• Reflection on the Ethics of Smog

    Pages: 3

    A 3 page paper that evaluates the utilitarian ethics that were used by public policymakers in order to approve a new coal-fired power plant in North Carolina. The writer relates this decision to personal problems with asthma and discusses the implications of this situation. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

    File: D0_khsmogr.rtf

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    Sample Text:
    Reflection on the Ethics of Smog - May, 2008 for more information on  using this paper properly! Utilitarianism is a system ethics which was developed in the nineteenth century by Jeremy Bentham and refined by John Stuart Mill, which proposes that the  morality of an act can be judged in relation to its consequences as measured in its effect on the overall happiness or well being for the greatest number of people  (Pojman, 1998). By this standard of morality, the new coal-burning power plant currently being constructed in North Carolina is morally justified, as it will provide for the power needs for  the Western half of the state. However, the air that will be polluted even further by the plant does not stay over the western half of the state, and that  affects me on a very personal level as I live in central North Carolina and suffer from asthma. As with so much of U.S. environmental policy, this project was approved  using a rationale that considered only the short-term utility of its consequences. However, if the full consequences of this plants approval had been taken into consideration, more environmental friendly solutions  would have been considered. The facts that the government favored in approving the plant was that the4 population of the state is growing rapidly and, subsequently, its power needs are  continuously increasing. A new source of power is definitely needed. On the other hand, while the carbon footprint of the new plant is designed to be neutral within ten years,  over those ten years it will add to the current level of air pollution in the state. This results in negative effects in terms of global warming, but also on 

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