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postgraduate thesis: A skyscraper-city almanac : search for a Hong Kong environmental ethic

TitleA skyscraper-city almanac : search for a Hong Kong environmental ethic
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ho, K. K. [何嘉欣]. (2015). A skyscraper-city almanac : search for a Hong Kong environmental ethic. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5481904
AbstractHong Kong is searching for an environmental ethic that asks us to live not as mere exploiters and consumers of natural resources, but responsibly and as if we saw the nature, supporting all of our activities and needs, as our home. In the years throughout its history, Hong Kong has struggled to understand the city and the people's relationship with the local environment, hindering efforts to move the city towards a more environmentally viable future. Without a systematic and holistic investigation into the traits, roots, and potentials of this relationship, efforts to salvage the city's worsening environmental conditions will remain scattered and in vain. In Hong Kong, the concept of environmental responsibility is largely absent among the people. The culture, economically driven and characterized primarily by materialistic values, together with a top-down and centralized management of local environmental issues, paves way for individuals to self-sanction their avoidance or disengagement from their responsibilities as moral agents. An exploration of the worldviews -- that is, the beliefs about interactions between the self, the society and the universe -- that predominated in Hong Kong's culture throughout different stages of its environmental history, reveals the root of our predicament as resting on the continuation of societal norms that ignore the necessity of individuals taking responsibility for their environmental attitudes and behaviours. Greater effort should hence be invested in restoring the feeling of personal responsibility for environmental wellbeing as the societal norm. I advocate two courses of action for invigorating a sense of environmental responsibility in Hongkongers. In the short run, drawing on existing research concerning normative social influence and the construction of personal and societal norms, techniques in marketing and advertising, and to some extent propaganda, can encourage behaviour that is more environmentally conscious. In the long run, I suggest we change the way our youth are being educated, about the environment and about ways to value. The local education system and content must be reoriented so that the teaching of environmental knowledge, and the creating of values that support environmental responsibility, are brought to the center stage. The progress toward an environmentally responsible ethic in Hong Kong has remained stagnant for far too long. If there is a time to take action and make a change, that time is now.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectEnvironmental responsibility - China - Hong Kong
Environmental ethics - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramPhilosophy
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/211140

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHo, Ka-yan, Kathleen-
dc.contributor.author何嘉欣-
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-07T23:10:46Z-
dc.date.available2015-07-07T23:10:46Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationHo, K. K. [何嘉欣]. (2015). A skyscraper-city almanac : search for a Hong Kong environmental ethic. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5481904-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/211140-
dc.description.abstractHong Kong is searching for an environmental ethic that asks us to live not as mere exploiters and consumers of natural resources, but responsibly and as if we saw the nature, supporting all of our activities and needs, as our home. In the years throughout its history, Hong Kong has struggled to understand the city and the people's relationship with the local environment, hindering efforts to move the city towards a more environmentally viable future. Without a systematic and holistic investigation into the traits, roots, and potentials of this relationship, efforts to salvage the city's worsening environmental conditions will remain scattered and in vain. In Hong Kong, the concept of environmental responsibility is largely absent among the people. The culture, economically driven and characterized primarily by materialistic values, together with a top-down and centralized management of local environmental issues, paves way for individuals to self-sanction their avoidance or disengagement from their responsibilities as moral agents. An exploration of the worldviews -- that is, the beliefs about interactions between the self, the society and the universe -- that predominated in Hong Kong's culture throughout different stages of its environmental history, reveals the root of our predicament as resting on the continuation of societal norms that ignore the necessity of individuals taking responsibility for their environmental attitudes and behaviours. Greater effort should hence be invested in restoring the feeling of personal responsibility for environmental wellbeing as the societal norm. I advocate two courses of action for invigorating a sense of environmental responsibility in Hongkongers. In the short run, drawing on existing research concerning normative social influence and the construction of personal and societal norms, techniques in marketing and advertising, and to some extent propaganda, can encourage behaviour that is more environmentally conscious. In the long run, I suggest we change the way our youth are being educated, about the environment and about ways to value. The local education system and content must be reoriented so that the teaching of environmental knowledge, and the creating of values that support environmental responsibility, are brought to the center stage. The progress toward an environmentally responsible ethic in Hong Kong has remained stagnant for far too long. If there is a time to take action and make a change, that time is now.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshEnvironmental responsibility - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshEnvironmental ethics - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleA skyscraper-city almanac : search for a Hong Kong environmental ethic-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5481904-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePhilosophy-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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