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Environmental Ethics

Fashioning a more sustainable world is one of Santa Clara University's strategic goals, which the Ethics Center supports through our longstanding interest in environmental ethics.

We support Environmental Ethics Fellowships for undergraduate students, who focus on programming for the campus. Online, we offer a Short Course in Environmental Ethics, a Teaching Module on the Papal Environmental Encyclical, and other articles and resources.

Overview of Environmental Ethics

A discussion of the relationship humans have to the natural world, the intrinsic value of animals and plants, and the positive and negative implications our actions have on the planet.

Environmental Activists, Heroes and Martyrs

    What Is Environmental Ethics?

    What Is 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. More (AP Photo/Annie Huang)