Wednesday, April 13, 2016

So you slept through science class -- what's the Tragedy of the Commons?

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Whether you slept through science class due to a lack of interest or an incredibly boring teacher (gasp!), sometimes it's good to catch up on the topics that you missed. I know I’m still trying to catch up on the classic books that I never read.  

In the latest installment of our science series, we're going to look at a concept called "The Tragedy of the Commons".  This concept is important to environmental management, because it addresses a characteristic of many environmental resources -- they're not owned by any one person or government.  Many environmental resources are part of what we call a "commons"; no one owns them, but lots of people have access to them.  The commons are often overused and under-managed.  Examples of commons include fisheries, parks, and the Earth's atmosphere.  Next week, we'll talk about "catch shares", which is a proposal for managing fisheries.

Check out these two helpful videos (from Don't Just Site There, Do Something! and Learn Liberty) to learn more about "The Tragedy of the Commons", and look forward to the next post on "catch shares"!


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