Chapter SixEthical Action Means Ethical Agreement

“You can’t agree that you can’t agree.”

—Mark Pastin

SITUATION #8 Dead River

Environmental issues are often ethically complex. When you judge the actions that governments and businesses took many years ago, there is a temptation to judge them by today’s environmental standards. This can lead to conflicting, strongly held ethical judgments.

Such a situation occurred in the 1980s with respect to the so-called Dead Pigeon River, a river that flows through North Carolina and Tennessee. Several industrial companies, including several paper plants, had dumped their waste into the river over the years. The river was widely used for recreation until dioxin was discovered in the river and a related reservoir. ...

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