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Nature Connectedness Assignment (#1)
1. What was your score on the Nature Relatedness Scale (NRS)? (Tally your total, taking into
account reversed scores, then divide by the total items to get an average.) (1 point)
2. What was your score on the short-form NRS? (If you need a scoring reminder, see the PDF
posted called “Nature Relatedness Scale and Scoring Instructions.”) (1 point)
3. Most students fall between a 3.0 and a 3.5. How did your score compare to this range? Did
anything about this surprise you? Why? (1 points)
4. Can you reflect on a time in your life that your score may have been significantly higher or
lower? Explain. (2 points)
5. Choose two items from the scale that you rated highest/best (remember to take into account
reversed items) and explain why. (1 point each)
6. Choose two items from the scale that you rated lowest/worst (remember to take into account
reversed items) and explain why. (1 point each)
7. Regarding the items on which you scored worst, is there an opportunity to/way to improve in
this domain? How? (1 points)
8. Given that NRS scores are associated with factors like personal growth, purpose in life, selfacceptance, positive relations with others, life satisfaction, wellness, etc., do you have any reason
to be concerned regarding your average score or scores on any specific scale items? (5 points)
9. What do you think is/will be the most important aspect of closing the growing gap of
connectedness in younger generations? Why? (5 points)
Ecological Footprint Assignment (#2)
Complete the survey at this link: http://www.footprintcalculator.org . Answer ALL of the
questions, including those that ask you to “add details to improve accuracy.” Type your results
into a word doc, or include a screen shot of your results. This may be turned in as the same
document as assignment #1 or as a separate submission. It is also due, typed and printed, on
Thursday, 01/24 at the start of class.
What Shanl We Mam?
Population, as Malthus said, naturally
tends to grow “geometrically,” or, as we
would now say, exponentially. In a
finite world this means that the per
capita share of the world’s goods must
steadily decrease. Is ours a finite world?
A fair defense can be put forward for
view that the world is infinite; or
The population problem has no technical solution;
that we do not know that it is not. But,
it requires a fundamental extension in morality.
in terms of the practical problems that
we must face in the next few generations with the foreseeable technology, it
Garrett Hardin
is clear that we will greatly increase
human misery if we do not, during the
immediate future, assume that the world
available to the terrestrial human popAt the end of a thoughtful article on sional judgment. . . .” Vhether they ulation is finite. “Space” is no escape
the future of nuclear war, Wiesner and were right or not is not the concern of (2).
A finite world can support only a
York (1) concluded that: “Both sides in the present article. Rather, the concern
the arms race are … confronted by the here is with the important concept of a finite population; therefore, population
dilemma of steadily increasing military class of human problems which can be growth must eventually equal zero. (The
power and steadily decreasing national called “no technical solution problems,” case of perpetual wide fluctuations
security. It is our considered profes- and, more specifically, with the identifi- above and below zero is a trivial variant
sional judgment that this dilemma has cation and discussion of one of these. that need not be discussed.) When this
no technical solution. If the great powIt is easy to show that the class is not condition is met, what will be the situaers continue to look for solutions in a null class. Recall the game of tick- tion of mankind? Specifically, can Benthe area of science and technology only, tack-toe. Consider the problem, “How tham’s goal of “the greatest good for
the result will be to worsen the situa- can I win. the game of tick-tack-toe?” the greatest number” be realized?
