Lecture Reflection I: Drivers, Values & Ethics As a follow-up to the lectures on population, consumption, environmental values and animal rights, the first lecture reflection assignment will explore key debates on population, consumption and associated environmental degradation, as well as values and ethical systems related to environmental decision-making and behavior. Please use the following materials to complete the assignment: – Lecture content (lectures two, three, four, and five) – Textbook Reading: o Ch. 1 (The Global Picture, pp. 13-27; Three Waves of Environmental Management, pp. 5-6; Implications, pp. 34-36) o Ch. 5 (Ethics and Values, pp. 163-164) – Roberts, D. (2017). I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why. Available online: https://www.vox.com/energy-andenvironment/2017/9/26/16356524/the-population-question – Assadourian, E. (2017). Why we must talk about population. Available online: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-10-02/must-talk-population/ – Kristoff, N. (2018). Choosing animals over people? Available online: https://goo.gl/UbqRCA Using the lecture content, textbook and assigned readings, prepare a two-to-three-page response/reflection (single-spaced) connecting the ideas and information found in these various sources. Review the basics of completing reflection assignments (under the ‘Lecture Reflections’ module in LEARN) and respond to the following questions: 1. Briefly summarize the key similarities in the ideas presented in the lecture, textbook, and assigned readings in relation to population and consumption as drivers of environmental degradation. What are some of the ideas presented across these three sources that are different (or offer different arguments to support a position)? 2. What might be the impacts of implementing a similar approach as the Te Awa Tupua bill in Canada? What might some of the benefits and some of the challenges be? 3. Why do you value the environment/nature? Where do these values originate from (i.e. who taught you these values or why do you believe this)? 4. What is your value system in relation to animal rights (consider both wild and domesticated animals/species)? Where do these beliefs stem from (i.e. who taught you these beliefs or why do you believe this)? The lecture reflection is due on Mon. Jan. 28th by 11:59pm via the ‘Lecture Reflection I’ dropbox on LEARN and is worth 10% of the final grade in the course. Lecture reflections should be organized as a short ‘essay-style’ piece, with the inclusion of a short introduction section setting up the topic, purpose, and scope of the reflection (2-3 sentences would be sufficient here), and a short concluding section. Organize points and ideas as a flow / progression of arguments/points, instead of listing responses to the questions above. Ensure you cite all ideas and information included in the reflections using APA citation style, including lecture content, and be sure to include a bibliography section.
Environmental conservation and management is an area of focus that has led to the development of several debates in the past years. Degradation is a menace that is accelerated by several other factors, including population increase and high rate of consumption. Programs and policies have however been enacted purposely to regulate the arte of consuming the nature resources, to limit the rate of degradation and extinction. This essay seeks to focus on discussing population and consumption as drivers of environmental degradation, the Benefits and Challenges of implementing the Te Awa Tupua Bill in Canada in my state, and the reasons behind my value for nature/environment.
Population and consumption are the major drivers of environmental degradation. The ideas presented in the assigned readings, lecture and textbook present similar ideas on the concept regarding population and consumption as drivers of environmental degradation. They all highlight that rapid population growth has been phenomenal across the globe, which has resulted to increased waste generation following increased demand for available resources (Fuchs & Boll, 2018). As such, pollution of resources is intense. Overconsumption results into degradation and over-exploitation of available resources. Considering the prevailing patterns of consumption due to high population increase, the situation can inevitably deplete resources and cause a massive extinction of species.
All the information resources implicate that it is essential for individuals and their communities to recognize better living styles to help solve the problem. The two factors of consumption and increased human population are proximate causes of environmental degradation. Ultimately, the appropriate strategy to the menace of human-driven degradation of the natural environment is adjusting human lifestyles so that their consumption levels do not surpass or go beyond the world’s average capacity (Fuchs & Boll, 2018). The ideas confirm that the consumptive patterns of society have increased, which means that per capita energy consumption within the commercial, transport, industrial and domestic sectors has increased several folds. This factor leads to climate change and increased global warming. It is clear that this situation has a negative impact on the environment because it consumes the available resources. The case is equated to effects of increased population, industrialization and urbanization. It is noted that population increase leads to a high demand of resources and increased rates of consumption. Consumption is the ultimate cause of environmental degradation (Rosa et al., 2018). Consuming fossil fuels, water, precious metals, land resources, plants and animals have potential and measurable impacts on the natural environment.
The Te Awa Tupua Bill in Canada was passed by the Environmental Court of New Zealand which practices court records on environmental matters. More particularly, the civil jurisdiction under the Resource Management Act 1991 is much concerned with the spatial development plans as well as development control which regulate environmental permits (Charpleix, 2018). It is a newly implemented approach for protecting ecosystems that was implement in 2017. The Whanganui River is the longest navigable river within New Zealand and stretches all the way from Mount Tongariro in the Northern Island to the Tasman Sea.
