Environmental Protection, Animal Rights, and Labor Unions

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Environmental Protection, Animal Rights, & Labor Unions

Reading

Brusseau, J. (2012). Business Ethics. New York, NY: 2012 Book Archive Project.

  • Chapter 14: The Green Office: Economics and the Environment
  • Chapter 15: The Domination Office: The Star System and Labor Unions

ASSIGNMENTS:

For this PART 1:

Please read the case study entitled First You Get the Money… that you find in the reading assignment.

Based on what you have learned in this unit, answer the following questions:

  1. Though the initial reviews were mixed, time has proven the film’s popular appeal. More than twenty years after its release, Scarface continues to be a rental favorite, a standard campus feature, and a late-night TV standard. How can the notion of the general welfare be used to justify giving big bucks to the stars making the film: actor Al Pacino, director Brian De Palma, and writer Oliver Stone?
  2. Can you form an argument against the concentration of money in the hands of a very few people that would work equally well against Al Pacino’s (presumed) wealth and Tony Montana’s?
  3. Given the way Montana got wealthy, can the duty to beneficence argument against the star system still be applied to him? Why or why not?
  4. Possibly the movie’s most repeated line is Al Pacino as Tony Montana explaining that to be successful in America, “First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women.” Does the story the movie tells about Montana’s life—coming to America with nothing as an immigrant and getting ahead by killing and drug dealing—make you more or less envious of his success (at least the money and power parts), or does it not make any difference?

Please write an essay of complete and well composed paragraphs (250 word minimum for the entire essay) Be sure to use in text citation and provide references for your sources. Wikipedia is not a source.

For this PART 2:

Please read the case study entitled Yahoo! Answers: Why Should We Save the Planet? that you find in the reading assignment.

Afterwards read the first, second, third, fourth and sixth sections of the article entitled “Nature as a legal person” by Dinah Shelton:

https://vertigo.revues.org/16188.

Please discuss this reading material in light of this case study and the reading assignments for this unit.

Reference

Shelton, D. (2015). Nature as a legal person. VertigO - la revue électronique en sciences de l'environnement, 22, http://vertigo.revues.org/16188.