It is well known that I cannot, if I asNo-for two reasons, each sufficient
I would like to focus your attention sume (in keeping with the conventions by itself. The first is a theoretical one.
not on the subject of the article (na- of game theory) that my opponent un- It is not mathematically possible to
tional security in a nuclear world) but derstands the game perfectly. Put an- maximize for two (or more) variables at
on the kind of conclusion they reached, other way, there is no “technical solu- the same time. This was clearly stated
namely that there is no technical solu- tion” to the problem. I can win only by von Neumann and Morgenstern (3),
tion to the problem. An implicit and by giving a radical meaning to the word but the principle is implicit in the theory
almost universal assumption of discus- “win.” I can hit my opponent over the of partial differential equations, dating
sions published in professional and head; or I can drug him; or I can falsify back at least to D’Alembert (1717semipopular scientific journals is that the records. Every way in which I “win” 1783).
the problem under discussion has a involves, in some sense, an abandonThe second reason springs directly
technical solution. A technical solution ment of the game, as we intuitively un- from biological facts. To live, any
may be defined as one that requires a derstand it. (I can also, of course, organism must have a source of energy
change only in. the techniques of the openly abandon the game-refuse to (for example, food). This energy is
natural sciences, demanding little or play it. This is what most adults do.)
utilized for two puposes: mere mainnothing in the way of change in human
The class of “No technical solution tenance and work. For man, maintevalues or ideas of morality.
problems” has members. My thesis is nance of life requires about 1600 kiloIn our day (though not in earlier that the “population problem,” as con- calories a day (“maintenance calories’).
times) technical solutions are always ventionally conceived, is a member of Anything that he does over and above
welcome. Because of previous failures this class. How it is conventionally con- merely staying alive will be defined as
in prophecy, it takes courage to assert ceived needs some comment. It is fair work, and is supported by “work calthat a desired technical solution is not to say that most people who’ anguish ories” which he takes in. Work calories
possible. Wiesner and York exhibited over the population problem are trying are used not only for what we call work
this courage; publishing in a science to find a way to avoid the evils of over- in common speech; they are also rejournal, they insisted that the solution population without relinquishing any of quired for all forms of enjoyment, from
to the problem was not to be found in the privileges they now enjoy. They swimming and automobile racing to
the natural sciences. They cautiously think that farming the seas or develop- playing music and writing poetry. If
qualified their statement with the ing new strains of wheat will solve the our goal is to maximize population it is
phrase, “It is our considered profes- problem-technologically. I try to show obvious what we must do: We must
here that the solution they seek cannot make the work calories per person apThe author is professor of biology, University
of California, Santa Barbara. This article is be found. The population problem can- proach as close to zero as possible. No
based on a presidential address presented before not be solved in a technical way, any gourmet meals, no vacations, no sports,
the meeting of the Pacific Division of the Amerimore than can the problem of winning no music, no literature, no art. . . . I
can Association for the Advancement of Science
at Utah State University, Logan, 25 June 1968.
the game of tick-tack-toe.
think that everyone will grant, without
The Tragedy of the Commons
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13 DECEMBER 1968
argument or proof, that maximizing
population does not max2imize goods.
Bentham’s goal is impossible.
In reaching this conclusion I have
made the usual assumption that it is
the acquisition of energy that is the
problem. The appearance of atomic
energy has led some to question this
volve unhappiness. For it is only by
them that the futility of escape can be
made evident in the drama.”
The tragedy of the commons develops
in this way. Picture a pasture open to
all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as
possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal
wars, poaching, and disease keep the
numbers of both man and beast well
below the carrying capacity of the land.
Finally, however, comes the day of
reckoning, that is, the day when the
long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.
As a rational being, each herdsman
seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly
or implicitly, more or less consciously,
he asks, “What is the utility to me of
adding one more animal to my herd?”
This utility has one negative and one
positive component.
1) The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal.
Since the herdsman receives all the
proceeds from the sale of the additional
animal, the positive utility is nearly +1.
2) The negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing
created by one more animal. Since,
however, the effects of overgrazing are
shared by all the herdsmen, the negative
utility for any particular decisionmaking herdsman is only a fraction of
Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman
concludes that the only sensible course
for him to pursue is to add another
animal to his herd. And another; and
another…. But this is the conclusion
reached by each and every rational
herdsman sharing a commons. Therein
is the tragedy. Each man is locked into
a system that compels him to increase
his herd without limit-in a world that
is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing
his own best interest in a society that
believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings
ruin to all.
