Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae

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ISSN / EISSN : 1733-1218 / 2719-826X
Total articles ≅ 754
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, , Petr Ondrušák, Zdeněk Vrba, Josef Dolista
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.10

Abstract:
In the field of ecoethics, in addition to names such as Kohák, Vavroušek, Keller, and Librová, we are increasingly encountering the name of a Czech philosopher, Professor Josef Šmajs. In his works, Professor Šmajs presents an entirely new, original, and comprehensive view of human life on Earth and its ethics. His concept combines the humanities and natural sciences into a single organic whole. Šmajs declares: “We are the products of a magnificent natural evolution, but we are proud only of our cultural creativity. We think – and we teach it in schools – that we complete humanity with human culture and humanize it. However, the truth is different. Nature is original, self-sufficient, and perfect; we cannot complete or humanize it.” He further claims that “If we want to survive on Earth, we must wisely give way to nature wisely in time. The epoch of the symbiosis of culture and nature is still ahead of us.” His philosophy, which can be called biophilic, interprets the current form of the ecological crisis and its causes and provides a clear, realistic guide to saving humanity and life on earth in ethical manner.
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.08

Abstract:
Juicy fruit, healthy vegetables, herbs for all the ailments, delightful flowers, a shelter under the spreading branches of an old tree - can plants be something more for man, and can they be even equal to him? Where is their place in the world, which is dominated by man and his helpers - animals? This article leads the reader through the thoughts and beliefs of ancient peoples, showing their respect for everything that lives until the modern times, when scientists try to relate the definition of intelligence and consciousness to plants. Myths from various parts of the globe, illustrate how important a role plants had in the past, that they were much more than food, medicine, or refuge. Since the beginning of time, without new technologies, people felt the power of nature and respected the otherness of creatures, wandering with them, step by step, with fear and awe. Plants, though “immobilised”, could create, and decided on the world’s fate, and were messengers between men and other organisms, an essential link, unique and holy. Today, when one can analyse plants’ functions and behaviour, observe how they communicate with the world, using all of the senses not located in specific organs, but spread all over the organism, man starts to notice what his ancestors saw a long time ago: that plants remember, decide, learn and give humans a wide range of opportunities. Having far more senses than man, showing humans a different kind of consciousness and intelligence, not centralised, to which one is used to, but dispersed, though not less efficient, plants are becoming very interesting subjects of scientific research.
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.09

Abstract:
The main goal of the analyses presented in the article is to identify the phenomena and consequences concomitant with the phenomenon of overtourism in the economic (with particular emphasis on energy) and social dimensions, regarding the Portuguese island of Madeira. The starting point for considerations includes a review of the issues that define the theoretical framework of “excessive tourism”, as well as a discussion of the most important determinants of the socio-economic development of Madeira. Then, the results of own research are presented, including the original analysis of existing data on electricity production, population growth and the number of overnight stays, as well as the results of a survey conducted in April 2021[1], among both permanent residents and tourists visiting the island. The obtained results indicate, among others, that for each increase in the number of overnight stays by 1%, the production of electricity increases by 0.597%; and for every 1% increase in the number of inhabitants, there is a 5.617% increase in electricity production. At the same time, the data on the number of inhabitants indicates a population growth rate close to zero, and thus a higher level of consumption will come from the tourist sector. Based on the results of the survey, key problem areas have been identified (including, for example, issues related to the sense of local identity, security or relations between tourists and residents). The volume of tourist traffic has also been assessed, and a number of reflections and recommendations have been formulated to limit the negative effects of “excessive tourism”. [1] More information about research and obtained results are available in the following publications (Majdak et al. 2021a; Majdak et al. 2021b).
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae, Volume 20, pp 53-66; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.04

Abstract:
Adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015 put the theoretical concept of sustainable development (SD) into practice. The goals kindled a vivid interest among Poland-based companies, too, especially large enterprises, which took them to the next level, and embedded them in their corporate strategies. Truth be told, Polish local governments started to implement SD much earlier, namely through Local Agendas 21 after the Second Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The year 2015 was a pivotal moment for the development of the SD concept. Yet, in the opinion of many experts, 2020 was a major test for SDGs as the COVID-19 pandemic was exerting an adverse impact on the progress in their achievement. The study attempts to assess the approach of SD pioneers in Poland, both cities and companies, to the implementation of the concept in the first year of the pandemic. The text provides a critical analysis of the literature on the subject, web research, and authors’ empirical studies conducted among those cities and businesses in Poland that are considered the leading SD implementers. The conducted research demonstrated that most of these leaders (both cities and businesses) are acquainted with both SD and SDGs. In the period covered by analysis, there was a major growth in SD institutionalization. Both business and city representatives understand SD primarily in accordance with the definition framed in Agenda 2030. A stable majority of the surveyed cities and businesses believe that their approach to SD implementation has changed since the announcement of SDGs in 2015. The COVID-19 pandemic has not halted the implementation of SDGs, although in some cases, it has forced the surveyed implementers to revise their modus operandi.
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae, Volume 20, pp 25-37; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.05

