Hardin Durning Skinner Essay Draft 2

1461 words 6 pages
Haley Martin
Lowe
EH 101 – 123
24 April 2015
How Durning and Skinner Proved That Hardin’s Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor Does Not Float In Garrett Hardin’s essay, Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor, Hardin describes the wealthy population of the world as being in a single lifeboat that is almost filled until buckling while the poor population of the world treads water below. Hardin’s essay gets his readers to feel the natural instinct to survive. The lifeboat metaphor that Hardin uses relieves the wealthy population of their moral obligations to the less fortunate, but in addition, puts all of the blame and cause of the depletion of earth’s resources on the poor. As much as his argument may make sense,
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Durning states that Hardin fails to realize that it is not just the poorer nations fault, but all social classes are equally responsible for the loss of resources at the drastic rate is it disappearing. Durning is not the only writer who believes that Hardin’s boat does not float. Joseph K. Skinner sheds some more light on Hardin’s false claims in his essay, “Big Mac and the Tropical Forests”. In his essay, Skinner states that it is not only overconsumption that the people need to be concerned about, but the fact that the wealthy nations are using the poorer nations’ resources to create the items that are being purchased at astronomical rates which is helping to cause the depletion of the resources on earth in the first place. Wealthy people are buying things that they do not necessarily need to survive, but in taking another nations’ resources, the wealthy are taking away the resources those poorer nations need to just survive. He has evidence that in Central and South America, rainforests are being torn down by large companies such as McDonald’s, to create a grazing plain for their cattle. After the cattle have grazed on that space for a few years, the company leaves the barren plain and it never returns to what it once was. One consequence of tearing down these forests is the loss of very valuable and useful forests that hold different kinds of species and plants. Also, another consequence would be the increase of carbon dioxide in the air which is a

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