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Durham e-Theses
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A critical analysis of ethical consideration in environmental management: social, economic and ecological perspectives

Ducker, Timothy V. T. (1996) A critical analysis of ethical consideration in environmental management: social, economic and ecological perspectives. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Everyone is an environmental manager, whether they alter or maintain their personal socio-ecological space, or command the operations of a major production company or infrastructure developments. Historically the social impacts of organisation have been more insidious than the ecological impacts, but now there is much less of a definition between social and ecological impact - they are most often bound together. At the end of the 20th century, technological and 'scientific' developments, personal goals and aspirations, and a psychological separation from nature and its 'laws' means that impacts of individual or collective decisions on socio-ecological integrity have burgeoned. Gravitation towards managing and exploiting our socio-ecological environment has not been matched by a growth in our ability to predict the impacts of our actions. The greater the impact potential, the greater is the need for ethical consideration in environmental management. Yet deliberate and default benignity in actions has been eroded as fast as impact potential has grown. The fundamental belief in personal gain, and the arrogant psychological and expressed independence from our biological dependence on nature, have severed any accord between many sections of human society and the rest of nature. This dualistic outlook can be explained, especially as social and infrastructural developments reinforce destructive and divisive lifestyles, however a watershed of socio-environmental and ethical issue awareness brings with it the possibility of reinstating an accord with our surroundings. Reformist responses to calls for socio-environmental responsibility have brought about improvements, and ethical consideration is either explicit or implicit in this. But even the most prestigious responses such as environmental economics offer, at best, short term partial protection from further socio-ecological degradation, and are of questionable utility for procedural and principle based reasons. At worst they offer piecemeal, delayed, and inadequate reactions geared towards staying, questioning or denying responses and issues, or to resolving symptoms of problems and consciences. However there are several linked frameworks offering potential for the ecologisation of society, for rectifying indifference to social and environmental decay. Deep, social and transpersonal ecologies, and education from non-industrial societies, provide outlook frameworks which can assist in the reorientation of development patterns towards community organicisation and the redressing socio-ecological discord.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1996
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:49

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