Doing Environmental Ethics  book cover
3rd Edition

Doing Environmental Ethics

ISBN 9781138321090
Published September 11, 2019 by Routledge
394 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Doing Environmental Ethics explains how we may transform our fossil-fuel-burning economy, which continues to intensify our ecological crisis, into a circular and ecological economy. The text resists political corruption and personal greed by gleaning ethical insights from our philosophical and religious cultures and by embracing the scientific Gaia hypothesis for the Earth. Its reasoning ascribes intrinsic worth to uplifting duties and rights as well as inspiring virtues and relationships, and tests applying these values by predicting the likely consequences of acting on them. It affirms all life has value for itself, and that human life also values reasoning and feelings and being ethical.

The third edition examines US and international environmental policies through 2018. It analyzes the Trump administration’s repudiation of the environmental policies of the Obama administration and its new rules slashing the social costs of climate change. The text reviews a draft UN treaty that would impose human rights and environmental constraints on transnational corporations, but it also highlights outstanding examples of corporate upcycling and low-carbon innovation. Finally, the third edition explains why food security requires protecting the food sovereignty of farming communities and cooperatives, as well as public policies ensuring fair profits for farmers practicing agro-ecology. 

Table of Contents



Part I: Ethical Reasoning

Chapter 1. Reasoning Skills: Addressing our Environmental Crisis

Chapter 2. Ethics and Science: Moral Consideration

Chapter 3. Ethics and Economics: The Common Good

Part II: Constructing and Testing Ethical Proposals

Chapter 4. Duty: Future Generations and Nature

Chapter 5. Rights: Human and Animals?

Chapter 6. Being Ethical: Character and Community

Chapter 7. Consequences: Predicting the Future

Part III: Learning from Nature

Chapter 8. Ecological Living: Sustainable Consumption

Chapter 9. Environmental Policy: Governments, Corporations, NGOs

Chapter 10. Air and Water: Healthy Environment

Chapter 11. Conservation and Preservation: Adaptive Management

Chapter 12. Agriculture: Food and Sovereignty

Chapter 13. Urban Ecology: Building Green

Chapter 14.  Climate Change: Global Warming

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Robert Traer teaches ethics at Dominican University of California. He is the author of two previous editions of Doing Environmental Ethics (2008 and 2013) and other books on ethics and religion.


"In the hands of Traer, 'environmental ethics' become the critical search for wisdom for individuals and for society in dealing with the greatest crisis in human history. It includes, and draws from, the whole range of formal ethical systems, but it also treats specific environmental problems such as global warming. It shows how these cannot be separated from economic and political theory and practice. And it does all this in relation to our actual historical situation and cultural diversity. This is ‘ethics’ at its transdisciplinary best." - John B. Cobb, Jr., Claremont School of Theology, USA

"Doing Environmental Ethics stands out among the many available textbooks on the topic because of its clarity and inclusiveness. Most such books show clearly the bias or chosen position of the editor/author, and exclude much important material for that reason. In contrast Traer shows his thorough philosophical background and his strong understanding of morality in the variety of sources he uses, far beyond the usual material found in environmental ethics textbooks. I would recommend it as the first choice for any course on environmental issues." - Laura Westra, University of Windsor, Canada

"This fine text has grown more comprehensive with each edition, updated this third time with detailed analysis of US and international environmental policies, including the Trump administration. Traer’s insights into intrinsic values, ownership and community, and first and second thoughts are especially welcome--his ever-upcycling of life." - Holmes Rolston III, University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University, USA