More recently, the distinction between these two traditionalapproaches has taken its own specific form of development inenvironmental philosophy. Instead of pitting conceptions of valueagainst conceptions of rights, it has been suggested that there may betwo different conceptions of intrinsic value in play in discussionabout environmental good and evil. One the one side, there is theintrinsic value of states of affairs that are to be promoted - andthis is the focus of the consequentialist thinkers. On the other(deontological) hand there is the intrinsic values of entities to berespected (see Bradley 2006, McShane 2014). These two different focifor the notion of intrinsic value still provide room for fundamentalargument between deontologists and consequentialist to continue,albeit in a somewhat modified form.
Castles S. 2002. New Issues in Refugee Research. Working Paper No. 70. Environmental Change and Forced Migration: Making Sense of the Debate. Geneva:United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit.
Furthermore, the economic conditions which support the kind ofenjoyment of wilderness by Stretton’s “naturalaristocrats”, and more generally the lifestyles of many peoplein the affluent countries, seem implicated in the destruction andpollution which has provoked the environmental turn in the firstplace. For those in the richer countries, for instance, engaging inoutdoor recreations usually involves the motor car. Car dependency,however, is at the heart of many environmental problems, a key factorin urban pollution, while at the same time central to the economic andmilitary activities of many nations and corporations, for examplesecuring and exploiting oil reserves. In an increasingly crowdedindustrialised world, the answers to such problems are pressing. Anyadequate study of this intertwined set of problems must involveinterdisciplinary collaboration among philosophers and theorists inthe social as well as the natural sciences.
The focus on the value of wilderness and the importance of itspreservation has overlooked another important problem—namelythat lifestyles in which enthusiasms for nature rambles, woodlandmeditations or mountaineering can be indulged demand a standard ofliving that is far beyond the dreams of most of the world’spopulation. Moreover, mass access to wild places would likely destroythe very values held in high esteem by the “naturalaristocrats”, a term used by Hugh Stretton (1976) tocharacterize the environmentalists “driven chiefly by love ofthe wilderness”. Thus, a new range of moral and politicalproblems open up, including the environmental cost of tourist accessto wilderness areas, and ways in which limited access could bearranged to areas of natural beauty and diversity, while maintainingthe individual freedoms central to liberal democracies.
Renaud F, Bogardi JJ, Dun O, Warner K. 2007. Control, Adapt or Flee: How to Face Environmental Migration? InterSecTions (5). Available: [accessed 9 February 2012].
Health implications of displacement. People displaced by climate-related processes and events will include those who have little choice because of loss of habitable land, extreme health risks, and deteriorating livelihoods (). This will include people affected by major environmental deterioration and disasters such as floods, landslides, and famine. Where climate change contributes to large-scale displacement, health outcomes can be expected to resemble those of refugees during the early phases of flight and displacement. As with refugees, many of the places that will receive climate-change– affected migrants are in developing regions where public health resources are lacking or inadequate ().
As early as 1965, Congress became aware that improper waste disposal created serious problems to the public health. But it was not until 1976 that hazardous waste disposals began to be regulated. Up until that point, it was a virtual free-for-all when it came to duping waste. States are trying to remedy this problem with the enacting of environmental statutes that pertain to disposal of wastes.
"Despite progress, lead poisoning remains one of the top childhood environmental health problems today. Without further action, over the coming decades large numbers of young children may be exposed to lead in amounts that could impair their ability to learn and to reach their full potential."
Food shortages, restricted access to food, and undernutrition are recurring problems for displaced people in low-income regions [; ]. The prevalence of acute malnutrition among children ). A high incidence of micronutrient deficiency diseases has been reported in refugee camps, including pellagra (niacin deficiency), scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), and anemia (iron deficiency) (). It is likely that much climate-related displacement will occur in food-insecure regions where many people are nutritionally compromised at the outset. Further, climate change itself will negatively affect global food yields, costs, and accessibility as farming, fisheries, and agricultural production are affected by long-term shifts in climatic and environmental conditions and increased adverse weather events (). An estimate of the burden of disease attributable to climate change at the year 2000 indicated that half of the attributable deaths (predominantly in children) are due to undernutrition (). Malnutrition, accompanied with low rates of immunization, poor sanitation, and lack of medical facilities in low-income countries, is especially serious given the prevalence of new worldwide pandemics, such as the influenza A (H1N1) virus ().
The environmental movement (by minorities) did not really gain momentum until the early 1990s. These groups got together shortly after studies conducted in 1983 and 1987 showed the disparity between the number of waste sites in minority neighborhoods and White neighborhoods. It is noted that 57% of Whites, 65% of Blacks, and 80% of all Latinos live in areas with substandard air quality. In fairness, the author discusses evidence for and against to existence of environmental injustice.
However, migration is not necessarily an indicator of vulnerability: It can be an adaptive response by communities to cope with the effects of climate change (; ). Specifically, the move to a new location can alleviate health deficits from undernutrition or freshwater shortages, avoid the physical dangers of extreme weather events and degraded physical environments, and enhance access to medical facilities (). Indeed, movement could be a form of health-seeking behavior writ large.
Research into the mental health of refugees and displaced people has documented elevated rates of mental health problems. Poor mental health is attributable in part to pre-displacement experiences of violence and trauma. However, post-displacement stressors also create substantial mental health risks (; ), including fragmented social networks and separation from family, loss of familiar social contexts, poor social connections, diminished sense of belonging, economic deprivation, inadequate housing, little educational and job security, and in some cases mandatory detention (; ; ; ). Further, there are no recognized national or international legal frameworks that address environmental migration (; ). Accordingly, people who cross national borders in response to the effects of climate change will have uncertain migration status and will face potentially hostile conditions of reception (). This exacerbates risks to mental health.