This paper aims at summarizing the idea of three pieces of scholarly readings about environmental studies and discussing their perspectives and solutions to the issues raised in their readings. The common theme of the readings will be first traced. In the next section, I will compare the differences between their arguments, so that the discussion based on the summary above in the final section can be made.
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Three pieces of readers share a common theme that is how to management the limited common pool resources of human being effectively and ensure the access to it is in line with justice. The authors, directly and indirectly, affirmed the fact that commons are under threat due to different causes and seek a method to address it effectively. G. Hardin (1968) use the theory of Tragedy of the commons to conclude that the ongoing growth in population inevitably corrode the limited common pool resources because every independent individual will tend to presume their own interest than the whole interest of society. Not only does this threat the common destiny of human being in long term, but it does also weaken the living quality in future. The second article shared a similar perspective with G. Hardin that the continued access to the commons is a vital factor to affect the well-being of human civilization. Therefore, it is necessary for us to establish a set of institution managing the access to it. Moreover, D. M. Konisky (2009) further unmasked the injustice phenomenon of the access to the common pool resources. Although he focused more on the government’ bias in the enforcement of environmental law in the lower class countries in US, it, in fact, implies that he agreed with the equal access to the common pool resources to a large extent since he presume the neutrality of government in managing the access of commons.
Even though three readings ‘arguments are based on the common issue, their point of view and focused points are different from each other. G. Hardin (1965) emphasized that the fundamental solution to the population problem is to externally control the population by taxation or some laws. He insisted that resorting conscience or moral restraint is useless as the one willing to abandon its own right to breed may be possibly freer-ridden and exploited by the one without conscience. (G. Hardin, 1965). By taxation and education, the desire to breed can be therefore undermined. Nonetheless, this perspective is denied by the article regarding Ostrom workshop. It suggested the internal self-governance by the community available to the commons is more effective than the external interference as the government may lack enough local information to devise a more suitable model for the locals. (M. Ginnis, MlD, and JM. Walker, 2009). It even recommended a polycentric governance model to manage the common pool resources, so that the local self-governance and external governance can mutually compensate with each other. For the reading of David M. Konisky, it used a relative different approach since this reading, in fact, is just a research to investigate whether US government is unjust in the enforcement of environment in the place with higher minority and poverty population. Thus, its solution to the problem is limited to the conditions of US. He, in the end of the paper, recommended the Federal government to use the grants and financial assistance to pressure the state government to equalize their enforcement standard. (D M. Konisky, 2010)
To conclude, the access to the common pool resources is undoubtedly necessary to be managed. Even though the quality of part of us still haven’t been affected due to the shortage of the common pool resources, it may possibly be based on the exploitation of the available resources of another part of the world. Nonetheless, abandoning the right to breed seems may also weaken our living quality at the same time. Tracing back to the countries enforcing birth control, killing female babies became a social and moral problem. In some of the case lacking sufficient social welfare system, the citizens bear a burden from take caring their parents. Thus, making more effort to manage the limited resources seems like more practical before finding a more comprehensive solution. For the self-governance, as mentioned in the article, sustainably montoring the access to the resources can be very time consuming and effort costly for the locals.( M. Ginnis, MlD, and JM. Walker, 2009). Nevertheless, the government should still spare some space for the locals to participate in the process of devising the model of managing the commons. Furthermore, the government must equalize the enforcement of regulating the access to the commons in case the free rider enjoys the whole results.
Research and Solving Environmental Problems. (2021, Mar 23).
Retrieved December 4, 2022 , from
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