Please write an essay of complete and well composed paragraphs (300 word minimum for the entire essay) Be sure to use in text citation and provide references for your sources. Wikipedia is not a source.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment Yahoo! Answers: Why Should We Save the Planet? Source: Photo courtesy of Kim Woodbridge, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ kwbridge/2541993688. Some people argue that there’s no ethical requirement to protect the environment because the natural world has no intrinsic value. Against that ethical posture, here are four broad justifications for environmental protection. Each begins with a distinct and fundamental evaluation: 1. The environment should be protected in the name of serving human welfare, which is intrinsically valuable. 2. The environment should be protected in the name of serving future generations because they’re valuable and merit intergenerational fairness. 3. The environment should be protected to serve animal welfare because there’s an independent value in the existence and lives of animals. 4. The entire environmental web should be protected for its own sake because the planet’s collection of ecosystems is intrinsically valuable. On a Yahoo! forum page, a student named redbeard_90 posts the question “why should we save the planet?” and partially explains this way: “With all the constant talk of ‘saving the planet’ and stopping global warming, should we actually try to stop it? Perhaps in a way, this is humans transforming the planet to better suit us?”“Why Should We Save the Planet?,” Yahoo! Answers, accessed June 8, 2011, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/ index?qid=20080610193018AA7IQt2. 14.5 Case Studies 742 Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment QUESTIONS 1. It sounds like redbeard_90 might think that humans doing damage to the environment is OK because it’s just a symptom of “humans transforming the planet to better suit us.” ◦ Where is redbeard_90 placing value? ◦ What might redbeard_90’s attitude be toward the free use conception of the human relation with the environment? ◦ What is the domination and progress argument against worrying about saving the planet? How could that argument fit together with what redbeard_90 wrote? 2. The response by a woman named Super Nova includes this reasoning: “We should try to save the planet because there would be less people with health problems. Did you know that there are more people with respiratory problems because of all the air pollution contributing to it? Also, we should think about future generations on Earth and how it would affect our future. Also, global warming is affecting our essential natural resources like food and lakes are drying up and it is causing more droughts in the world.” The overall tone of her answer is strong with conviction. ◦ It sounds like Super Nova wants to save the planet. What values sit underneath her desire? Why does she think environmental protection is important? ◦ Does it sound like she believes nature in itself has value? Why or why not? 3. The poster named Luke writes an animated response, including these sentences: The first thing we need to do is help make some changes in our national mind set from one that lets us believe that our earth can recover from anything, to one that lets us believe that our earth could use a little help. 14.5 Case Studies 743 Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment Developing cleaner ways to produce electricity is not going to hurt a thing; if it does nothing but make the air we breathe cleaner it works for me. Developing alternative fuels to power our transportation needs, again won’t hurt a thing, reduce the demand for oil you reduce the price we pay for it, I think everyone can say “that works for me” to this. I’m a global warming advocate but, not because of some unfounded fear of Doomsday but (as you may have guessed by now) because it won’t hurt a thing to help our earth recover from years of industrial plunder. ◦ Some people are worried about human welfare, some people care a lot about the welfare of the planet, some people mix a little of both. Where would you say Luke comes down? Justify by specific reference to his words. ◦ Some people who are concerned about the earth’s welfare are most interested in helping nonhuman animals; others are more interested in the natural world in its totality. Where would you say Luke comes down here? Why? ◦ Environmental conservation efforts can be conservative in the sense that they try to undo damage to the earth by limiting industrialization. The idea of environmental protection leaves open the possibility of using industrial advances—the same forces that have been contaminating the earth—to help resolve the problem. Does Luke sound more like a conservationist or a protector? Explain. 4. The poster named scottsdalehigh64 is the most intense. He’s also fairly experienced: assuming his username is true and he graduated high school in 1964, he’s about retirement age now. He writes, “There is an alternate question: Why do we think we have a right to be so destructive to other life forms on the planet? Perhaps the best answer is that we want to leave a good place to live for the species that are left when we go extinct.” Unlike most of the other posters, he doesn’t include any personal note or “best wishes” type line in his response. He’s focused and intense. 14.5 Case Studies 744 Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment ◦ How much value does scottsdalehigh64 place in human existence? ◦ Where does he place value? What does scottsdalehigh64 think is worth aiding and protecting? ◦ Just from his words, how do you imagine scottsdalehigh64 would define “a good place to live?” 5. Scottsdalehigh64 doesn’t seem to like those who are “destructive to other life forms on the planet.” ◦ Could an argument be built that, in preparing for our own eventual extinction, we should make sure that we eliminate all life-forms that are destructive to other life forms? What would that elimination mean? What would need to be done? How could it be justified? ◦ In a newspaper column, the philosopher Jeff McMahan appears to tentatively endorse scottsdalehigh64’s vision. He proposes that we “arrange the gradual extinction of carnivorous species, replacing them with new herbivorous ones.”Jeff McMahan, “The Meat Eaters,” New York Times, September 19, 2010, accessed June 8, 2011, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/themeat-eaters. If, in fact, we decided to wipe out meat-eating animals and leave the world to plants and plant eaters, would we be valuing most highly ourselves? Nonhuman animals? The entire natural world? Something else? Explain your response. 6. An excited poster, KiRa01, announces, “Just live like theres no tomorrow!!!!” With respect to the environment, justify his attitude in ethical terms. 