Introduction

In this anthology, The Breakfast Club discusses ethical concerns regarding the human interaction with the world, also referred to as the Anthropocene.  The topics range from the intrinsic and instrumental value of nature, human lifestyles, and the ethics of human actions.

Intrinsic Value, by Rachel Lopo, is focused primarily on the moral aspect of the anthropocene. She addresses the issue of whether or not nature possesses intrinsic value. The main purpose is to provide the reader with ethically significant implications concerning the way in which human beings place value on nature.

In Conservation in The Athropocene, Erin Becker explains the value that conservation holds concerning the Anthropocene. The reader will gain a better understanding of why conservation is such an important factor as well as the role instrumental value plays in aiding conservation efforts. For a contrasting view regarding intrinsic value, see the chapter by Lopo. And for a supporting view of the positive effects of conservation see the chapter by Allison.

In Human Action, Kara Allison focuses on the idea of “blaming” humans, the alleged most valuable species on the earth, for all of the detrimental damages we have inflicted and claiming that we need to change “us” even survival necessities, to save nature. The reader will gain a better understanding about negative and positive human actions in the anthropecene and the comparison of the old ways to the modern ways.

In Cities, Amy Sikora discusses the human interaction and need for green spaces such as parks, gardens and river walks in urban areas.  It explores the ecological and geological aspects of the anthropocene and how ecosystems are changing in an urban environment.  The reader of the anthology will learn more about the human interaction with landscape and ecological systems.  They will study how urban spaces created by humans affect the natural systems and ecosystems within them and the reader will learn why there is a growing need for urban planning in a world that is getting warmer. This paper specifically pinpoints where nature’s intrinsic and instrumental values change how humans interact and it also holds brief link to poverty.  An important connection is made in Rachel Lopo’s article “Natures Intrinsic Value” as the green spaces in cities are created due to their intrinsic value and Erin Becker’s article “The Instrumental Value of Nature” as the need for conservation of nature for instrumental purposes is necessary.  Kara Allison’s article “The Blame Game” also holds a valuable link as humans are the dominant power in landscape change involving urban spaces.

Carbon Credits, by Jospeh Blake Burks, goes into detail about the practice and morality of carbon credits and offsetting.  The reader will gain an understanding of the basic practice of carbon offsetting by large companies and individuals.  This chapter will add to their knowledge and help them make an informed decision.  See Chapter 3, “The Blame Game,” for more information on human interaction in the Anthropocene and other controversial actions.

In Human Food, Nicholas Carper refers to the unethical relationship between humans and the food that they consume.  He discusses the treatment, verbal and non-verbal, of farm animals and their impact on communities as a whole.  This article greatly relates to the chapters of the intrinsic value of nature and its creatures (in Lopo’s article), Allison’s article regarding the actions of humans and their impact on the environment, and how individuals can be affected by these actions as Shaffer suggests.

After reading this Anthology on the Anthropocene, the reader will gain a more complete understanding of the Anthropocene topics discussed.  This anthology covers specific scientific aspects as well as intrinsic ideas.  With this knowledge, the reader will be able to understand and communicate more thoroughly on the topic of the Anthropocene.

 

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