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Week One Notes/Readings

by: Rebecca Cruze

Week One Notes/Readings 12172

Rebecca Cruze
Intro into Environmental Studies
P Walker

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This is notes from the lectures and readings, and provides extra insights he discussed in class!
Intro into Environmental Studies
P Walker
Class Notes
Environmental Studies
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rebecca Cruze on Sunday October 4, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 12172 at University of Oregon taught by P Walker in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Intro into Environmental Studies in Environmental Science at University of Oregon.


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Date Created: 10/04/15
Environmental Studies 201 Social Science WEEK1 LECTURE 1 Why smart people do dumb things to the planet thesis Globalization of Capitalism economical benefits Carbon dioxide releasing firmsglobal money exchangeclimate denial 1 social factor Capitalism as a system has systematically pumped enormous volumes of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for the benefit of economical gains Shell s plan to drill for oil in antarctica backed up on Sept 28th Obama opened offshore oil drilling development and supported the exploration of oil drilling greenpeace protest Portland or Continual lies from government about incentive to control abroad governmentdeclare war ex Vietnam WarIraq War We call politicians leaders but really they are followers the followers of what the people want walker Capitalism is inherently undermining the physical requirements and necessary conditions for its own existence walker READING The Guardian 2015 Stringent catch controls were imposed on the species in 2006 after two decades of overfishing pushed cod populations to the brink of collapse North sea cod fishing has been moved off the red list endangered to the amber list good for occasional eating but much more needs to be done until it reaches the green list good population control Efforts of recent years need to continue in order for the fishery to head towards the green end of the spectrum Between 1996 and 2006 annual cod catches in the North Sea plummeted from 80000 to 20000 tonnes But after the imposition of strict catch controls cod stocks made a parallel recovery over the next eight years from an estimated 20000 tonnes to 70000 tonnes As well as overfishing the decline of North Atlantic cod was exacerbated by warming oceans in western shelf areas of the North Sea basin which reduced the fish s reproductive success Ostrom and Burger Tragedy of the Commons Tragedy of the commons Hardin s metaphor that the users of a commons an inevitable process that leads to the destruction of the very resource on which they depend exclusion of beneficiaries through physical and institutional means is especially costly and ii exploitation by one user reduces resource availability for others The rational user of a commons Hardin argued makes demands on a resource until the expected benefits of his or her actions equal the expected costs Because each user ignores costs imposed on others individual decisions cumulate to a tragic overuse and the potential destruction of an openaccess commons Examples of this in government policy that prove the theory faulty based on culturelocation ex Mongolia has allowed pastoralists to continue their traditional groupproperty institutions while both Russia and China have imposed stateowned agricultural collectives that involve permanent settlement A satellite image of northern China Mongolia and southern Siberia shows marked degradation in the Russian part of the image whereas the Mongolian half of the image shows much less degradation About threequarters of the pasture land in the Russian section of this ecological zone has been degraded and more than onethird of the Chinese section has been degraded while only onetenth of the Mongolian section has suffered equivalent los CPRs have traditionally included terrestrial and marine ecosystems that are simultaneously viewed as depletable and renewable CPRs are difficult for government to regulation due to These attributes include the size and carrying capacity of the resource system the measurability of the resource the temporal and spatial availability of resource flows the amount of storage in the system whether resources move like water wildlife and most fish or are stationary like trees and medicinal plants how fast resources regenerate how various harvesting technologies affect patterns of regeneration Solving CPR problems involves two distinct elements restricting access and creating incentive The primary difference between group property and individual property individual owners can buy or sell a share of a resource Government property involves ownership by a national regional or local public agency that can forbid or allow use by individuals Empirical studies show that no single type of property regime works efficiently fairly and sustainably in relation to all CPRs problems continue to exist in many regulated settings Individual relation to CPRs have various different reactions from people those who always behave in a narrow selfinterested way and never cooperate in dilemma situations freeriders those who are unwilling to cooperate with others unless assured that they will not be exploited by freeriders those who are willing to initiate reciprocal cooperation in the hopes that others will return their trust perhaps a few genuine altruists who always try to achieve higher returns for a group groups of people who can identify one another are more likely than groups of strangers to draw trust reciprocity reputation to develop norms that limit use Participants or external authorities must deliberately devise and then monitor and enforce CPR rules specify how much and when that use will be allowed create and finance formal monitoring arrangements establish sanctions for nonconformance Users must some autonomy to make and enforce their own rules highly value the future sustainability of the resource Perceived costs are higher when the resource is large and complex users lack a common understanding of resource dynamics have one interest in common among their diverse interests SmallScale Local lssues deciding who gets permission to use and regulate common goods usually people who have used them for a long period of time new users arrive through migration they do not share a similar understanding of how a resource works and what rules and norms are shared by others Members of the initial community feel threatened and may fail to enforce their own selfrestraint or they may even join the race to use up the resource Efficient Techniques Expectations