PHI 236 Week 10 Lecture Notes
PHI 236 Week 10 Lecture Notes PHI 236
Popular in Values and the Environment
Haley J Schuhl
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Haley J Schuhl on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHI 236 at Illinois State University taught by Todd Stewart, Ph.D in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Values and the Environment in PHIL-Philosophy at Illinois State University.
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Date Created: 04/03/16
Tuesday 3/29/16 Still talking about Schmidtz from last Thursday ● Economic incentives, especially to people living in an area (think about who will be affected), matter (when making policies) ● Preservationist policies can sometimes backfire and have perverse incentives ● What successful policies tend to do? ○ Tend to provide local peoples with economic incentives to protect the environment White reading ● Knobthorn trees are put under pressure by elephants, and baobab trees ● Elephants have two many species: African (bush and forest elephants might be two species within the African elephants, vulnerable) and Asian(endangered, more in danger than African elephants ○ African elephants: browsers → look for food in the trees, look up for food ○ Asian elephants: grazers → focus on grass, look down for their food ○ Herbivores, can eat up to over 300 pounds of food per day ○ They have pretty bad digestive systems so their dung often have undigested seeds (sometimes birds can make meals out of elephant dung) ● Social Structure ○ They live in small families, usually led by matriarch (generally the eldest female) ○ When male elephants reach maturity they leave the group → become a loner or might form bachelor groups, they might go back to their group when they’re ready to mate ○ Social structure is very important to them, would cause a lot of stress to break up a group ● Matriarchs remember information about food location and when to start migration, and the different migration paths ● Learn quickly as babies instead of their knowledge coming from instinct, more of blank slates like we are when we’re born ● Keystone species: many other species rely on keystone for their survival ● There appears to be a cycle between low forest and savannah, elephants get rid of the trees and then other animals move in and the trees grow back ● Elephant intelligence: ○ There is an elephant that passed the mirror test → the ability to recognize their reflection as themselves, self recognition ○ They engage in tool use → the will rip branches off trees and use them as fly swatters, they will dig to expand water and then put mud balls on top to keep them from evaporating ○ Complicated cognitive maps, map of where all the food will be available and at what time during the year ○ Learn social rules ○ Neocortex is highly convoluted (more convoluted, the more intelligence) ○ Engage in sophisticated behaviors (raiding villages to eat grain and things) ○ Low rumbles can communicate over vast differences (tens of miles) ● Can live around 70 years → their long lifespan means that they don’t cycle through quickly at all ● Move about 612 miles per day but can move as much as 110 miles in a day ● Seasonal migrations, up to about 200 miles ● “Home range” for an elephant is about 35X35 kilometers square ● Elephant mourning: elephants will touch the recent dead, might return to burial area of a long deceased family member and might touch or gently pick up the bones ● Elephants seem to be owed some level of respect ● What problems generate the crisis here? ○ We’re not sure how elephant reproduction cycles work? Hot season, wet season? Doesn’t seem to influence their reproduction for elephants… They reproduce at a very steady rate regardless of how many resources are available ○ Very little elephants get killed, hard to hunt, difficult for a sickness to kill them, what kept their population in check historically? ○ “Island” preserves, less and less space available, they will break through and go in the direction they want ○ More humans → more confrontations that often don’t end well (they come through on their ancient route and rip up large portions of a crop) ○ Migrating by nature, won’t stay in one spot all year ○ They shape the environment around them, use up all available resources and then move onto the next hot spot ○ Less room to migrate means that they impact the local environment more because they can’t move onto the next space ○ When resources become scarce, their behaviors become more destructive ● What are the options ○ Culling (hunting maybe? Sell a number of permits) ○ Translocate ○ Contraceptives ○ Expand their territory ○ Bring in food for them ○ Combo of the options ○ Integrate elephants into the community in some better way ● Often the problem is that any solution would be very expensive Thursday 3/31/16 Going over White Article some more ● Elephant management options ○ Culling → keep them at target population, and what does target population mean? ○ Range extension → money and delays ○ Contraceptives → expensive ○ Let them be (let them starve after destroying their local environment) ○ Better integrate them into society ○ Translocation → very expensive, elephants might just return to their home range, moving the problem to another location ○ Give them food Hardin Article (1974) ● The Baby Boom caused the public to worry about over population ● Loosely in favor of reproduction policies ● The problem that freaked people out were population projections (exponential growth of earth’s population) ● Two models for typical population growth ○ K-model → relatively stable, population slightly exceeds the carrying capacity, then the population decreases to under it, hovers right near carrying capacity (grows and then stagnates) ○ R-selection model → exponential growth and then crash to almost nothing ● It looks like the projections were incorrect we think that the population should stabilize around 2050 or 2060 ○ Many places are having more steady population growth rate, and some even have negative growth rates (Japan and Germany) ● More developed countries tend to have lower growth rates; maybe countries with out of control population growth are due to low GDP ● It’s thought that human population will stabilize around 10 billion people → this still might be over the carrying capacity ● What is a carry capacity? The level at which species can safely sustain themselves given the resources in their ecosystem. The number of organisms that can inhabit a geographic area without degrading the environment. ● Tragedy of the commons ○ Commons: a space anyone can use (nobody owns it or we all own it), no exclusion ○ Happens when an individual benefits from overuse but the group as a whole suffers more ■ Suppose there are ten shepherds with ten animals each. 100 animals total can survive on a section of land. Each animal is worth $1. The total value of the herd is $100 ($10 per shepherd). Suppose if they go over 100 animals total, then they’re worth 95 cents each. 101 animals value = $95.95. Everyone loses but there is incentive for a specific shepherd to have more animals to make more money. ○ A situation where there’s a certain incentive structure to overuse something ○ Hardin says that overpopulation itself is a tragedy of the commons ○ Overgrazing/land use ○ Overfishing ○ Pollution of air/water/etc ● We treat a lot of air and water as commons