Abstract:
The aim of the article is to outline the philosophical and psychological dimensions of a sustainable lifestyle based on responsible consumption. In the author’s opinion, moderate consumption and an ecologically balanced way of living should, for their durability, have a broader mental and worldview background. The article will present and compare the concepts of the eco-philosophy of Henryk Skolimowski and the ecopsychology of Theodore Roszak in terms of cognitive, ideological, and axiological propositions of these concepts that can form the motivating basis for responsible living on Earth. In the author’s opinion, apart from the economic dimension, the adoption of ecological ethics and of ecological sensitivity is crucial for the permanent rooting of sustainable consumption patterns in people's attitudes. Ecophilosophical and ecopsychological concepts can significantly help in this, contributing to human sensitivity to environmental issues related to the contemporary ecological crisis. The ecophilosophical and ecopsychological approach, in the author’s opinion, need each other because they use complementary perspectives and methods of building ecological awareness. In the process of environmental education and shaping sustainable life attitudes, they are equally necessary for the effectiveness of achieving the goals of education for sustainable development and promoting an environmentally responsible lifestyle in society.
, Anna Strumińska-Doktór
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae, Volume 20, pp 39-52; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.06

Abstract:
Thanks to active education for sustainable development at universities, it is possible to prepare teachers ready to educate future generations of Polish learners on the one hand, and conscious economists, as well as political and social decision-makers able to introduce the principles of sustainable development in all spheres of human life, on the other. The aim of the research was to find out about the opinions of Polish students on how the knowledge acquired by them during their studies may shape their attitudes towards sustainable development. The research instruments used were a diagnostic survey method, with the help of the questionnaire technique. The research sample comprised 78 students representing the field of pedagogy studies, including 61.5% in the area of teacher studies (preschool and early school education) and 38.5% in the area of non-teaching studies (i.e., students without pedagogical qualifications, that is, educators who do not follow the core curriculum of general education[1]; such graduates perform educational and caring functions). A large percentage of respondents confirms the presence of the content related to sustainable development in their study programs, although its implementation is reported to occur to a small extent (marginally) only. The respondents who take into account the issues of sustainable development are involved to a greater extent in teacher education within the field of preschool and early school education. As part of the training activities for future teachers of kindergartens and primary school, grades 1-3, the teaching content has been integrated (with a module of socio-natural education being separated) that contains detailed learning outcomes evidently subordinated to the content of sustainable development. Although a clear difference in the use of knowledge in this area between students of teaching and non-teaching fields of study can be observed, it is still necessary to include the sustainable development related knowledge in the curricula of various study subjects, which will certainly affect the development of social capital, and thus education of people socially and environmentally responsible for their actions. [1] Observed in the Polish context of higher education.
Nikolai Mihailov,
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae, Volume 20, pp 5-13; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.03

Abstract:
The article is an attempt to review some basic ethical concepts in their historical and substantive development, within the context of the environment and environmental knowledge. It also tries to answer the question whether there is a difference between traditional and environmental ethics. The comparative-historical method is used, which considers some classical ethical concepts and their interpretations related to the environment. The concepts of classical and modern scientists are also analyzed. The authors consider whether these concepts should be supplemented with new content in this area or should be reformulated in terms of moral relevance not only for the human community, but also for all non-human inhabitants of the environment. The article explores issues about the origin of morality, as well as some ideas about the moral status of attitudes among primates. More important conclusions are that ethics and environmental knowledge must be developed in cooperation in order to explain and form moral consciousness, a new type of ethos that does not allow indifference to the environment in human interaction with it, and that moral considerations should contain not only prescriptions for due human behavior in human society, but also obligations to non-human inhabitants of nature or to the environment.
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae, Volume 20, pp 15-23; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.01

Abstract:
In daily debates, people often use the words “natural” and “naturalness”, and the meaning is often regarded as unproblematic. However, as the author points out, this can lead to misunderstanding in discussions, especially those regarding ethical matters. This paper relies mostly on philosophical methods of conceptual analysis and synthesis. The purpose of this study is to find answers to the question - Is respect for life natural and if so, in what sense? An analysis of several concepts of naturalness is presented, and later, applied to the concept of respect for life in environmental ethics for the purpose of synthesis. By analysing the concept of naturalness, the author is inspired, mostly by the investigations made by M. Sagoff and by H. Siipi. Regarding the findings, the author concludes that some senses of naturalness are not appropriate for the ethics of respect for life, because they are, for instance, not specific enough and ethically irrelevant in this context, while others may be useful in argumentation for respecting non-human living beings. The author claims that the most suitable sense seems to be the sense of naturalness in accordance with Aristotelian telos, although also modified for the sake of non-anthropocentric environmental ethics. Even though several authors dealt with the concept of respect for life and the concept of naturalness, this contribution enriches the discussion in the environmental ethics as it seeks answers to a question - if the respect for life is natural, in what sense of naturalness is it? The philosophical methods of asking related questions, and conceptual analysis of the term “naturalness”, as well as seeking its application and synthesis, can also be applied in schools when promoting the critical and philosophical thinking of students, who can, at once, become citizens dealing responsibly with ecological crisis and environmental problems.
Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae, Volume 20, pp 66-77; https://doi.org/10.21697/seb.2022.02

Abstract:
The European Union (EU) has adopted ambitious and wide-ranging binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy systems’ transformation, and becoming climate neutral. The transformation of the energy sector towards more sustainable electricity production increases the importance of distributed generation from renewable sources, such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind energy. Large integration of PV and onshore wind energy in the EU distribution network is key to success in the energy transition. Despite significant progress in the field of renewable energies’ regulations, in particular, due to the implementation of the RES Directive, several barriers remain, and still, the development of photovoltaics and wind energy are being slowed by various types of market, regulatory barriers, as well as technological and social obstacles. The aim of this article is to investigate the main barriers to the development of distributed generation from renewable sources, such as solar photovoltaics and wind energy, in order to increase their share in the EU electricity market. This paper is focused on the most common regulatory, technological, administrative, financial, social, and environmental barriers, which slow down the large-scale deployment of PV and wind energy into the distribution networks in 5 EU countries: Austria, Greece, France, Poland and Spain and also in Norway.
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