Archive for 'Unit 1-Intro to Env Sci'
Well, the first test is behind us… I was sharing some info about hunting and “the commons” on the review day, and that got me thinking a bit more about the Tragedy of the Commons from the the first unit (see previous student post on The Tragedy of the Commons).
As I shared with you, I took a trip to Laurinburg, NC (my hometown) for the opening day of dove hunting season. Mourning doves are migratory game birds meaning they can cross county and state lines. Even though the hunt was on private land, the birds are considered a public resource and so, regulated by the government to prevent a “tragedy.” So, yes, they represent a “commons” of sorts.
So, how does the government regulate this resource in the public’s interest? First, one must acquire a license to legally hunt the birds. So, the number of people who can “harvest” the resource is limited to those who will pay the fee. Second, there is a season established for the hunt. A hunting season limits the amount of time people can harvest (and typically protects the birds during mating season). Third, daily “bag limits” establish a quota for the number of birds one can legally harvest per person per day.
Do all these regulations prevent abuse of the resource (birds)? No. Abuse occurs by people who have no license (poachers), hunt out of season, and kill more than the legal limit. Regulations do little good unless there is some enforcement. So, some of the funds from the purchase of licenses go toward paying for wildlife officers who can arrest or fine offenders.
Speaking of funds, many hunters join conservation organizations like Ducks Unlimited. These organizations use donations for projects like habitat protection or improvement. Hunters often get a bad rap, but those that hunt within legal limits and give back through conservation groups help encourage sustainable use. Is it hard to think of a hunter as a good steward?
can someone help me figure out what neoclassical economics means? it keeps showing up in the chapter review quizzes and i can’t exactly pinpoint what it means. thanks!
Hey guys! I understand the basic lineage of where environmentalism came from, but I’m confused as to the very starting point from where the first basic philosophy came. Was it the romantics or the preservationists that really started the movement? I know the romantics were responsible for the first feelings of respect toward nature, but are they considered the founders of environmentalism as well?
Hey guys. Hope you’re enjoying your Tuesday. I’ve been having trouble understanding one part of the triangle we made in class comparing economic, social, and preservationist views. Between preservationist (you might have it written down as environmentalist) and social I have environmental justice written down. I don’t quite understand what this means. Can anyone help? Thanks!
can anyone help me distinguish between an environmnent and an ecosystem? the textbook definitions are very similar but I don’t understand the difference between the two
I have been having trouble dealing with the timeline question. From what I understand, the enviromentalist movement started in the late fifties with Minamoto Bay, gained ground in the sixties, with Silent Spring, the Tory Canyon crash, and the moon landing increasing the care for the planet, and even more so in the seventies, with the first Earth Day and the establishment of the EPA by Nixon, then fell off in the eighties with Reagan, and then revitalized by such disasters as Amoco Caddiz, Bho Pal and Chernobyl. I am not able, however, to tell where Global Warming, the hole in the Ozone (Which are two seperate problems), and acid rain are really discovered. Are they part of the late eighties, or the early ninties?
I am having some trouble understanding the triple bottom line. Is it just a balance between economic, environment, and social problems as a whole or just two parts? What would be an example of this balance?
Thanks for the help!
Friday, September 3rd:
Today in class we did a fishing simulation. I have attached the instructions for the game. There were 16 fish for each group of 4 or 5 and each group represented a village. Each person could take as many fish as they wanted, but if they took less than 2 fish, their family would starve and if they had more than 2 fish, they could sell the fish for profit. The order rotated each round. The fish also doubled (reproduced) after each round.
In the first round, the village COULD NOT communicate with each other. For example, each person in my group took 2 fish each in the first round. We had 6 fish left, so they reproduced and in the second round, we had 12 fish. Once we learned we could make profit for surplus fish, each person took 3 fish and the last person did not get any fish, so their family starved. We were then out of fish, so essentially we all died by the third round.
In the second round, the village COULD communicate with each other so we all decided to take the bare minimum (2 fish each) so that we could all survive as long as possible. Because of the low reproduction rate, there were no more fish after 3 rounds.
Essentially, everyone had to sustain for their own families. In real life, people would not sacrifice their families for other families or survive off the bare minimum. People want to make profit. This is called the Tragedy of the Commons. It is the degradation of public resources due to self-interest. The Tragedy of the Commons presents problems of greed and sustainability. Some solutions to these problems are: voluntary cooperation (which rarely works because of innate greed/survival instincts), government regulation (which is the government controlling each individual’s use of a common resource), and privatization (which is one person owning and controlling the resource and they have the power to tell the other users how much they can use the resource, if at all). We decided that the only global commons are oceans and the atmosphere, since everyone has to use them, share them, and in return take care of them.
In class yesterday we worked in groups to trace the lineage of the modern environmental movement. Remember, environmentalism is a social movement. While environmental science and ecology are often used by environmentalists to promote their causes, they are not one and the same. I took pictures of the whiteboards the groups made that highlight key values, beliefs, and individuals from each movement (below). Sorry about the picture quality, but you can click to enlarge. Who knew your history knowledge would come in handy in science?
Did we forget anything? Seems like environmentalism board may be missing info on the legislative protections enacted during the Nixon administration in particular…feel free to comment.
An Ecological Footprint is the measure of a human being’s, or a population of human beings’, effect on the world and the resources of the planet. This is particularly used for non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels, or potentially renewable resources, like wood or water.
The Footprint is measured by the subject’s use of certain resources, such as food, goods and services, and carbon, and housing. With these broad categories, their are several things which make up each one of them. Such as for carbon, oil emissions and natural gas are smaller parts of the impact. While most think of carbon impact when they think of impact on the environment, but there is no direct correlation between any one category, only on the who total impact.
When finding out a populations imprint, one takes the impact per capita (ie. per person) and and multiplies that by the total number of a population. The impact per capita is determined by the person’s affluence and the countries technology. This is shown in the equation,
I=P x A x T
With I equal to environmental impact, P equal to the number of people in a population, A equal to the affluence, and T equal to the technology. With this equation, one can calculate their own countries impact on the world and its environment.
While your footprint grows the more you use up Earth’s resources, it grows smaller when you use environmentally friendly resources like solar power. If we all work hard enough, and are willing to spend the money, we can reduce our impact on the world, and still be able to live comfortable lives in our modern world, as well as keep our Earth in prime condition for the people who come after us.