Onora O’Neill suggests, “Most of us agree that we should value the environment, or at least some bits of the
environment; fewer of us agree why we should do so. Leaving aside answers that appeal to sheer prudence or mere preference and looking at some of the array of answers offering under the heading of ‘environmental ethics’ leaves a great deal obscure” (Chapter 4: “Environmental Value, Anthropocentrism, and Speciesism”).
How can we define environmental ethics in the contemporary moment? What are the factors involved in creating an ethical scaffold for understanding the natural world and its resources? What is the role of duty and obligation?