Aldo Leopold
, a forester, ecologist, and scientist who helped found the movement for conserving wilderness; he is the author of "The Land Ethic" - read it
see Environmental Ethics lecture
is valuable for what it can provide to humans
Applied Science
(engineering is applied science); applying knowledge to practical problems, R&D
Aristotle and Virtue ethics
Benefits of nanomaterials
(human health, oil spill cleanup, improve quality of life)
Bikini Atoll
(nuclear bomb tests on the island; between 1946 and 1958, 23 nuclear devices were detonated by the US on the island)
Bioconservative, bioconservatism
(social and moral stance which urges regulation of biotechnologies regarded by bioconservative as dangerous and immoral)
Biotic Community
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise" (Aldo Leopold)
Bureau of Reclamation
(federal agency which oversees water resource management)
Carrying capacity
, see Hardin and Environmental Ethics lecture. Resources are finite and so is the earth's carrying capacity.
Categorical imperative
(Kant, absolute rules, derived from reason and logic)
CERCLA (Superfund)
Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (1980) see Environmental Law lecture, Goals : identify responsible parties and compel cleanup; to clean up sites if the parties are unknown or unable; and to assign financial liability
Colorado River Compact
(see Upper Basin and Lower Basin States)
Colorado River Cooperative Agreement
(see slides, many stakeholders such as Denver Water, Colorado River District, Grand County, Summit County, Eagle County, etc, etc, etc). Benefit water supply for Colorado, benefit environment, long-term partnership, long-term solutions, avoid litigation and court battles). More water for growing populations on Front Range, Conservation and reuse, protecting river flow and water quality.
see also Pinchot who says that conservation stands for development, provision for the future, but also the fullest necessary use of the resources; conservation means sustainable use as well as management of the natural resources
Continuous partial attention
/Staccato processing (staccato processing, information snacking)
Corporate Social Responsibility
doing good is good for business. Companies focus on the wellbeing of their employees, communities, and Lower environments.
Cost-Benefit Analysis
in the Rocky Flats lecture, but an idea we heard it in other lectures. Lower risk = higher cost. cost = higher risk
David Brower
(executive director of the Sierra Club in 1952, founded Friends of the Earth, opposed dams)
(absolute rules derived from reason; morality follows those rules independent of the consequences)
Diffusion of Responsibility
(see Slater's reading) Darley and Latane demonstrate that "the more people are witnessing an event, the less responsible any one individual feels and, indeed is, because responsibility is evenly distributed among the crowd" (66)
Distribution of burdens and benefits
Dual Use
in the Nuclear Engineering and professional Ethics lecture (intended vs. unintended; beneficial vs. harmful; legal vs. criminal)
Edward Abbey
, author of Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness - See slides for quotations on how Abbey describes the wilderness.
Edward Teller
developed A-bomb and H-bomb and argues that pure science must be pursues regardless of application because increased knowledge and advancement are intrinsically valuable. He also believes that developed technologies should not be used for war.
Environmental Law
(statues and regulations that restrict human behavior to reduce impacts on the natural environment)
(Environmental Protection Agency) Mission : to protect human health and the environment. Goals : transparency participation, uniformity, accountability
Filter Bubble
, Ali Pariser's The Filter Bubble. Personalization affects individuals and society. Filters limit experience and knowledge However we need filters because there is too much information
Floyd Dominy
(Commissioner of the US Bureau of Reclamation, favored building of dams)
Garrett Hardin
, author of "The Tragedy of Commons" (read it) in which he describes the commons and the limited resources and argues there is no technical solution for overpopulation. Some of the resources are finite and so is earth's carrying capacity. Communal property is abused to maximize personal happiness.
Gifford Pinchot
(First Chief of the US Forrest Service)
see Michael Sandel's "The Case Against Perfection" "To acknowledge the giftedness of life is to recognize that our talents and powers are not wholly our own doing, despite the effort we expend to develop and exercise them ... Appreciating the gifted quality of life constrains the Promethean project and conduces to a certain humility" (84).
