The amount of consumer goods you get through contributes about a fifth of your impact on the planet if you are the average South African. An easy indicator of your level of material consumption is the amount of waste that ends up in your rubbish bin each week. So, compared to people in your neighbourhood, how much waste do you generate? Changing fashions, constantly updating technology trends and the thrill and perceived status of having “new stuff” compels people to throw away perfectly serviceable goods and replace them with new items. All of this adds to the volume of resources taken from Earth and the volume of waste that must be disposed of each year.All the things a person might do at any given moment, the morally right action is the one with the best overall consequences. Consequentialism says that right or wrong depend on the consequences of an act and that the more good consequences are produced, the better the act.
The view that the value of an action derives entirely from the value of its consequences. This contrasts both with the view that the value of an action may derive from the kind of character whose action it is (courageous, just, temperate, etc.) and with the view that its value may be intrinsic, belonging to it simply as an act of truth-telling, promise-keeping, etc. The former is the option explored in virtue ethics, and the latter in deontological ethics. Consequentialism needs to identify some kinds of consequence whose value is not derivative from actions, but resides, e.g. in states of pleasure or happiness, thought of as ends towards which actions are means.
Opposition to this way of looking at ethics may begin with wondering whether self-standing states of this kind exist, given that generally we take satisfaction and pleasure in acting, and it is not possible to separate the pleasure as an end from the action as a mere means. Critics also point out the way in which much ethical life is ‘backward looking'(seeing whether an action is a case of breaking a promise, abusing a role, betraying a trust, etc.) rather that exclusively ‘forward looking’ as consequentialism.Distributive justiceThere is no commonly demand that countries that have large reserves for example oil, mineral resources, ought to share these resources with other countries that did not have such luck. These countries are forced to buy the needed resources from the luckier ones or by finding other ways of getting around their luck, example, seeking another kind of resources. One could say that the procedure for redistribution is criterion in itself or that willingness to pay combined with ability to pay, determine the result. The ones, who happen to be most powerful at certain time of natural and historical reasons, will also be the ones who set the agenda.
What kinds of relationships between environment, human beings, culture, andValues tend to produce sustainable societies, societies that can continue indefinitely? Some of the ethnographic literature of the Pacific Islands, without advocating a return to the past, suggests that lessons can be learned from such societies and incorporated into the philosophy of a sustainable post-industrial society of the future. One such lesson is that these societies were never static. They altered their natural environments so that little of their land remained true wilderness, and they claimed a distinctive humanity for members of the human species. Nevertheless, they were very selective about what technologies and ideas of their visitors they incorporated into their cultures. They consistently followed the principle that our biology ought always to shape our destiny, rather than that economics or profit ought to shape it. As a consequence, it appears that many Pacific Islanders were able to live according to an environmental philosophy that is more sustainable than that of contemporary industrialized society.