Some would say that this is a platitude. Would that it were! In a sense, it
was learned thousands of years ago, but
natural selection favors the forces of
psychological denial (8). The individual
benefits as an individual from his ability
to deny the truth even though society as
a whole, of which he is a part, suffers.
Downloaded from http://science.sciencemag.org/ on January 22, 2019
time,-p – rate of zero. Any people
that has intuitively identified its optimum point will soon reach it, after
which its growth rate becomes and remains zero.
Of course, a positive growth rate
might be taken as evidence that a population is below its optimum. However,
assumption. However, given an infinite by any reasonable standards, the most
source of energy, population growth rapidly growing populations on earth
still produces an inescapable problem. today are (in general) the most miseraThe problem of the acquisition of en- ble. This association (which need not be
ergy is replaced by the problem of its invariable) casts doubt on the optimistic
dissipation, as J. H. Fremlin has so wit- assumption that the positive growth rate
tily shown (4). The arithmetic signs in of a population is evidence that it has
-t-he analysis are, as it were, reversed; yet to reach its optimum.
but Bentham’s goal is still unobtainable.
We can make little progress in workThe optimum population is, then, less ing toward optimum poulation size until
than the maximum. The difficulty of we explicitly exorcize the spirit of
defining the optimum is enormous; so Adam Smith in the field of practical
far as I know, no one has seriously demography. In economic affairs, The
tackled this problem. Reaching an ac- Wealth of Nations (1776) popularized
ceptable and stable solution will surely the “invisible hand,” the idea that an
require more than one generation of individual who “intends only his own
hard analytical work-and much per- gain,” is, as it were, “led by an invisible
hand to promote . .,. the public interest”
We want the maximum good per (5). Adam Smith did not assert that
person; but what is good? To one per- this was invariably true, and perhaps
son it is wilderness, to another it is ski neither did any of his followers. But he
lodges for thousands. To one it is estu- contributed to a dominant tendency of
aries to nourish ducks for hunters to thought that has ever since interfered
shoot; to another it is factory land. with positive action based on rational
Comparing one good with another is, analysis, namely, the tendency to aswe usually say, impossible because sume that decisions reached individually
goods are incommensurable. Incommen- will, in fact, be the best decisions for an
entire society. If this assumption is
surables cannot be compared.
Theoretically this may be true; but in correct it justifies the continuance of
real life incommensurables are commen- our present policy of laissez-faire in
surable. Only a criterion of judgment reproduction. If it is correct we can asand a system of weighting are needed. sume that men will control their individIn nature the criterion is survival. Is it ual fecundity so as to produce the optibetter for a species to be small and hide- mum population. If the assumption is
able, or large and powerful? Natural not correct, we need to reexamine our
selection commensurates the incommen- individual freedoms to see which ones
surables. The compromise achieved de- are defensible.
pends on a natural weighting of the
values of the variables.
Man must imitate this process. There Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons
is no doubt that in fact he already does,
The rebuttal to the invisible hand in
but unconsciously. It is when the hidden
decisions are made explicit that the population control is to be found in a
arguments begin. The problem for the scenario first sketched in a little-known
years ahead is to work out an accept- pamphlet (6) in 1833 by a mathematical
able theory of weighting. Synergistic amateur named William Forster Lloyd
effects, nonlinear variation, and difficul- (1794-1852). We may well call it “the
ties in discounting the future make the tragedy of the commons,” using the
intellectual problem difficult, but not word “tragedy” as the philosopher
Whitehead used it (7): “The essence of
(in principle) insoluble.