14.5 Case Studies 745 Chapter 15 The Domination Office: The Star System and Labor Unions First You Get the Money… Source: Photo courtesy of xelusionx, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ xelusionx/452851416. The film Scarface cost $25 million to make and has earned back about $200 million so far. The story follows Tony Montana as he enters the cocaine dealing business. His mentor tells him that to survive over the long term you’ve got to fly under the radar and stay small. Comfortably wealthy, yes, but wildly rich, no. Montana isn’t so sure. Later he decides the advice is directly bad, kills the mentor who gave it to him, and expands his business as far and as fast as he can. As moviegoers learn at the film’s end, the mentor was probably right. 15.6 Case Studies 806 Chapter 15 The Domination Office: The Star System and Labor Unions QUESTIONS 1. Though the initial reviews were mixed, time has proven the film’s popular appeal. More than twenty years after its release, Scarface continues to be a rental favorite, a standard campus feature, and a late-night TV standard. ◦ How can the notion of the general welfare be used to justify giving big bucks to the stars making the film: actor Al Pacino, director Brian De Palma, and writer Oliver Stone? ◦ Can you form an argument against the concentration of money in the hands of a very few people that would work equally well against Al Pacino’s (presumed) wealth and Tony Montana’s? 2. Given the way Montana got wealthy, can the duty to beneficence argument against the star system still be applied to him? Why or why not? 3. Possibly the movie’s most repeated line is Al Pacino as Tony Montana explaining that to be successful in America, “First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women.” ◦ What is Aristotle’s theory of envy? ◦ Does the story the movie tells about Montana’s life—coming to America with nothing as an immigrant and getting ahead by killing and drug dealing—make you more or less envious of his success (at least the money and power parts), or does it not make any difference? ◦ How does envy factor into ethical considerations of the star system? 4. Amado Carrillo Fuentes—better known as Lord of the Skies—was a serious innovator before he died in a Mexico City Hospital during a plastic surgery procedure to transform his appearance. While everyone else in his profession was flying small Cessna-like aircraft around Latin America and over the border into the States, he broke every limit by buying full-size Boeing passenger planes, hollowing them out, filling them with cocaine, and flying multimillion-dollar shipments. Though he never made the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful and wealthy (unlike other 15.6 Case Studies 807 Chapter 15 The Domination Office: The Star System and Labor Unions traffickers from the same Mexican state of Sinaloa, including Joaquín Guzmán), there’s no doubt that Carrillo Fuentes got extraordinarily wealthy by bringing innovation to the cocaine business. Bill Gates got extraordinarily wealthy by bringing innovation to the software business. One argument frequently presented in favor of outsized rewards in the business world is that it can stimulate innovative ideas. Does the fact that creativity in the business world can do social good and social harm weaken this argument in favor of the star system? Explain. 15.6 Case Studies 808 Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment Chapter Overview Chapter 14 "The Green Office: Economics and the Environment" explores the multiple relations linking business, the environment, and environmental protection. The question of animal rights is also considered. 705 Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment 14.1 The Environment LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Consider damage done to the environment in a business context. 2. Delineate major legal responses to concerns about the environment. Cancun Cancun, Mexico, is paradise: warm climate, Caribbean water, white sand beaches, stunning landscapes, coral reefs, and a unique lagoon. You can sunbathe, snorkel, parasail, shoot around on jet skis, and drink Corona without getting carded. Hordes of vacationers fill the narrow, hotel-lined peninsula—so many that the cars on the one main street snarl in traffic jams running the length of the tourist kilometers. It’s a jarring contrast: on one side the placid beaches (until the jet skis get geared up), and on the other there’s the single road about a hundred yards inland. Horns scream, oil-burning cars and trucks belch pollution, tourists fume. Cancun’s problem is that it can’t handle its own success. There’s not enough room for roads behind the hotels just like there’s not enough beach in front to keep the noisy jet skiers segregated from those who want to take in the sun and sea quietly. The environment hasn’t been able to bear the success either. According to a report, The tourist industry extensively damaged the lagoon, obliterated sand dunes, led to the extinction of varying species of animals and fish, and destroyed the rainforest which surrounds Cancun. The construction of 120 hotels in 20 years has also endangered breeding areas for marine turtles, as well as causing large numbers of fish and shellfish to be depleted or disappear just offshore.“Cancun Tourism,” TED, Trade & Environment Database, case no. 86, accessed June 8, 2011, http://www1.american.edu/TED/cancun.htm. For all its natural beauty, environmentally, Cancun is an ugly place. Those parts of the natural world that most tourists don’t see (the lagoon, the nearby forest, the fish life near shore) have been sacrificed so a few executives in suits can make money. 706 Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment From its inception, Cancun was a business. The Mexican government built an airport to fly people in, set up rules to draw investors, and made it (relatively) easy to build hotels on land that only a few coconut harvesters from the local plantation even knew about. From a business sense, it was a beautiful proposition: bring people to a place where they can be happy, provide new and more lucrative jobs for the locals, and build a mountain of profit (mainly for government insiders and friends) along the way. Everything went according to plan. Those who visit Cancun have a wonderful time (once they finally get down the road to their hotel). College students live it up during spring break, young couples take their children to play on the beach, older couples go down and remember that they do, in fact, love each other. So fish die, and people get jobs. Forests disappear, and people’s love is kindled. The important questions about business ethics and the environment are mostly located right at this balance and on these questions: how many trees may be sacrificed for human jobs? How many animal species can be traded for people to fall in love? What Is the Environment? Harm to the natural world is generally discussed under two terms: the environment and the ecosystem. The words’ meanings overlap, but one critical aspect of the term ecosystem1 is the idea of interrelation. An ecosystem is composed of living and nonliving elements that find a balance allowing for their continuation. The destruction of the rain forest around Cancun didn’t just put an end to some trees; it also jeopardized a broader web of life: birds that needed limbs for their nests disappeared when the trees did. Then, with the sturdy forest gone, Hurricane Gilbert swept through and wiped out much of the lower-level vegetation. Meanwhile, out in the sea, the disappearance of some small fish meant their predators had nothing to feed on and they too evaporated. What makes an ecosystem a system is the fact that the various parts all depend on each other, and damaging one element may also damage and destroy another or many others. 