mm/yr (it is a measure of the humidity of the country), and as a function of population (m3/person per yr). ¤ Global renewable water resources. This is the sum of internal renewable water resources and incoming flow originating outside the country. Unlike internal resources, this value can vary with time if upstream development reduces water availability at the border. Treaties ensuring a specific flow to be reserved from
  18. 18. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 18 upstream to downstream countries may be taken into account in the computation of global water resources in both countries. ¤ Dependency ratio. This is the proportion of the global renewable water resources originating outside the country, expressed in percentage. It is an expression of the level to which the water resources of a country depend on neighbouring countries. ¤ Water withdrawal. In view of the limitations described above, only gross water withdrawal can be computed systematically on a country basis as a measure of water use. Absolute or per-person value of yearly water withdrawal gives a measure of the importance of water in the country's economy. When expressed in percentage of water resources, it shows the degree of pressure on water resources. A rough estimate shows that if water withdrawal exceeds a quarter of global renewable water resources of a country, water can be considered a limiting factor to development and, reciprocally, the pressure on water resources can have a direct impact on all sectors, from agriculture to environment and fisheries Soil Soil erosion is fast becoming one of the worlds greatest problems. It is estimated that "more than a thousand million tonnes of southern Africa's soil are eroded every year. Experts predict that crop yields will be halved within thirty to fifty years if erosion continues at present rates."[8] Soil erosion is not unique to Africa but is occurring worldwide. The phenomenon is being called Peak Soil as present large scale factory farming techniques are jeopardizing humanity's ability to grow food in the present and in the future.[9] Without efforts to improve soil management practices, the availability of arable soil will become increasingly problematic Sustainable city A sustainable city, or eco-city is a city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution - CO2,methane, and water pollution. Richard Register first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book, Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future.[1] Other leading figures who envisioned the sustainable city are architect Paul F Downton, who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd, and authors Timothy Beatley and Steffen Lehmann,[2] who have written extensively on the subject. The field of industrial ecology is sometimes used in planning these cities. There remains no completely agreed upon definition for what a sustainable city should be or completely agreed upon paradigm for what components should be included. Generally, developmental experts agree that a sustainable city should
  19. 19. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 19 meet the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The ambiguity within this idea leads to a great deal of variation in terms of how cities carry out their attempts to become sustainable.[3] However, a sustainable city should be able to feed itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside, and power itself with renewable sources of energy. The crux of this is to create the smallest possible ecological footprint, and to produce the lowest quantity of pollution possible, to efficiently use land; compost used materials, recycle it or convert waste-to-energy, and thus the city's overall contribution to climate change will be minimal, if such practices are adhered to. It is estimated that over 50%[4] of the world‘s population now lives in cities and urban areas. These large communities provide both challenges and opportunities for environmentally-conscious developers, and there are distinct advantages to further defining and working towards the goals of sustainable cities. Humans are social creatures and thrive in urban spaces that foster social connections. Because of this, a shift to more dense, urban living would provide an outlet for social interaction and conditions under which humans can prosper. Contrary to common belief, urban systems can be more environmentally sustainable than rural or suburban living. With people and resource located so close to one another it is possible to save energy and resources things such as food transportation and mass transit systems. Finally, cities benefit the economy by locating human capital in one relatively small geographic area where ideas can be generated. These ecological cities are achieved through various means, such as: Different agricultural systems such as agricultural plots within the city (suburbs or centre). This reduces the distance food has to travel from field to fork. Practical work out of this may be done by either small scale/private farming plots or through larger scale agriculture (e.g. farmscrapers). Renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, solar panels, or bio- gas created from sewage. Cities provideeconomies of scale that make such energy sources viable. Various methods to reduce the need for air conditioning (a massive energy demand), such as planting trees and lightening surface colors, natural ventilation systems, an increase in water features, and green spaces equaling at least 20% of the city's surface. These measures counter the "heat island effect" caused by an abundance of tarmac and asphalt, which can make urban areas several degrees warmer than surrounding rural areas—as much as six degrees Celsius during the evening. Improved public transport and an increase in pedestrianization to reduce car emissions. This requires a radically different approach to city planning, with integrated business, industrial, and residential zones. Roads may be designed to make driving difficult.
  20. 20. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 20 Optimal building density to make public transport viable but avoid the creation of urban heat islands. Solutions to decrease urban sprawl, by seeking new ways of allowing people to live closer to the workspace. Since the workplace tends to be in the city, downtown, or urban center, they are seeking a way to increase density by changing the antiquated attitudes many suburbanites have towards inner-city areas. One of the new ways to achieve this is by solutions worked out by the Smart GrowthMovement Urban farming Urban farming is the process of growing and distributing food, as well as raising animals, in and around a city or in urban area. There are many motivations behind urban agriculture, but in the context of creating a sustainable city, this method of food cultivation saves energy in food transportation and saves costs. In order for urban farming to be a successful method of sustainable food growth, cities must allot a common area for community gardens or farms, as well as a common area for a farmers market in which the foodstuffs grown within the city can be sold to the residents of the urban system. Car free city The concept of Car free cities or a city with large pedestrian areas is often part of the design of a sustainable city. A large amount of the carbon footprint of a city is generated from cars so it is often consider being an integral part of the design of a sustainable city. India Auroville was founded in 1968 with the intention of realizing human unity, and is now home to approximately 2,000 individuals from over 45 nations around the world. Its focus is its vibrant community culture and its expertise in renewable energy systems, habitat restoration, ecology skills, mindfulness practices, and holistic education. Some egs for sustainable urban development BOGOTA: URBAN TRANSPORTATION This city took the Urban Transportation award for its ultra-efficient bus and taxi fleets. Bogota's Bus Rapid Transit system, launched in 2000, shuttles over 70% of the city's 7.1 million person population. Future goals include replacing all of the city's diesel fleet with hybrid and electric buses, electrifying the entire the taxi fleet, and adding a new metro line. MELBOURNE: ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILT ENVIRONMENT
  21. 21. Module 3 [PROFESSIONAL ETHICS] 21 Melbourne won in the Energy Efficient Built Environment category for a sustainable buildings program that gives building managers and owners financing for energy and water retrofits. MUNICH: GREEN ENERGY Munich received the Green Energy award for its initiative to power the city completely using renewable sources by 2025. So far, the city is 37% of the way there--in 2015, wind projects will cause that number to climb to 80%. SINGAPORE: INTELLIGENT CITY INFRASTRUCTURE Singapore is the Intelligent City Infrastructure recipient--an award given for its Intelligent Transport System, which is made up of an amalgam of smart transportation initiatives, like real-time traffic data from GPS-equipped taxis and an electronic road toll collection system. The result: Singapore has lower congestion rates than most cities. Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living andeconomic health of a specific area. Economic development can also be referred to as the quantitative and qualitative changes in the economy. Such actions can involve multiple areas including development of human capital,critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, environmental, sustainability,social inclusion, health, safety, literacy, and other initiatives. Economic development differs from economic growth. Whereas economic development is a policy intervention endeavor with aims of economic and social well-being of people, economic growth is a phenomenon of market productivity and rise inGDP. Consequently, as economist Amartya Sen points out: ―economic growth is one aspect of the process of economic development