Implementing a similar approach as the Te Awa Tupua Bill in Canada will be of both positive and negative impacts. The settlement together with the Act which implements it will be of essence because it will confer a legal personality on the river systems in the state. The strategy will also provide a unique legal status that readily recognizes the importance of protecting the ecosystems under representations as well as provide a legal forum for implementing both cultural and spiritual attitudes to purposely create a positive relationship between the people and land.
Arguably, this will mark an innovative and more strategized approach towards protecting the environment. The approach will focus at the ecosystem level and incorporate better spiritual values in a way that protects its resources while reducing degradation. The New Zealand legislation is a lesson to several other states on matters of managing and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems. It is of importance because after implementation, states will move towards adopting more extensive landscape level approaches that protect the natural habitats and ecosystems. However, the only challenge could possibly be failure of states and other assigned bodies to abide by the set regulations which can breach the law (Charpleix, 2018). Implementing such policies takes long and requires input of resources. Moreover, it might be challenging for the public to understand the environmental laws that prohibit degradation, and why they are required to adhere to them.
Loving the environment is phenomenal. It is commonly acknowledged that human beings depend on the natural environment for various benefits to facilitate their wellbeing. Some of these dependencies range from an easy access to a wide range of ecosystem services, utilization of basic resources to earn a living- fertile soils, clean water, and food- to nature interactions that enrich and affirm the place of humans in the world. The fact that nature supports our life systems is reason enough to push anyone into valuing it, and engaging in practices that positively impact on it. Nature is where we seek refuge, habitat, and life enabling mechanisms that make our existence on earth much easier. Valuing nature goes a long way in protecting the natural resources.
Reaching out to management and protection strategies enhances the quality of the environment we thrive in and how best it can readily support human capacity. It opens avenues where policy makers, researchers and other practitioners can easily explore its conservation. Valuing the environment means seeking to make more informed decisions when it comes to natural environmental matters. It is important to value where you live so that the available resources are not depleted. By watching conservation and effective management approaches, people tend to develop more efficient strategies that prioritize environmental wellness. By valuing nature, I can easily transform how the environment is managed. By looking at the value of nature in social and economic terms, I gain a better understanding of the implications of the choices made by people. As opposed to making decisions based on short-term gains that deplete the living environment, it is important for humans to consider the long-term benefits of preserving nature.
My value for nature has grown since childhood. My parents always taught us the importance of living in a clean environment without littering around. During my schooling journey, the value has extensively grown following the many lessons that touch on aspects of environmental conservation, and the effects of degradation, deforestation, loss of land cover, urbanization, climate change and the impacts of global warming. In a bigger picture, these lessons push forward the importance of being environmental campaigners to ensure even those we live around are able to understand the concept as well. Am passionate about species conservation and I am an advocate against habitat destruction. I have implemented a number of campaigns that seek to reach out to people at community bases as a form of creating awareness on why environmental conservation should be everyone’s key goal in life. My value for nature was cultivated since childhood and has grown over years.
My value system in relation to animal rights (both domesticated and wild) highlights the importance of conserving these species for the continuity of life processes. Animals have a right to be well taken care of. These species play a big role in the development of human community. Major contributions include provision of fats and food (proteins) for improved nutrition, provision of fuel for cooking, contribution to more improved and integrated farming systems, complimenting the food chains systems among other services. Animals are a major tourist attraction that increases the revenue of any state. Basically, animals are part of the living component of the environment and must, therefore, be protected and handled with care so that they do not become extinct.
These beliefs on animal values were cultivated from my childhood where we would take care of our domesticated animals as a routine. Along the journey of education, I began to appreciate their importance to the living systems. Out of human conscience, animals are part of living organisms that require care and love. By protecting and conserving their natural habitats, we are conserving biodiversity. Today, a good percent of people still depend on the services provided by animals for their existence. If these species are not therefore valued and taken good care of, the quality of life for these people is slowly breached or compromised. Culturally, animals are part of a community and must therefore be considered in any decision that is made. The domestication and care for these species is the foremost stage towards improving the quality of life for all persons.
In conclusion, environmental conservation and management should be a key focus area for any individual. This is to purposely reduce the drivers of degradation. Controlling the rate of consumption and population growth should be the key goal for any state. Implementing the Te Awa Tupua Bill in Canada in my state will be of both negative and positive significance. It is a policy that fights for environmental rights. If anyone values the environment, then they will always prioritize actions that promote its quality.
Charpleix, L. (2018). The Whanganui River as Te Awa Tupua: Place‐based law in a legally pluralistic society. The Geographical Journal, 184(1), 19-30.
Fuchs, D., & Boll, F. (2018). Sustainable consumption. In Global Environmental Politics (pp. 93-112). Routledge.
Rosa, E. A., Rudel, T. K., York, R., Jorgenson, A. K., & Dietz, T. (2015). The human (anthropogenic) driving forces of global climate change. Climate change and society: Sociological perspectives, 2, 32-60.