Ethical behavior applied to any activity within our society is, in the final analysis, the responsibility of each of the individuals involved in that activity. The “Green Revolution”, which erupted in the U.S.A. resulted in conditions which presented difficult ethical decisions to individuals and organizations working on ecological/environmental questions. The problems posed are best observed in an examination of the enforcement of the U.S.A. Clean Water Act where construction workers, the media, regulators, lawyers, politicians, environmentalists, treatment facility operators, scientists, engineers, academics and scientific/technical organizations all substantially benefited. Unfortunately this legislation does not require ecological or net environmental improvement. It requires equitable distribution of the costs of compliance throughout the nation. This has encouraged nonscientific standards and criteria, and a narrow focus, which have in turn resulted in both nonresponsible environmental results, and costs such that other important ecological/societal needs cannot be funded. All societies, whether developing or industrialized, must conserve their resources by utilizing scientific/economic methods to attack clean water and similar problems if they are to really improve their ecology/environment. Since this procedure is minimally used in the U.S.A., what should or can be the ethical positions of the many individuals and groups now benefiting by the present flawed system?

You do not currently have access to this content.