This paper is aimed at discussing the case of coal seam gas (CSG). This gas is a critical source of energy for many countries, including Australia. Nevertheless, its extraction is associated with several environmental risks such as water and soil pollution.
Overall, this issue is of great concern to policy-makers who need to reconcile two important values, namely the economic development of the country and the need to protect the natural environment of the country.
This is why this case has been selected among others. In particular, it is necessary to discuss the connection between the protection of natural environment and different ethical theories.
One of the main tasks is to show how these ethical frameworks can be applied to this particular situation. Overall, this analysis can be a useful tool for policy-makers.
One should mention that environment is critical for people living in Australia because this aspect is closely related to the quality of life in this country as well as its economy.
It should be noted that the pollution of water and soil becomes a critical concern for Australian policy-makers as the country grows economically and demographically (Thompson & Maginn, 2012, p. 174). They lay stress on the need to control the actions of organizations who are responsible for pollution.
For example, much attention is paid to the work of the extraction industry. In turn, the extraction of coal seam gas in Australia began in 1996 (Manning, 1996, p. 23).
Since that time, there have been numerous campaigns against this activity. In particular, the production of coal seam gas can lead to the pollution of existing aquifers (Prosser, 2011, p. 23).
This issue is particularly relevant if one speaks about the threats to famous Pilliga forest. Moreover, the water, which was contaminated in this way, can significantly damage the quality of soil. These are some of the main aspects that should be considered.
It is possible to apply different ethical theories in order to analyze this case. For example, one can speak about deontological ethics, according to which the morality of an action is mostly based on its adherence to the principles and rules established in the community (Bredeson, 2011, p. 7)).
Provided that a person violates these rules, his behavior is considered immoral, even if leads to good outcomes. In turn, it is important to speak about utilitarian ethics according to which the consequences of an action is the major criterion according to which the morality should be assessed (Bredeson, 2011, p. 7).
Utilitarianism and deontological ethics can be viewed as the two most influential approaches to decision-making. Moreover, they provide different tools for the assessment of the choices that people can take. This is why they have been chosen.
Finally, one should consider the stakeholder theory which is useful for analyzing the duties of an organization. According to this model, businesses or public organizations should consider the impacts that it produces on the community in general (Weiss, 2008, p. 118). This framework is helpful for evaluating the activities of organizations.
Bredeson, D. (2011). Applied Business Ethics: A Skills-Based Approach. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Manning, P. (2013). What the Frack? Everything you need to know about coal seam gas. Melbourne, Australia: NewSouth.
Prosser, I. (2011). Water: Science and Solutions for Australia. Melbourne: CSIRO
Thompson, S., & Maginn, P. (2012). Planning Australia: An Overview of Urban and Regional Planning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Weiss, J. (2008). Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.