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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.

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)


Teaching Module on the Environmental Encyclical

Pope Francis

Pope Francis' groundbreaking encyclical "Laudato Si'" explores our duty to protect the Earth and all her children.  The Center's teaching module on the encyclical focuses on the ethical issues raised by the document, offering readings for students and discussion suggestions for instructors.
(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Environmental Activists, Heroes and Martyrs

  • Abby Barrows

    Fighting Plastic Pollution with Citizen Science

    One person can make a difference in eliminating microplastic pollution with citizen science.