Ethical Dilemma: Cutting Carbon Emissions at the Cost of Jobs (640 words)

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Question

Using web-based research, find an environmental-based ethical dilemma from the past five years online. (You can use a news story, an internet article, a law case, or anything from a governmental database for this assignment.) Then, using this story as a foundation for your dilemma:

Create a 2-4 paragraph "dilemma" similar to the other dilemmas you have been solving throughout this term.
Solve the dilemma using Kant's ethics (Categorical Imperative).
Solve the dilemma using any other method we have discussed to date (with which you agree.)
State which resolution (Kant's or the other one you chose) you prefer and why.
(It is possible that one or more of these dilemmas you write may become future exam questions for this course, so keep that in mind while you write the dilemma.)

This assignment should be about two typed pages, double-spaced. You MUST provide the source of the dilemma, and thus this paper will require at least one "reference." Use APA format in citing the source ...

Solution Preview

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We cannot cut emissions if it costs jobs, said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the Paris summit in 2014 to rally nations together to sign an agreement to make the world more green (Reuters 2014).
In this way, imagine a coal refinery in a medium-sized city. Let’s say that without the coal refinery, a significant percentage of the city’s residents would be jobless. However, the residual effects of refining the coal have had a negative effect on the region’s carbon footprint ratio. If the city government passes an ordinance to reduce carbon emissions, it would force the coal refinery to reduce the amount of time it refines coal and therefore thousands of refinery workers will be either severely docked in their pay or let off. However, climate experts have warned this region in particular, which is rich in coal and heavy in the industry that emits extraordinary amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, that the rate at which coal is being refined will cause irreparable harm to the environment. So in this way, the dilemma circles back to the problem of whether it is ethical to lay off the refinery workers at the expense of the world’s climate health or is it ethical to reduce carbon emissions at the expense of people's’ jobs and livelihood....

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