1. Composed of living and nonliving elements, it’s a web of balanced interactions allowing the continuation of each element. 14.1 The Environment In the sense that it’s a combination of interdependent elements, the tourist world in Cancun is no different from the surrounding natural world. As the traffic jams along the peninsula have grown, making it difficult for people to leave and get back to their hotels, the tourists have started migrating away, looking elsewhere for their vacation reservations. Of course Cancun isn’t going to disappear, but if you took that one road completely away, most everything else would go with it. So economic realities can resemble environmental ones: once a single part of a functioning system disappears, it’s hard to stop the effects from falling further down the line. 707 Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment What Kinds of Damage Can Be Done to the Environment? Nature is one of nature’s great adversaries. Hurricanes sweeping up through the Caribbean and along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States wipe out entire ecosystems. Moving inland, warm winters in northern states like Minnesota can allow some species including deer to reproduce at very high rates, meaning that the next winter, when conditions return to normal, all available food is eaten rapidly at winter’s onset, and subsequent losses to starvation are massive and extend up the food chain to wolves and bears. Lengthening the timeline, age-long periods of warming and cooling cause desertification and ice ages that put ends to giant swaths of habitats and multitudes of species. While it’s true that damaging the natural world’s ecosystems is one of nature’s great specialties, evidence also indicates that the human contribution to environmental change has been growing quickly. It’s impossible to measure everything that has been done, or compare the world today with what would have been had humans never evolved (or never created an industrialized economy), but one way to get a sense of the kind of transformations human activity may be imposing on the environment comes from extinction rates: the speed at which species are disappearing because they no longer find a habitable place to flourish. According to some studies, the current rate of extinction is around a thousand times higher than the one derived from examinations of the fossil record, which is to say, before the time parts of the natural world were being severely trashed by developments like those lining the coast of Cancun, Mexico.Kent Holsinger, “Patterns of Biological Extinction,” lecture notes, University of Connecticut, August 31, 2009, accessed June 8, 2011, http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/eeb310/lecturenotes/extinctions/node1.html. In an economics and business context, the kinds of damage our industrialized lifestyles most extensively wreak include: • • • • • 2. Better known as smog, it’s a cocktail of gases and particles released into the air that react with sunlight to make a harmful cloud. 14.1 The Environment Air pollution Water pollution Soil pollution Contamination associated with highly toxic materials Resource depletion Air pollution is the emission of harmful chemicals and particulate matter into the air. Photochemical smog2—better known simply as smog—is a cocktail of gases and particles reacting with sunlight to make visible and poisonous clouds. Car exhaust is a major contributor to this kind of pollution, so smog can concentrate in urban centers where traffic jams are constant. In Mexico City on bad days, the smog is so 708 Chapter 14 The Green Office: Economics and the Environment thick it can be hard to see more than ten blocks down a straight street. Because the urban core is nestled in a mountain valley that blocks out the wind, pollutants don’t blow away as they do in many places; they get entirely trapped. During the winter, a brown top forms above the skyline, blocking the view of the surrounding mountain peaks; the cloud is clearly visible from above to those arriving by plane. After landing, immediately upon exiting the airport into the streets, many visitors note their eyes tearing up and their throats drying out. In terms of direct bodily harm, Louisiana State University environmental chemist Barry Dellinger estimates that breathing the air in Mexico’s capital for a day is about the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes.“Is Air Pollution Killing You?” Ivanhoe Newswire, May 2009, accessed June 8, 2011, http://www.ivanhoe.com/science/story/2009/05/572a.html. This explains why, on the worst days, birds drop out of the air dead, and one longerterm human effect is increased risk of lung cancer. Greenhouse gasses3, especially carbon dioxide released when oil and coal are burned, absorb and hold heat from the sun, preventing it from dissipating into space, and thereby creating a greenhouse effect, a general warming of the environment. Heat is, of course, necessary for life to exist on earth, but fears exist that the last century of industrialization has raised the levels measurably, and continuing industrial expansion will speed the process even more. Effect ...
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ProfessorEmily
School: UC Berkeley

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Running head: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, ANIMAL RIGHTS, AND LABOR
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Environmental Protection, Animal Rights, and Labor Unions
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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, ANIMAL RIGHTS, AND LABOR UNIONS
2
Part 1:
According to Brusseau, the perception of the general welfare is served best in utilitarian
terms (Brusseau, 2012). Utilitarian laws require that humans should pursue the greatest good for
the greatest number. For a long time, Scarface has proved to be a favorite among the film
viewers, and therefore, its writer, director, and leading actor deserve big bucks. For a long time,
their efforts have provided most joy to most people, and thus, the general welfare has been
enhanced to the greatest number of people (Brusseau, 2012). The overall value generated by the
public outweighs the mixed reviews provided by a section of the viewers.
Brusseau suggests t...

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