Has any cultural group solved this dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It
practical problem at the present time, resides in the solemnity of the remorseeven on an intuitive level? One simple less working of things.” He then’ goes on.
fact proves that none has: there is no to say, “This inevitableness of destiny
prosperous population in the world to- can only be illustrated in terms of huday that has, and has had for some man life by incidents which in fact in-
The National Parks present another
instance of the working out of the
tragedy of the commons. At present,
they are open to all, without limit. The
parks themselves are limited in extentthere is only one Yosemite Valleywhereas population seems to grow without limit. The values that visitors seek
in the parks are steadily eroded. Plainly,
we must soon cease to treat the parks
as commons or they will be of no value
to anyone.
What shall we do? We have several
options. We might sell them off as private property. We might keep them as
public property, but allocate the right
to enter them. The allocation might be
on the basis of wealth, by the use of an
auction system. It might be on the basis
of merit, as defined by some agreed13 DECEMBER 1968
upon standards. It might be by lottery.
Or it might be on a first-come, firstserved basis, administered to long
queues. These, I think, are all the
reasonable possibilities. They are all
objectionable. But we must choose-or
acquiesce in the destruction of the commons that we call our National Parks.
was a boy, for there were not too many
people. But as population became denser,
the natural chemical and biological recycling processes became overloaded,
calling for a redefinition of property
How To Legislate Temperance?
In a reverse way, the tragedy of
the commons reappears in problems of
pollution. Here it is not a question of
taking something out of the commons,
but of putting something in-sewage,
or chemical, radioactive, and heat
wastes into water; noxious and dangerous fumes into the air; and distracting
and unpleasant advertising signs into
the line of sight. The calculations of
utility are much the same as before.
The rational man finds that his share of
the cost of the wastes he discharges into
the commons is less than the cost of
purifying his wastes before releasing
them. Since this is true for everyone, we
are locked into a system of “fouling our
own nest,” so long as we behave only
as independent, rational, free-enterprisers.
The tragedy of the commons as a
food basket is averted by private property, or something formally like it. But
the air and waters surrounding us cannot readily be fenced, and so the tragedy of the commons as a cesspool must
be prevented by different means, by coercive laws or taxing devices that make
it cheaper for the polluter to treat his
pollutants than to discharge them untreated. We have not progressed as far
with the solution of this problem as we
have with the first. Indeed, our particular concept of private property, which
deters us from exhausting the positive
resources of the earth, favors pollution.
The owner of a factory on the bank of
a stream-whose property extends to
the middle of the stream-often has
difficulty seeing why it is not his natural
right to muddy the waters flowing past
his door. The law, always behind the
times, requires elaborate stitching and
fitting to adapt it to this newly perceived
aspect of the commons.
The pollution problem is a consequence of population. It did not much
matter how a lonely American frontiersman disposed of his waste. “Flowing
water purifies itself every 10 miles,” my
grandfather used to say, and the myth
was near enough to the truth when he
of the
pollution problem
a function of population density uncovers a not generally recognized prin-
ciple of morality, namely:
the morality
of the state of
the system at the time it is performed
(10). Using the commons as a cesspool
does not harm the general public under
frontier conditions, because there is no
public; the same behavior in a metropolis is unbearable. A hundred and fifty
years ago a plainsman could kill an
American bison, cut out only the tongue
for his dinner, and discard the rest of
the animal. He was not in any important sense being wasteful. Today, with
only a few thousand bison left, we
would be appalled at such behavior.
In passing, it is worth noting that the
morality of an act cannot be determined
from a photograph. One does not know
whether a man killing an elephant or
setting flre to the grassland is harming
an act
is a function
others until one knows the total system
in which his act appears. “One picture
is worth a thousand words,” said an
ancient Chinese; but it may take 10,000
words to validate it. It is as tempting to
ecologists as it is to reformers in general
to try to persuade others by way of the
photographic shortcut. But the essense
of an argument cannot be photographed: it must be presented rationally
-in words.
That morality is system-sensitive
escaped the attention of most codifiers
of ethics in the past. “Thou shalt
not . . .” is the form of traditional
ethical directives which make no allowance for particular circumstances. The
laws of our society follow the p …
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