Glen Canyon Dam
(concrete arch dam on the Colorado River in northern Arizona; its reservoir is called Lake Powell)
Hetch-Hetchy Dam
(glacial valley in the northwest corner of the Yosemite National Park in California; it is currently completely flooded)
Human genetic engineering
(alteration of an individual's genotype)
Immanuel Kant
and deontology
Instrumental value/Intrinsic value
in the Wilderness lecture and Environmental Ethics lecture. We could use nature for its resources/nature and the wilderness are valuable for themselves
J Robert Oppenheimer
, theoretical physicist, professor of physics interested in humanities as well; he plays an important role in the Manhattan Project (WWII project that developed the first nuclear weapons). Oppenheimer also advises against arms race and works to develop international control and cooperation) "The physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge that they cannot lose."
Jamais Cascio
("Get Smarter," machines should be an extension of us)
Jennifer Kuzma
, author of "Nanotechnology: Piecing Together the Puzzle of Risk" - read it
John Muir
(founder of the Sierra Club, responsible for saving The Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park)
John Rawls
Rawls read pages 30-32 in the textbook. 20th-century American philosopher whose views of liberty and freedom revolve around his conception of justice, Theory of justice/fairness and social contract based on agreements people make for society to function.
John Stuart Mill
(utilitarian, consequentialist, greatest good for the greatest number)
Joseph Rotblat
argues that scientists must consider applications before and during research and that they should take an oath to prevent harm. Rotblat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.
Justice theory
and Rawls (see p 30-32 in the textbook): 1. Each person has the same right to liberties as long as it does not impede on someone else's and 2. Social and economic inequality is just only when it helps the least advantaged.
Land Ethic
, see Aldo Leopold ("land, then, is not merely soil" and "quit thinking about decent land use solely as an economic problem")
Lauren Slater
, author of "In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing"- read it
LUST (Leaking Underground Storage Tanks)
; follow the law because lawyers are experienced at handling leaking underground storage tanks; as an owner you have responsibilities and obligations; as a person who have been affected by a leaking underground storage tank, you may be entitled to compensation.
Means and Byproducts
in the "Value-Sensitive Design and Nanotechnology" reading by Ronald Sandler. "means by which success is achieved and the byproducts of the pursuit of success" (222). e.g. silver nanoparticles (antimicrobial but have been introduced into some washing machines)
Michael Sandel
, author of "The Case Against Perfection" -read it
Million Pipeline
(Regional Watershed Supply Project - 550 mile pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming to bring water on the Front Range)
the effort to reduce loss of life and poverty by lessening the impact of disasters. Successful mitigation requires the understanding of risks and reducing risks.
Moral landscapes
in the Mining for Morals lecture. Mines are not simply engineering marvels; they are moral landscapes, too. Some engineers may consider a mine beautiful and some people may see it as hideous.
Moral relativism
(morality only a product of culture and cultures vary)
see definition
see definition
(National Environmental Policy Act of 1969); process not standards; procedural not substantive. Intent of NEPA: "to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony" and to "assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive, esthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings."
Nicholas Carr
, author of "Is Google Making Us Stupid" argues that google is changing the way our brain functions)
"No technical solution"
problems, see Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons" Population growth is one such problem.
Code of Ethics fundamental canons see page 16 in the textbook. 1. Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. 2. Perform services only in areas of their competence. 3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. 4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. 5. Avoid deceptive acts. 6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.
Objective and Subjective Risk
, see Jennifer Kuzma's "Nanotechnology: Piecing Together the Puzzle of Risk" Objective risk is the product of scientific research, analyses, statistics, studies, and surveys, whereas subjective risk includes people's perceptions of those, as well as other non-empirical considerations" (244).
Powder River Basin
River Basin is located in southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming and known to supply about 40% of coal in the US
Precautionary principle
(take preventative action in the face of uncertainty and do no harm)
maintains the present condition of wilderness
Pure Science
(development of scientific theories)
Rachel Carson
, author of The Silent Spring (1962) "If we are going to live to intimately with these chemicals - eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones - we had better know something about their nature and their power."
