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research essay - Vollaro Victoria Vollaro Professor Calo...

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Vollaro Victoria Vollaro Professor Calo ENGL 1201 BF 11 December 2007 Where Did All The Trees Go? In 1968, environmentalist Garrett Hardin discovered his theory of the “Tragedy of the Commons.” Hardin proved that the problem in his theory was the leading cause of depleting resources around the world. In his theory, Hardin gives an example of the attitude most people take on pertaining to resources, “If I do not use this resource, someone else will. The little bit I use or pollute is not enough to matter and such resources are renewable” (Hardin 1). These resources mentioned in the theory are also know as “free-resources” or renewable resources (Miller 12). They are natural resources that can be replenished by natural processes at a rate comparable to its rate of consumption by consumers. In other words, they are resources that grow back naturally. The problem at hand that everyone is dealing with but nobody knows about is substantial yield, a limit put on certain resources for the public. If everyone thinks that they can disregard the limit, the resources will be depleted even more quickly, than if the rules were followed, which is the real tragedy. In turn, the resources will no longer be labeled renewable because they will not be able to replenish rapidly enough to keep up with the human consumption. In this theory, Hardin explains the problems at hand and offers possible solutions for these problems. As an answer to the problems faced, Hardin proposes that these resources may be better protected in the hands of the government or a 1
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Vollaro private organization. Garrets Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons” theory is the best way to fix the problem of resource depletion that the world faces today. Humanity takes the free resources in the environment for granted everyday. These resources- such as, clean air, open ocean and its fish, migratory birds, wildlife species, national parks, wildlife refuges, gases of the lower atmosphere, free space, national forests and their trees- are used and abused more than people realize. As people use these resources, they begin to deplete and without any help from the consumers that are using them, the resources should eventually replenish themselves. As people start to neglect the limits set by the government, the real problem starts to take its course. For example, say there is a substantial yield limit set on the amount of trees that each person may cut down for use is five trees. If every person takes on the attitude that cutting down more than five trees will not hurt the environment they live in, the tragedy begins to be seen. Because people think on such a small scale, no one thinks about how their actions could potentially hurt the entire environment. This way of thinking is the main reason for deforestation. Forest depletion brings about even larger danger- habitat destruction. The problem of habitat destruction is one that endangers not only the animals that lose their homes but to people all over the world. When people disregard the rules and limits, valuable plants and minerals are destroyed along with the habitats they belong to. Those
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