Jebari, Karim , Sandberg, Anders | 2022
Science and Engineering Ethics, 28.
The biosphere represents the global sum of all ecosystems. According to a prominent view in environmental ethics, ecocentrism, these ecosystems matter for their own sake, and not only because they contribute to human ends. As such, some ecocentrists are critical of the modern industrial civilization, and a few even argue that an irreversible collapse of the modern industrial civilization would be a good thing. However, taking a longer view and considering the eventual destruction of the biosphere by astronomical processes, we argue that humans, a species with considerable technological know-how and industrial capacity could intervene to extend the lifespan of Earth’s biosphere, perhaps by several billion years. We argue that human civilization, despite its faws and harmful impacts on many ecosystems, is the biosphere’s best hope of avoiding premature destruction. We argue that proponents of ecocentrism, even those who wholly disregard anthropocentric values, have a strong moral reason preserve the modern industrial civilization, for as long as needed to ensure biosphere survival.