While speaking of the moral and ethical views of forest fires, there are several aspects that can be held considerable; one of which is: Who is responsible for forest fires? Who should we blame? Is the government the cause of these fires, are they not investing sufficient money? Or is it the publics fault – are they carelessly creating fires? Blame and responsibility can be considered a key aspect in this topic, as despite the fact that many times forest fires may be a natural process, but nowadays, it is generally caused by human activities. In many ways, there is no possible way to “point the finger” at someone and censor them for being responsible for this global problem, as each and every individual plays a role in the occurrence of forest fires.
However, i believe that the Government should be to blame, as they are responsible for what goes on in Portugal, and if they see that there are a higher number of forest fires in Portugal than in other countries, then they should present concern. Not even that, because of the large number of casualties, instability and rate of fire spread, they should take more action, such as buying more advanced equipment, keeping more men to assist in the event of a forest fire, making sure that the people of Portugal are prepared for the event of a forest fire – by providing free education and survival techniques – or even consulting other nations to join them on this worldwide problem. Nevertheless, no matter which option the government would take, money would be a top necessity.
This introduces the idea of taxes. On a general basis, Portuguese individuals already consider the tax price too high; by increasing it, what would their reaction be? Would the Portuguese public be willing to pay more in order to prevent these forest fires? Arguably speaking, it is agreeable that the taxes may become too high, but it would be for the sake of their own country – for the sake of not only the people, but also the land, and themselves. However, ethically, they should be willing to pay more. I believe that the government shouldn’t take action alone, but rather be supported by the public, as there would be greater results.
Equally important, another moral and ethical aspect is allowing people to burn down forests so they can build houses, or even the fact of being allowed to have periodic or controlled fires. It is understandable that periodic and controlled fires may come as useful, however, morally, it is not correct to do so. Should we be willing to destroy the habitats of animals to suit our own purposes? Ethically, I believe no, as many species die and sometimes become extinct. If there is necessity for more buildings and monuments, then they should be strictly built in the city. This would also help because the people would be further from the forests, so in case of a fire, there would be less chance of casualties.
Another point in terms of morals and ethics is related to the spread of fire. If we are aware that foreign trees are causing such serious fires, then why are we allowing them to be planted in Portugal? As I have explained earlier, Eucalyptus has become quite a common type of tree in Portugal, and the oil that it releases is extremely harmful, and causes forest fires, then ethically, we should not allow it.
There are various cultures and traditions, which we have all individually grown up in. Naturally, this affects our reasoning, and way of thinking. Some think that since this issue doesn’t have much to do with them, they don’t bother, while others think it is always important to assist the problems that surround us. An example of this would be if I came from a very conservative family, who lived every day as it comes and only looked at the best for ourselves, then naturally I would be against finding solutions to help prevent forest fires. However, if I was from a very easy-going and liberal family, who embraces new ideas and opinions, then I would contribute to this global issue.
My final argument is to state how humans try to play the role of God – how we use technology to change the nature of science. God didn’t give us wings, nor teach us how to fly, showing us that humans, from origin, were not meant to fly. But what happened when the Wright Brothers invented a plane? Many people were thrilled, and others weren’t.
They were thrilled because it was a new source of communication between other countries – it created a better bond with them, making it easier to travel. However, some people aren’t thrilled, because if we didn’t fly by origin, as individuals, then it’s a sign that it’s what God intended us not to do, and it would be like breaking a silent rule. This concept can be used in form of forest fires – individuals are constantly trying to invent alternatives, or are using up the trees to create things. Some people may think that we are adding too much of an interference of technology to the nature of science, which is resulting to this increase in fires and affecting ourselves – therefore, not letting science take its natural course.
In conclusion, I feel that I have been able to research, present and analyse information successfully, while conveying the message that overall before coming to a steady decision, we should consider all possible options and impartially decide what is best not just for ourselves, but also for others, while taking into consideration the moral and ethical implications, as well as all that will be affected by this decision.
As my personal opinion, I believe that the solution is for every child to be educated and informed of the problems related to the constant forest fires, and the increase of them. By doing this, in the future they will be able to think of alternatives, and find long-term solutions. I also think that we should follow the idea of increasing tax prices, and the public should pay. During this essay, I have learnt that even though this could be a suitable decision, there will be many conflicts and disagreement, so it shows that no matter what decision we make, we can never be completely impartial, nor can we satisfy everyone’s perceptive.