PHIL 105 - Class Notes - 12.12.07

PHIL 105 - Class Notes - 12.12.07 - PHIL 105: Class Notes...

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PHIL 105: Class Notes  12/12/07 The Tragedy of the Commons The division of these costs and benefits are unequal o The individual herder fains all of the advantage o The disadvantage is shared among all herders using the pasture The rational course of action is to add an extra animal However all herders reach the same amount Overgrazing The overgrazing cost here is an example of an externality History of the West and Movement of Agriculture o Middle East in Tigris-Euphrates area o Greeks o Romans o Western Europeans o Americas Impossibility Theorems Science built on impossibility theorems o Travel faster than the speed of light o Create or destroy matter-energy o Build a perpetual motion machine, etc. Modern Examples of Tragedy of Commons Ozone hole Acid rain Radioactive contamination Greenhouse effect Peak oil Obligation to future generations Environmental Obligation to non-humans Sustainable Development Adapts and improves in knowledge, organization, technical efficiency, and wisdom Does this without assimilating or accreting, beyond some point, an even greater  percentage of the matter-energy of the ecosystem into itself, but rater stops at a scale at  which the remaining ecosystem (the environment) can continue to function and renew  itself year after year.
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New Guinea Island, with 7,000 years of sustainable agriculture o Soil fertility Crop rotation Organic waste o Silvaculture—trees Fast growing Nitrogen fixing Increases fertility o Population control War, infanticide, contraception, abortion, abstinence, extended nursing. Tikopia Extensive orchards replace rainforest Taboos prevent overfishing Swamp foods Population control o Same population for about 283 years o Contraception, abortion, celibacy, infanticide, suicides, and war Impediments in the West Believe they can relieve themselves from ecological crises by depending on their strong  technological and financial capacity.
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PHIL 105 - Class Notes - 12.12.07 - PHIL 105: Class Notes...

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