The Case of the Wayward Water: Drinking Water Getting Tainted with Fracking Fluid

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The Case of the Wayward Water - Page 1 of 44 Welcome to an EthicsGame Hot Topics Dilemma! Few issues have recently gotten as much attention as the energy extraction activities involving a controversial procedure called "fracking." As reports of drinking water becoming tainted with fracking fluid flood the news, both oil and gas companies as well as environmental groups are presenting competing "facts" about the effects of drilling on ground water. Economists are often asked to prepare reports with objective analyses balancing the cost and potential damage to the water sources against economic benefits to the local and national communities. These requests for analysis can provide interesting ethical questions for those…show more content…
Now, let's see how learning about the Four Ethical Lenses and a simple method for decision-making can help you resolve a typical ethical dilemma. Ready? The Case of the Wayward Water - Page 2 of 44 Discover the Four Ethical Lenses The easiest way to resolve an ethical dilemma is to work through a straightforward five-step decision method called the Baird Decision Model. The first step is Being Attentive. This step has two pieces: figuring out what exactly is going on in the situation and then determining what ethical values are conflicting with each other. However, both of those steps depend on knowing about the Four Ethical Lenses—four very different ways that people approach ethical decision making. Using the concepts of the Four Ethical Lenses helps clarify the differences in ethical expectations and resolve conflict. Values in Tension The concept behind the Four Ethical Lenses is that people give varying priority to commonly held values, such as truth-telling and loyalty. For example, one person may believe that the value of truth-telling means that you can never tell a lie, even if someone's life is in danger. Another may believe that lying to save a life—loyalty—is, in some situations, absolutely justifiable and more important than telling the truth. A good place to start making sense of the differences is by identifying the two great tensions that we as

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