Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Environmental Ethics

Fashioning a more sustainable world is one of Santa Clara University's strategic goals, and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics supports this goal through a longstanding interest in environmental ethics.


Overview of Environmental Ethics

Environmental ethics applies moral thinking to the natural world and the relationship between humans and the earth. Moral reasoning is not a substitute for science, but it provides a powerful complement to scientific knowledge about the earth. Science does not teach us to care. Scientific knowledge does not, by itself, provide reasons for environmental protection. Science and economics provide data, information, knowledge. Environmental ethics turns to this information and asks: how then, should we live? Why should we care? Environmental ethics builds on scientific understanding by bringing human values, moral principles, and improved decision making into conversation with science.

Additional Resources

Learn about campus sustainability, climate change, eating ethically, and take a short course introduction to the key features of environmental ethics.

2020-21 Fellowship Projects
Navigate here to

• Responsible Recreating and Access to the Environment Through Public Lands During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Articles by Environmental Ethics Fellow Taylor Ellis ’21.

This Moment

Dynamic Change

Recreating Responsibly with Rogers


• COVID-19 and the Environmental Crisis

The environmental impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are presented through a series of eight infographics.

Created by Environmental Ethics Fellow Rebecca Poirier ’21


• Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing in the midst of the Covid-19Pandemic Crisis

Article by Environmental Ethics Fellow Mary Kleinsmith '22