Online Readings for Philosophy 470:
"Environmental Ethics"

Compiled by Dr. Ron Epstein
Philosophy Department
San Francisco State University

Please send all corrections, possible additions, broken links, and suggestions to Dr Ron Epstein at


State of the Environment

“Realities for the 90's”
Annan, Kofi. "Kofi Annan's Astonishing Facts."
“World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.”


"Ethical Worksheet" by Thomas H. Bivins
"Introduction to Types of Ethical Systems" by Janet Lasley and Ilayna Pickett

Environmental Ethics Information

"A Very Brief History of the Origins of Environmental Ethics for the Novice"
"A General Statement of the Tragedy of the Commons" by Herschel Elliott
"Why Prometheus Suffers: Technology and the Ecological Crisis"
   by Albert A. Anderson
"I Enjoy Being a Virus" by Jon Carroll
Stevens, William K. “How Much is Nature Worth?”
White, Lynn, Jr. “Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis.”
"Linking Nature, Ethics And Culture Through Effective Environmental Discourse" by Dr. Padmasiri de Silva

"Environmental Ethics: An Introduction" by Ernest Partridge
"Topics in Environmental Ethics" edited by Ernest Partridge
"On the Duality of Culture and Nature" by David R. Loy
"Lessons from the Luddites" by Kirkpatrick Sale

"Intrinsic Value in Nature: a Metaethical Analysis" by J. Baird Callicott

Topics in Applied Environmental Ethics:

Environmental Effects of War

Yahoo Directory: Environmental Impacts of War
Afghanistan War and Environment Archive
"Collateral damage: the health and environmental costs of war on Iraq"

Population: Environmental Impacts of War and the Military
Environmental Impacts of War
Environment and health: 5. Impact of war

The Environmental Impacts of War
"War and the Environment" by Claire Inder

Genetic Engineering and Nanotechnology

Epstein, Ron. “Redesigning the World: Ethical Questions about Genetic Engineering.”
"Genetic Engineering: A Buddhist Assessment" by Ron Epstein
Preston, Richard. “Annals of Warfare: the Bioweaponeers.”
Joy, Bill. “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us.”



Resource Allocation

"Do We Consume Too Much?" by Mark Sagoff
"The Barefoot Bank With Cheek" by David Bornstein

"Why KFC is an Ecological Issue" by Vandana Shiva

"Globalization and Poverty" by Vandana Shiva

Animals and Vegetarianism

"A Buddhist Perspective on Animal Rights" by Ron Epstein
"How to Win an Argument with a Meat-Eater"
"Mad over Beef" by Marc Lappé, Ph.D and Britt Bailey

Air and Water Pollution

Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn (synopsis)
"Generations at Risk"
"Fear in the Fields: How Hazardous Wastes Become Fertilizer" Pt. One
"Fear in the Fields: How Hazardous Wastes Become Fertilizer" Pt. Two
"The Feeding Frenzy of a Morphing `Cell From Hell'"
"Human Breast Milk is Contaminated"
"The Truth About Breast Cancer"
"Chemicals and Male Reproduction"
"Pollution and the Environment: Some Radically New Ancient Views." by Dr Ron Epstein
"In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development"
Bogo, Jennifer. “Widespread Chemical Exposure Threatens Our Most Vulnerable Population.”


Greenpeace: Nuclear Campaign Website
Committee for Nuclear Responsibility

Ozone Crisis and Global Warming

"Letter From The End or the World: Ultraviolet Crisis Worsens"
"Arctic Ozone Hole Appears"

Population and the Environment

"Beyond Malthus: Sixteen Dimension of the Population Problem"


Indigenous Peoples

"What Chief Seattle Really Said"

Spirituality and the Environment

Saving Forests So There Can Be Forest Monks

"The Inner Ecology: Buddhist Ethics and Practice" by Ron Epstein
 "Pollution and the Environment: Some Radically New Ancient Views" by Ron Epstein

"A Buddhist Perspective on Animal Rights" by Ron Epstein
"Genetic Engineering: A Buddhist Assessment" by Ron Epstein
Thich Nhat Hanh. “Interbeing.” 
"Principles and Poetry, Places and Stories: The Resources of Buddhist Ecology" by Donald K. Swearer
"An Ethical Approach to Environmental Protection"
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
"Buddhism in the Global Economy" by Helena Norberg-Hodge
"Rethinking Buddhism and Development: The Emergence of Environmentalist Monks in Thailand" by Susan M. Darlington

"NONVIOLENT ECOLOGY: THE POSSIBILITIES OF BUDDHISM" by Leslie E. Sponsel and Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel
"Water, Wood, and Wisdom: Ecological Perspectives from the Hindu Traditions" by
Vasudha Narayanan
"The Living Cosmos of Jainism: A Traditional Science Grounded in Environmental Ethics" by Christopher Key Chapple
"Nature in the Sources of Judaism" by
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson
"Islam and Ecology: Toward Retrieval and Reconstruction" by S. Nomanul Haq

"The Ecological Turn in New Confucian Humanism: Implications for China and the World" by Tu Weiming
"Envisioning the Daoist Body in the Economy of Cosmic Power" by James Miller
"Indigenous Americans: Spirituality and Ecos" by Jack D. Forbes
Walden by Henry Thoreau

Teaching Children about Environmental Ethics

Contemporary Environmental Heroes


Established November, 2002.
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