The Ungoverned Earth As A Tragedy Of The Commons

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The tragedy of the commons is about how shared resources are easily overused and depleted because there is no sense of ownership or responsibility associated with the resource. As people don’t associate it as their own they typically will not think about protecting it, replenishing it, or taking responsibility for it. It is rooted by individual, selfish actions that alone might not have an impact, but as it is a shared space, repeated actions will thereby have a large impact. Common examples of the tragedy of the commons is overfishing oceans or lakes, as no one owns these bodies of water no one wants to regulate the amount one can catch as it can potentially decrease the profit you make. Other examples are lawns, when people cut across a lawn …show more content…
The atmosphere is an ungoverned space that can be easily an example of the tragedy of the commons. Because the atmosphere does not stay fixed in space and it attempts to remain well mixed, even if your country decides to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, while other countries around the world continue to add GHGs to the atmosphere you’ll still feel the effect of these other countries. Moreover, having the most or least emissions doesn’t linearly align with the effect that GHGs will have on a given country, as some are far more susceptible to climate change than …show more content…
Who is responsible for cleaning up the air and improving future emissions to remove those emissions? The COP21 addresses these issues well. A primary issue lies with developed countries that have already used their fair share or more of fossil fuels that are now telling the developing countries to restrict their consumptions. But as the COP21 mentions, the responsibility resides in developed nations such as the US to take responsibility, but is not liable or financially responsible. This though promotes the idea of the accountability that is needed. Similar to Hardin’s (1968) idea of over population, the earth has a limited amount of space and resources (i.e. food and water) to supply the world’s population. Nations use these resources independently based on their own needs, as the resources are shared and unregulated. This way though is unsustainable as it leads to resource depletion and therefore many go hungry or without water. When we act on an individual level, we don’t know how the actions we impose might affect the rest of the earth. The maximum population that the earth can physically hold does not equally match the maximum amount of goods we can produce to preserve that population. As Dietze et al (2003) proposes, it is the idea that strict government alone cannot take on this task to regulate the GHG emissions it must be though cohesive strategies on multiple levels of hierarchy that one must

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