Environmental Ethics

Is it all about us?

Lesson Objectives

Understand how climate change is affecting our beautiful home state of Texas

Appreciate the three major viewpoints of Environmental Ethics

Appreciate some of the moral questions raised by hunting and hunters

Appreciate some of the moral questions raised by farming and farmers

Understand the moral importance of biodiversity and pollution in East Texas

Understand the ways companies attempt to "greenwash" their consumer image

Key Terms

Climate Change


Ecocentrism (ie. Deep Ecology)



Climate Change & Texas

"Human activities are changing the atmosphere in unexpected and in unprecedented ways."            - President George HW Bush (R), 1990

Climate Change in East Texas

Climate change is the long-term change of average weather patterns

     • Weather: single event  |  Climate: overall average trend of events

     Preponderance of science: rise of 1.5° = catastrophic consequences

• Temperature acceleration threatens crops and livestock

     • East Texas peaches require a specfic temp balance (700-800 hrs /yr)

     • Our onions, okra, watermelon, squash, tomatoes also threatened

• Local Growers and Climate Scientists are concerned

     • Warmer temperature and early warming trends in East Texas

     • Decreased rainfall impacting agriculture

     • Local growers and climate scientists have observed these changes

Drought in Texas

• Dr. Joseph G. Masabni of Texas A&M University

     • Drought threatens crop yields, brings disease and insect problems

     • Warmer winters increase crop disease risk year-round

• 2022: Texas had one of our driest years, 1/2 the state in drought conditions

     • 2022: Texas cotton industry lost over $2 billion to rising temperatures

     • In 2022, 278 people died due to drought in Texas

• East Texas is currently water secure (thank you, Lake Palestine!)

     • Water reservoirs in West Texas are less than 30%

     • New state plan for future water lacks climate change considerations

     • When they run outta water, they're coming for our water in East Texas

Texas under Threat

• Climate Challenges for Texas

     • Rising food costs and increased food insecurity

          • 2022: grocery bills in Dallas went up 11% | 1 in 7 Texans hungry

     • Extreme climate changes include record temperatures and wildfires

     • Rising sea levels, floods, and storm surges

          • 2017: Hurricane Harvey wettest hurricane to hit U.S. on record

          • American climate resettlement projected to skyrocket in Texas

• Water Challenges for Texas

     • 2022: drought caused the Rio Grande to stop flowing

     • Megadroughts predicted to become a normal way of life

     • Warmer freshwater inviting deadly insects, pathogens, and viruses

          • 2012 West Nile Virus outbreak in Dallas

• Climate Change is NOT a partisan issue | 10 min vid: Childress, TX

     • Denying the science of climate change is counterproductive

     • This impacts all Texans, regardless of politics, religion, tribe, etc.

     • How do we understand Environmentalism through an Ethical lens?

Much of this comes from The Texas Tribune — a nonpartisan, nonprofit paper

You can follow Texas climate news from the Tribune here...