The Tragedy Of The Commons.

Article originally written by Upama Adhikari..B.Sc Ag…. IAAS, Paklihawa

 Can we figure out a billion people? It’s difficult ,Isn’t it?  The current world population is 7.7 billion as of October 2019 according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated  by world-meters & is predicted to reach 9.6 billions by the year 2050. All of these extra people need extra food, water, energy and space to survive. 

 This unpredictable population growth has put forth a constraints on our environment and economics. The very first one to publicly address the limits of the earth and the consequences of the population growth was Thomas Robert Malthus( 1766-1834), an English scholar and cleric. In his 1798 work,an essay on the ‘Principle of Population ‘,Malthus examined the relationship between resources and population . From this he developed the ‘Malthusian theory of population growth ‘ . Malthus concluded that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce sustain for man . We can also find individual user or group of people acting according to their own self interest  by depleting or spoiling the resources through their collective action . Population is increasing dramatically in response of which natural resources is being depleting day by day & power of regeneration of earth is decreasing . 

     Later on the concept of theory ” The Tragedy Of The Commons ” emerged out . The theory originated in an essay written in 1833 by the British economist William Froster Lloyd, who used a hypothetical example of the effect of unregulated grazing on common land in Great Britain  and Ireland . The concept became widely known as ” The Tragedy Of The Commons ” over a century later due to an article written by American biologist , philosopher and eugenics supporter Garrett Harden in 1968. In this modern economist concept, “common ”  is taken to mean any shared and unregulated resources such as atmosphere , oceans , river , lake  , fish stock and road. Hardin focused on human population growth , the use of earth natural resources & the welfare state. 

Image result for British economist William Forster Lloyd,
William Froster Lloyd

 The term ” Tragedy Of The Common ” is being widely used in environmental science. It describes how people often take advantages of resources that are freely available to them. Often they don’t consider the fact that , their small mistake will lead negative consequences on whole population including the resources and environment . Individual acting in their personal self interest will inevitably destroy the resources so destruction of natural resources is inevitable consequences of irrational behavior of human being.

  The increased in human population has posed several  problems for the ecosystem. One of these problem is the decrease in forestry resources, which lead to decline in forest area and thus threaten the survival of  wildlife species .  It increases intraspecific  competition among wildlife species.An increased population is putting greater pressure on the forestry resources for Agricultural expansion , livestock ranching, logging and infrastructure expansion . Habitat of animal are being destroyed and animals are being poached for their own benefit. People are over exploiting or harvesting forestry resources beyond sustainable yield. The earth loses 18.7 millions acres of forest area every year according to World Wildlife Fund(WWF)  . It is estimated that 15% of all green house gas emission comes from deforestation according to WWF.

    Demand for fresh water is rising with the factor of population growth . Ground water resources are being increasingly exploited to meet this growing demand. Global population also lead to increased cases of water pollution . There is often dispute over uses of water for irrigation and fisheries . Increased use of fertilizer and pesticides to enhance agricultural production , unsystematic industrialization is depleting the quality of water resources which affect fisheries negatively. Water pollution is  a major environmental issues in fresh  water ecosystem today. As a result of this eutrophication of lakes occurs  . Water resources pollution occurs primarily due to poor and unplanned waste management policy of increasing population . Over fishing in the lakes oceans also  threaten the population of fishes.  

  Global warming and climate change is next major environmental issues . It is the biggest threat we are facing today. Irrational action of human being on environmental resources lead to global warming and ultimately to climate change . Global warming occurs when air pollutants , co2 and green house gases ( methane , nitrous oxide) collect in the atmosphere and absorbs sun lights and solar radiation which have bounced off the earth’s surface . This radiation which should escape into space but these pollutant trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter . This pollutants can last for years to centuries in the atmosphere . This effect is known as green house effect . Over the past 50 years , the average global temperature has increased  at the faster rate in recorded history. As human being burns fossils fuels like coal, oil and natural gases for energy and cut down and burn forest to create pasture and cultivation and residue of mining and drilling , carbon accumulates and act as a blanket , trapping heat and warming the planet. Unplanned and unsystematic waste management and agricultural practices aggravate the problems of global warming by releasing potent gases like co2 , methane and nitrous oxide. This global warming has been accompanied by a decreasing in very cold days and night and an increase in extremely hot days and warm nights . Global warming has potential to change rainfall pattern , snow pattern , increase drought , and severe Storms, reduce lake ice covers, glacier melting , increase in sea level due to thermal expansion, change in behavior of animals and plants , warming of ocean surface leading to increased temperature stratification.

Earth is common home to million of species of plants and animals. We were made from it and sustained by it but much of it is dying and we are destroying it. It is clear that our lifestyle is destroying the earth . Rather than simply living and caring our earth and what we have given , growing population is engaged in pursing their desires of comfort and satisfaction at the expense of earth that sustains us. It doesn’t take any sense of intelligence or great wisdom to the foolishness of human beings in these way, yet majority refuses to acknowledge this. People are too busy in sustaining their life at present without considering the future. People have unwillingness to change their lifestyle and give up their comfort.

      Taking care of our common home is an Idea which is no longer issues of tomorrow but an today’s issues. It is us , we human being , who started deteriorating earth so it is our responsibility to fix what we stared . Everyone must put in an effort to save our earth before it’s too late.  With every outlet available and voice, every people need to work against this deterioration  .  Destruction of earth’s resources lead to life or death situation , so as to save ourselves we have to save our earth. Instead of having  ‘I feeling ‘ we should develop ‘ we feeling’ . We have to reduce our ecological footprint and make positive impact on earth. Our earth is one of a kind so we have to protect what God has given to us . We have to make safe and green earth for all the generation after us . 

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