One solution that can be offered to prevent the overall tragedy of the commons, is to use “education” as a means to an end. Education is what allows for us to evolve our understanding of what is right and wrong. It helps us to establish our moral identity, and by establishing a universal environmental moral identity, we can avert the ongoing tragedies of the commons.
There are many that may say that the most difficult challenge in using education as a means of achieving universal environmental morality, is capitalism. The majority of people in our societies tend to focus more on prosperity over environmental morality due to the immense income disparity that exists in the world. A large portion of our global community does not actively participate in pro-environment activities because their main focus is merely to obtain sufficient income to fulfill their daily needs. This hinders their ability to become morally aware of their environmental obligations, and also inhibits the cooperative relationship between the highest and lowest classes of society due to the wide income disparity between them. A simplistic approach to resolving this issue would be for our global community to shift its focus to social capital development in lieu of individual self-serving capital development.
Despite the income disparity that exists in the world and the urgent need for us to equally combat that issue, we should in no way allow for it to undermine or deter us in our efforts to use education as a means to create a universal environmental morality in our global community. The ultimate goal in achieving universal environmental morality, is for all people everywhere to have the same moral obligation of assuring that the units of commons that exist today, are protected, and forwarded to future generations. Once this becomes the standard environmental moral objective of our global community, then formal legislation can take place to formulate laws to effectively govern the commons. It is worth noting this does not fix the incentive structure in the Tragedy of the Commons and the Prisoner’s Dilemma, but subverts it by instead allowing people to focus on the ethical benefits rather than personal interests.
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