In the discussion about environmental problems, ethical aspects are gaining weight. The evolution of mankind has so far been playing a minor role in this respect. The discussions in the book focus on the fact that man in his racial history has developed certain behavioural dispositions, and on the origin of patterns to interpret life. Insight into the racial history embodied in man contributes to sober understanding of the way he deals with nature; at the same time, it opens up new questions and answers to environmental ethics. The theoretical discussion makes use of examples from every-day life. (orig./HSCH).