Environmental concern

  • R. J. Berry


Decisions become harder as options become restricted. As more and more of us are born and begin to draw on the resources of our finite world, we are faced with increasingly difficult problems. Until comparatively recent times the world could be, and was, treated as effectively inexhaustible. Environmental problems were local ones caused by crowding or overexploitation, and solvable by migration or fairly obvious regulation. This is not to deny that some of our forebears failed to avoid environmental disasters. The early human colonists of New Zealand ate out their most convenient food, the flightless Moas; the ancient Babylonian civilization declined through salinity levels produced by an over-extended irrigation network; the Easter Islanders could not escape from their own mistreatment of their land. But these were local problems produced by local people. We are now entering into a situation where our actions affect those far away in time and space. Pesticides may affect non-target organisms many years after their original application; radiation and toxic chemicals may spread far from their source; apparently non-toxic compounds like PCBs and CFCs cause unexpected damage to unrelated systems. No longer can we rely sensibly on symptomatic response to environmental dilemmas. This chapter is about the need to be responsible stewards as well as competent technicians or managers in our environmental attitudes.


Environmental Ethic Royal Commission Norwegian Research Council Environmental Guideline Responsible Steward 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© R.J. Berry 1993

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  • R. J. Berry

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