There are two major issues in environmental ethics: The first asks whether the problems can be solved within current approaches, or require instead lifestyle changes for the whole of western civilisation.
The second issue concerns why the environment should be valued. This review identifies a series in increasingly stronger valuations that can be identified as:
1. Hedonistic - we protect the environment because we like it.
2. Utilitarian - the environment is valuable to us
3. Consequentialist - we want to preserve things for other people - now or future.
4. Intrinsic - The environment has virtue in its own right
5. Extrinsic - we value the environment because it is of consequence to some thing else - theistic (a God).
Thirdly, these insights are used to explore potential ways of resolving environmental conflicts, notably by the recovery of democratic decision making at the right scale: local, national or even global.
Keywords: Environment, environmentalism, environmental ethics, civilisation, civilization, hedonism, utilitarianism, consequentialism, theism, religion, democracy, globalisation, globalization, ecology, rationalism, Darwinism, Darwin, scientism, ecofeminism, humanity, anthropology, natural world, natural law, politics, economics, economy, sustainability, animal rights, activism, Gaia, agriculture, countryside, population, climate change