The Environment and Christian Ethics (New Studies in by Michael S. Northcott

By Michael S. Northcott

This e-book is ready the level, origins and motives of the environmental challenge. Dr. Northcott argues that Christianity has misplaced the biblical expertise of the interconnectedness of all existence. He exhibits how Christian theologians and believers could get better a extra ecologically-friendly trust procedure and lifestyle. the writer offers a massive corrective to secular techniques to environmental ethics, together with utilitarian individualism, animal rights theories and deep ecology.

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The rural hinterland of these growing megacities is severely degraded as the market for fuel wood and vegetables denudes the surrounding land. 79 Industrial activities in Third World cities tend to be much less carefully regulated than industrial activities in the First World, and their environmental and human costs therefore much greater. The First World has already exported many of its dirtiest technologies to Third World cities and shanty towns where the absence of environmental regulations, or of worker unions, allow effluent to leave the factory by air or water largely untreated, and workers to be employed on very low wages and over much longer periods of time than would be acceptable in developed countries.

32 But poor farmers are also the originators of extensive soil erosion, in Africa, in Asia and in Latin America. Again bad farming methods are partly to blame. 33 However, much of this erosion arises from the farming of marginal lands by peasants excluded from lands formerly used for subsistence farming but expropriated by governments and commercial farmers for export-oriented cash crops. 34 According to Paul Harrison, despite urgently needed land reform in some countries, the problems of land inequity and landlessness have got much worse since then, not least because of the high costs of the more intensive farming encouraged by governments and aid agencies in the wake of the 'green revolution5, which introduced fast-growing hybrid seeds and increased chemical inputs and mechanical harvesting into much of Third World agriculture.

Advocates of alternative 'green' development argue that development can only be just, equitable and ecologically beneficent when it is a process driven from below by the subjects of development. 87 People need to reclaim control over their polities, their economies, their lands and their lives. Only when models are found for recovering this kind of community control over economics and the environment, as I argue in detail in chapter seven below, can we expect a better balance to be struck between human greed and human poverty, and between human need and ecological limits in both First and Third Worlds.

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