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Ethical issues related to ocean-based carbon dioxide removal

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The deliberate dumping of carbon dioxide into the oceans to control the effects of global warming and climate change is of great concern. However, this technology raises many social and ethical questions against life related to ocean ecosystems.

Carbon dioxide removal in the ocean refers to an action designed to remove even more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use the ocean to store it.

The technology spans a wide range of techniques, from increasing the amount and vitality of mangrove forests that absorb carbon dioxide, to using marine fertilizer to encourage the growth of phytoplankton that absorb carbon dioxide. The construction of pipelines pumps liquid dioxide into structures beneath the ocean floor, where it eventually solidifies as carbonate rock.

Another mechanism for removing carbon dioxide is – planting trees. But it requires large amount of land which is required for other essential uses like agriculture. That is why the oceans provide a useful and vast space. Along with this, they have the ability to tolerate more carbon dioxide permanently.

The ocean covers about 70% of the planet and it naturally captures carbon dioxide. In fact, about a quarter of man-made carbon dioxide is consumed in the ocean.

Ethical issues related to this process

Some of the key questions related to this are such as does it force people to consider the relationship between humans and non-humans? At the same time, this issue raises the question of whether humans are obliged to intervene to reduce the impact on the climate, or should we avoid interference from the ocean?

The question also arises whether people have the right to deliberately interfere in the sea or not? Are there specific obligations that humans must recognize when considering such options? Apart from this, the question is also important is who is responsible for making decisions about ocean carbon dioxide removal and consequences?

However it must be recognized that the issue of responsible personal conduct with respect to natural landscapes, resources, species and non-human organisms is of paramount importance. The conduct of individuals is a direct concern of moral philosophy. Moral responsibility usually refers to the importance of knowledge, ability, choice and value. It also deals with the do’s and don’ts for human beings in relation to the environment. Apart from this, it is related to the ecological rights of all the living beings present as we are also responsible for providing healthy ecosystem to the coming generation who will come as second generation to live on earth. Therefore, environmental ethical standards are essential for the long-term conservation and maintenance of nature and its resources.


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