Pros And Cons Of Human Vices

1967 Words 8 Pages
How Human Vices Are Destroying the Worlds Forests
There are many environmental issues the world is currently facing-species extinction, global warming, deforestation, and pollution are just a few. Philip Cafaro argues in the book Environmental Virtue Ethics, that there are four main vices in society that lead to personal and environmental harm. The vices are gluttony, greed, apathy, and arrogance. One of the world’s major environmental destructions is deforestation; these four main vices are the cause of this problem.
The world’s forests are complex ecosystems that are rapidly being depleted. According to the World Wildlife Fund, forests make up thirty-one percent of the planet. The forests are responsible with providing the world’s oxygen
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Sagoff believes that resources like oil are less expensive and more abundant then they used to be. He says that the world energy council has declared the fears of resource depletion to be unfounded. According to Sagoff’s reasoning, society should not worry about running out of trees because there will always be more (83-86). The image to above shows the data found by BBC when the organization looked at the earth’s depleting resources. The image shows multiple resources like the Amazon rainforest, coal, gas, and multiple minerals. The image then list different key years and evaluates what resources will be left. As you can see according to the data, by 2062 most fossil fuels are expected to run out along with many important minerals. And by 2087 a huge majority of the world’s rainforest like the Amazon will be exhausted. The data disproves Sagoffs main claim that the world is not running out of resource’s. Sagoff’s type of reasoning or arrogance about how the earth’s environment works is very common in today’s culture. This growing idea is one of the main struggles environmentalists face. How can a group save trees if the culture around them believes there is an infinite amount? This first objection by Sagoff is invalid because quiet simply, there are no infinite resources. While society has found ways to better find oil, it does not mean there is an infinite supply. These fossil fuel …show more content…
This means that it is acceptable to simply use resources up until there is little left, and then repeat that process endlessly with all the worlds’ resources. This way of thinking matches up with Cafaro’s greed and gluttony vice examples. If a society is set on continuing to live their unsustainable way of life in both a greedy and gluttonous way then resources like the forests are doomed to disappear. This mentallity will hurt forests because it will encourage deforestation to try to find more oil or gold. Sagoff’s idea does not take into account how harmful some resources are to the environment. Just because you can burn fossil fuels for another thousand years doesn’t mean it is morally acceptable to do so. If it is made known that fossil fuels lead to extreme pollution that causes health problems, then should society continue to endlessly burn it until it is scarce? While later in his paper Sagoff mentions multiple times that there are new developments in green technology that should continue to be developed, he still maintains the world has unlimited resources (83-86). It appears as though Sagoff is encouraging green technology simply because it is more efficient and not because it will help the environment. In his paper Sagoff says something that contradicts his argument. Sagoff states, “Whale oil has substitutes, such as electricity and petroleum-

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