Geog 120: Essay

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  1. Commons
    • -resource in which everyone has access to 
    • -used freely
    • -ex. Sea-pollution, overfishing
    • Air-pollution
  2. Explain Rose's conception of Comedy of the Commons
    • -the value of a resource can dramatically increase if more people use it
    • -In the comedy of the commons, each person, while getting something for themselves, also (directly or indirectly) contributes back to the common good at the same time.
    • -Ex. Torrent site 
    • -Although she was writing prior to the mainstreaming of the Internet and the explosion of the World Wide Web, Rose’s observations,about how certain social and commercial commons benefited from an increase in users seemed to anticipate the logic of the new media that would emerge in the coming decades; for example, Rose predicted that ‘... properties devoted to such noncommercial uses as recreation or speech could achieve their highest value when they are accessible to the public at large’
    • -the more who join, increase enjoyment
    • -
  3. Explain Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons?
    • - the tragedy of the commons is illustrated by a scenario in which a shared pasture is freely available to all citizens for grazing their livestock. When acting from their individual self-interests, each citizen logically concludes that they should increase their herd. The tragedy of this scenario is that it inevitably leads to too many animals grazing, depleting the resources of the shared pasture to the detriment of all.
    • -If a resource is common to all people, a rational individual will exploit that
    • resource to the extent that he can without taking into account the cost to
    • others.  This is a tragedy because
    • rational behavior it leads to the destruction
    • -Freedom to breed is intolerable
    • -freedom must be limited
    • -Hardin suggests the most effective
    • way to achieve stability is through coercion, which is administered by legislation. This means that our freedom to breed could be relinquished and punishments could be implemented. Population growth is the ultimate problem and by restricting some of our rights could save many resources, animals or Earth
    • as a whole.
    • -some problems can't be changed by technology, but require a change in human behavior
    • -there is no foreseeable technical solution to increasing both human populations and their standard of living on a finite planet.
  4. Which concept seems to have more validity? Why?
    • Hardins
    • -population is a problem
    • -greedy corporations
    • -infinite resources
    • -has no technical solution
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Geog 120: Essay
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