of rising resource prices encourage better management whereas falling unstable or uncertain resource prices reduce the incentive to organize and assure future availability Attributes of resource systems and their users affect the benefits and costs that users perceive For users to see major benefits resource conditions must not have deteriorated to such an extent that the resource is useless nor can the resource be so little used that few advantages result from organizing Benefits are easier to assess when users have accurate knowledge of external boundaries and internal microenvironments and have reliable and valid indicators of resource conditions When the flow of resources is relatively predictable it is also easier to assess how diverse management regimes will affect longterm benefits and costs users must be interested in the sustainability of the particular resource so that expected joint benefits will outweigh current costs If users have some initial trust in others to keep promises lowcost methods of monitoring and sanctioning can be devised users who use resource dependable on livelihood is more likely to see benefits in restrictions Participants are more likely to adopt effective rules in macroregimes that facilitate their efforts than in regimes that ignore resource problems entirely or that presume that central authorities must make all decisions Issues with grandscale problems aka CLIMATE CHANGE Having larger numbers of participants in a CPR increases the difficulty of organizing agreeing on rules and enforcing rules Management of these resources depends on the cooperation of appropriate international institutions and national regional and local institutions cultural diversity cultural diversity can decrease the likelihood of finding shared interests and understandings ex industrialized and nonindustrialized nations From our increasingly specialized understandings and particular points on the globe it is difficult to comprehend the significance of global CPRs and how we need to work together to govern these resources successfully ex benefits to those living in the grasslands as well as equal benefits for those living in forest area Population growth economic development capital and labor mobility and technological change push us past environmental thresholds before we know it Learning by doing is increasingly difficult as past lessons are less and less applicable to current problems Some resources ex fresh water in an international basin or large marine ecosystems become effectively depletable only in an international context Some experience from smaller systems transfers directly to global systems but global commons introduce a range of new issues due largely to extreme size and complexity National governments can hinder local selforganization by defending rights gt lead to overuse or maintaining that the state has ultimate control over resources without actually monitoring and enforcing existing regulations all governments specialized and struggling must follow the same equal treatysame benefits costs we have only one globe to experiment WEEK 1 LECTURE 2 What does social science have to do with the environment environmental problems are social problems associated with human activities physical science tells what is happening gt we also need to know why underlying systematic characteristics in society poorly affect environment There are both Root and Proximate Issuescauses Root causes we must address underlying forces of issueshuman behavior ex recurring fires why are they recurring Proximate causes Immediate problems which we can find solutions that will not defeat problem Good solutions begin with good diagnosis of multiple causesscales ex Wild salmon salmon have lived in the pacific northwest much longer than humans have existed multiple proximate and root causes hatcheriesdestruction of habitatdamsclimateharvesting BROADER scale issue cultural viewseconomic progress weak laws ex treaty obligations to native americanspolitical economysocial inequalityeconomics externalities creating jobs thereby displacing environmental effects to future This course is about leading theories of social root causes of these environmental problems Tragedy of the Commons 1968 article published in science magazine brought attention to subject the explanation is not universally helpful is Common property a concern How and when do things that are owned in common become environmental problems can they be managed Common resources not owned by person or entity hard to monitor and usage affects all people oceans we depend on oceans ex fisheries rivers ex factories dump pollutants in river forests grazing or farming land aquifers underground water ex california climate issue with water agriculture main source of economy in california farmers are drilling and water is not replenishing at equal rate aIr climate Garrett Hardin argues solving environmental problems is a conflict between shortterm and longterm welfare ex grazing sheep more sheep in pasture is beneficial to the individual leading to cost distributed to rest of society soil of grass is destroyed leading to no one able to raise animals Solution eliminate commons gt owned only by individuals therefore responsibility and consequences affect them ex overgrazing wouldn t allow the individual to raise animals Freedom in the commons brings ruin to all Hardin Hardin failed to distinguish between commons and openaccess free commons are resources that are typically not held by individualgroups commons may or may not efficiently managed there are no rules with openaccess commons exoceans cannot regulate Ruin only happens when there is truly nobody in charge no rulesfree many commons are carefully managed often by LOCAL communities Modern Question How and when can common resources be managed effectively 1988 banning of CDC is aerosol cans example of global level banning Ostrom conditions for managing commons only privatization or government control prevent tragedy communities can be effective managers size and definability of the resource mattersthe characteristics of the community ex the norms culture of that community ex water temples in Bali irrigation was widely decided by priests regulated much more efficiently than government managers ex wildlife management areas in tanzania management of wildlife is very difficult mobile resourcesextremepoachers success has been found in communities that are given incentives every person in that community becomes apart of the issue and solution ex ecotourism save the elephants so tourists come in and money comes back to community ex of privatization nestle saying that water is not a human right it is a commodity gt therefore going in and sucking lakes dry for profit


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