S-Space Graduate School of Environmental Studies (환경대학원) Journal of Environmental Studies (환경논총) 환경논총 Volume 04 (1977)
Environmental Concern and the Concept of "Public Interest"
- Kwon, Tai-joon
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 환경대학원
- 환경논총, Vol.4 No.1, pp. 56-63
- When environmental protectionists speak today of environment, they seem to be·
speaking of the totality of human environment. This all encompassing definition of
environment embraces such breadth of problems and activities of human societies that "all of the ills of man" seem to fall within its ambit. Some environmentalists do, indeed, mean to include "all of the ills of man" in their definition:
"The human environment is an immense complex of natural elements, man-made structures, institutions, societies, and other people...... Environmental quality and human welfare are not two independent values...... It is not possible for one to remain good while the other is bad...... Under this broad definition of environment all of the ills of man emerge as environmental problems-poverty, prejudice, public education, health services, militarism, inner circles and pollution all qualify as environmental crisis." (1) Even somewhat less bold proponents are also fond of using such words as "systemic,'" "integrated," and/or "interdependent" when they want to underline the importance and seriousness of environmental problems. As one of the most eminent and prestigious of them all, professor Barry Commoner contends that "the environment is a complex, subtly balanced system, and it is this intergrated whole which receives the impact of all the separate insults inflicted by pollutants." (2) The United Nations also condoned the same view at its first world environmental confernece to the effect that the very nature of environmental problems is their "intricate interdependence."
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