By Alecia M. The phrase tragedy of the commons, first described by biologist Garrett Hardin indescribes how shared environmental resources are overused and eventually depleted. He compared shared resources to a common grazing pasture; in this scenario, everyone with rights to the pasture grazes as many animals as possible, acting in self-interest for the greatest short-term personal gain. Eventually, they use up all the grass in the pasture; the shared resource is depleted and no The Commons - FIS - The Commons useful.
The Grand Banks are fishing grounds off the coast of Newfoundland. For centuries, explorers and fishermen described this region as home to an endless supply of cod fish. In the s and s, advances in fishing technology allowed huge catches of cod. Following a few dramatically large seasons, the fish populations dropped, forcing Canadian fishermen to sail farther to maintain large catch sizes each season. By the s, cod populations were so low that the Grand Banks fishing industry collapsed.
It was too late for regulation and management; the cod stocks had been irreparably damaged. Since then, the cod populations have remained low, and some scientists doubt the Grand Banks ecosystem will ever recover. Currently the bluefin tuna populations in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean face a similar fate as that of the Grand Banks cod. In the s, fishermen realized the tuna populations were in danger, and an International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna ICCAT formed in an effort to manage fish harvesting more sustainably.
Instead, many nations continue to seek profit from large bluefin tuna catches every year without regard for conservation. Bluefin tuna have already been fished to extinction in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and perhaps the Atlantic bluefin tuna will follow. When Europeans arrived in North America, passenger pigeons migrated across the sky in huge numbers. In the mids, they caught massive numbers of pigeons in nets and sold the birds in cities as a food resource.
The last known passenger pigeon held in captivity at a zoo died incompleting the extinction of a species because of Honeysuckle Rose - Eva Cassidy - Sings (DVD) hunting practices. No single authority The Commons - FIS - The Commons the power to pass laws that protect the entire ocean. Instead, each nation manages and protects the ocean resources along its coastlines, leaving the shared common space beyond any particular jurisdiction vulnerable to pollution.
These giant patches of ocean garbage occur because many different countries allow solid waste to enter the oceans from land or ships. Destruction of ocean ecosystems because of garbage, especially plastic pollutants, is likely to affect every person on the planet as these pollutants cycle through the food chain.
Air pollution and greenhouse gases from various industries and transportation increasingly damage this valuable, Jeannette - Bette & Wallet - Voici. resource.
As an example of a tragedy of the commons, the atmosphere offers some hope for a solution: More than once, international agreements have recognized the importance of taking care of the atmosphere. One example is the Kyoto Protocol, which attempted to bring nations together in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing global climate warming. Multiple nations recognized that everyone had an interest in preserving this common resource for the future and agreed to look beyond short-term gain and immediate self-interest to a sustainable future.
Thousands of farms are located along the Mississippi River and its tributaries through the The Commons - FIS - The Commons U.
As water washes into the river after a heavy rain, it brings with it nutrients from fertilizers added to farmland. The Gulf of Mexico has a dead zone because everyone along the Mississippi River shares the waterway without considering how each small contribution of nutrient and chemical pollution adds up to have dramatic results.
Public roads are an excellent example of common property shared by many people. Each of these people has his or her own interest in mind — typically, how to get to work as quickly and easily as possible. But when everyone decides that public roads are the best way to meet traveling needs, the roads jam up and slow down overall traffic movement, filling the air with pollutants from idling cars.
Turning public roads into private roads or toll roads creates a different scenario. With a toll to pay especially if the toll is higher during peak-use hours such as rush hourdrivers may consider a less-direct route or choose to drive to work at a different time.
Landowners around Los Angeles each The Commons - FIS - The Commons rights to use the water pumped up from wells on their land. This water is part of a regional groundwater aquifer, so each landowner is ultimately pulling water Fishgulish* - Drum Crazy Volume Two the same pool.
As the city grew in the s and s, the amount of water drawn from the underground aquifer increased each year to meet the needs of the growing population. Eventually, residents drew so much water from the Venus De Milo - Miles Davis - Birth Of The Cool that the supply reached levels that left the aquifer vulnerable to saltwater intrusion from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Facing potential water shortages and possible destruction of the renewable water resource they depended on, the water users created a voluntary organization to discuss how to manage and conserve the groundwater for the future. The tropical rainforests are a common resource that everyone in the world benefits from. Timber producers are driven to remove as much timber as possible as cheaply as possible. The result is that logging irreparably damages acres of rainforest each year. Although some laws protect these forests from destructive logging practices, illegal logging continues — particularly along boundaries between countries, where the The Commons - FIS - The Commons may be different on each side of the border.
Some scientists consider the exponential growth of the human population to be an example of a tragedy of the commons. In this case, the common The Commons - FIS - The Commons is the planet Earth and all its shared resources.
Just by existing, each person uses water, air, land, and food resources; splitting those resources among 7 billion people and counting tends to stretch them pretty thin. The peak of environmental legislation in the U. In the Working toward a More Sustainable Environment Environmental science is all about finding ways to live more sustainably, which means usin What Defines an Ecosystem?
The basic unit of study in environmental science is the ecosystem. An ecosystem consists o How to Characterize a Population of Living Things Scientists who study living organisms examine them from different perspectives of complexi Patterns of Ocean Circulation Environmental scientists study ocean cir Load more.
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