Ethics 220

 

"Not in My Backyard"

In 1991 Chemical Waste Management (Chem Waste), the country’s largest hazardous waste company, received approval to build California’s first commercial toxic-waste the incinerator at its Kettleman Hills dump site in the San Joaquin Valley.  A few weeks later Chem Waste, the state and the county were slapped with a lawsuit claiming discrimination and violation of the residents’ civil rights.  The suit alleged that the decision to place the toxic-waste incinerator in the almost entirely Hispanic community was part of a national pattern of situating hazardous-waste facilities near minority areas. 

It wasn’t until 1994, when President Clinton issued Executive order 12898 on environmental justice, that the environmental racism movement received official federal recognition.  With globalization and the increase in consumer waste as well as tighter environmental regulations in developed nations, the dumping of toxic waste has gone global with the poorest nations serving as our toxic waste disposal sites. Although there are international treaties making the exporting of waste illegal, it is still widely practiced. 

In 2006 a ship carrying tons of highly toxic and caustic sludge, instead of paying a disposal fee in Europe, emptied its load at various sites around the port city of Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) resulting in at least ten deaths and thousands of sick people.  Junked electronics are also dumped in poorer nations. Nigeria, for example, has received hundreds of containers of used electronic equipment under the guise of donations.  Most of the equipment is nonfunctional and buried in open fields releasing toxic chemicals into the groundwater and carcinogenic fumes into the air.  Thus, those who did not create the waste in the first place are made to pay the price of the economic progress of the affluent.

(from Judith Boss, Analyzing Moral Issues, Case 5 pp 365-366)

After reading the above case, read the following statements and determine:

  1. Whether the statement is a Statement of Fact
  2. Whether it is a statement that Clarifies a Concept 
  3. Whether it is a statement that expresses a Moral Standard 
  4. Whether the statement expresses a Conclusion.

(Please match each statement below with the correct answer)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

– A. B. C. D. 

It wasn’t until 1994, when President Clinton issued Executive order 12898 on environmental justice, that the environmental racism movement received official federal recognition. 

– A. B. C. D. 

Those who did not create the waste in the first place are made to pay the price of the economic progress of the affluent.

– A. B. C. D. 

Each nation should be responsible for containing, storing or disposing of its own hazardous waste. 

– A. B. C. D. 

One ought not cause harm to others.

– A. B. C. D. 

In 2006 a ship carrying tons of highly toxic and caustic sludge, instead of paying a disposal fee in Europe, emptied its load at various sites around the port city of Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) resulting in at least ten deaths and thousands of sick people. 

– A. B. C. D. 

Most of the equipment is nonfunctional and buried in open fields releasing toxic chemicals into the groundwater and carcinogenic fumes into the air.

A.

Clarifies a Concept

B.

Conclusion

C.

Moral Standard

D.

Statement of Fact

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