The tradegy of the commons

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 4.0

Downloaded 42 times

The Tragedy of the Commons.

The essay The Tragedy of the Commons makes many points that all lead up to a central idea. These points all revolve around the central idea that there is only a finite amount of land and resources available on the Earth. And that the population of the earth is either approaching or is already at the Earth's carrying capacity. The essay brings up the view that there is no technical solution to the problem of overpopulation and we need to try to develop other ways to limit the population growth instead of relying on technology to save us. Tragedy of the commons also touches on the point that "we" as a people want the maximum good per person. The debate however is over what that "good" is, for some it is wilderness area for hiking or fishing and for others that good is a housing development.

The essay states the necessity for the population growth to near or become 0 (where births per year equal deaths per year). There is no prosperous population that has and has had a growth rate or zero. The comparison that the essay uses that of the commons to the earth. The common is a pasture that is open to herdsmen with cattle. At first the commons are fine because there are not enough herdsmen or cattle to approach the carrying capacity or the land. However after a while the carrying capacity of the land is achieved. The herdsman thinks to himself "what would happen if I added 1 more cow?" There is both a positive and a negative result to the herdsman for doing this. The positive component is nearly +1. This is because the herdsman does not have to share the cow with others. The negative...