Regional Watershed Supply Project
(Aaron Million proposes to create a 550 mile pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming to bring more water to the Front Range)
(environmental remediation deals with the removal of pollution from soil, groundwater, sediment or surface water
Risks of nanomaterials
(toxicity, bioaccumulation, interaction of materials with the body's systems, waste disposal, etc)
Roan Plateau
see Wilderness lecture
Rocky Flats
, nuclear weapons production facility near Denver, CO that operated between 1952 to 1992.
Rocky Flats Cleanup Agreement
(see the slides and the regulatory framework and agreements) CERCLA, RCRA - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and many others) Clean Up: surface water, ground water, and soil
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
was a US chemical weapons manufacturing center in Commerce City, Colorado.
Roger Boisjoly
, engineer involved in the Challenger Disaster, argued strongly against launching
Ronald Sandler
, author of "Value-Sensitive Design and Nanotechnology" - read it
Social Cuing
or fixed patterns of behavior, see Slater's reading
("goal," "end"; Aristotle: Happiness is everybody's telos).
Therapy v Enhancement
(genetic engineering for therapeutic purposes such as genetic diseases, birth defects, organ anomalies versus genetic engineering for enhancement purposes such as longer life, stronger muscles, and increased intelligence)
Tragedy of the Commons
see Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons" "Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit - in a world that is limited" (102).
in Bostrom's reading (extension of life span, eradication of disease and unnecessary suffering, and augmentation of human intellectual, physical, and emotional capacities; space colonization, super intelligent machines; transhumanists view people as works in progress)
(Ethics lecture, every person would make the same decision you are considering; if not, it does not pass a fundamental, moral test)
Upper and lower basin States
(water lecture, Colorado River) Upper Basin states (Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah) and Lower Basin states (California, Arizona, Nevada)
(maximize utility and happiness, reduce suffering)
Value-Sensitive Design
, see Ronald Sandler's "Value-Sensitive Design and Nanotechnology" "Value-sensitive design involves identifying value judgments in engineering design processes - e.g. choosing projects, defining success, delineating constraints, and minimizing problematic secondary effects. It also involves cultivating space within the engineering process for reflective discourse on those judgments and how they can and should inform design decisions" (224-225).
Veil of ignorance
(Ethics Lecture) Justice and fairness demand that no contracting party should make decisions based on his/her circumstances.
Virtue Ethics
Ethics (Aristotle, morality is the product of habitual action, resides in attaining virtues like courage, truthfulness, generosity)
Wilderness Act
, September 3rd 1964 (no motorized equipment, no mechanized transportation, no aircraft)
states that the moral value of an action depends on its results. If an action has good results, then individuals should pursue it; if an action has bad results, then it is wrong and it should not be considered. Acts are judged by consequences.
is the form of consequentialism. In his 1863 book, Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill postulates his famous "greatest happiness principle" which means the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
Mill, John Stuart
(1806-1873) is an eighteenth-century British philosopher who became a well-known representative of utilitarianism and consequentialism. Mill also wrote about the liberty of the individual against what he called "the tyranny of the majority" and advocated freedom of speech.
(Deontos in Greek means "duty") attempts to value an ethical action as right or wrong in itself. According to deontological theory, some actions are right because they are associated with the right rules, so it is our duty to follow on these actions. For instance, telling the truth is always right independent of the consequences.
Kant, Immanuel
(1724-1804) is a German philosopher of late Enlightenment who produced works relevant to law, religion, history, and ethics and, thus, has been regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of the Western world. In his prominent study, Critique of Pure Reason, Kant points out the structure and limitations of reason and argues that human knowledge relies on a priori judgments which are possible only when the mind determines the conditions of its own experience. Deontological theory was developed by Kant, who, unlike Mill, contends that a moral action is not defined in terms of its consequences, but in terms of the inner nature of the intention that governs it.
Virtue Ethics
evaluates actions in terms of the virtues of the person who performs them. If a person is virtuous and honorable, then his/her actions are supposedly good.