Environmental Injustice throughout Centuries Essay

Environmental Injustice throughout Centuries Essay

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Garret Hardin, a professor of human ecology, claimed that struggles between short-term individual welfare and long-term societal welfare only makes environmental problems more complicated and unsolvable. Hardin used the commons to exemplify this struggle. In medieval Europe, the inhabitants of a village shared a pasture land, called the commons. Herders from all over the village brought their own animals onto the commons to graze. However, a problem occurred when these herders began to take advantage of the provided area by bringing as many of their animals possible to graze on the commons. Eventually, the plants were killed from over-grazing and the entire village suffered as the once pasture land became barren and incompetent. The destruction of the commons led to private ownership of land. And because it became the people’s best interest to protect and cultivate their own parcel of land, they acted more responsibly. Hardin's parable has relevance today. The commons today are parts of the environment that are available to everyone but for which no single individual holds responsibility – such as the atmosphere and the oceans. These commons, sometimes called the global commons, are currently experiencing an increasing level of environmental stress because they are not owned by any one individual, jurisdiction, or county. Therefore, they are susceptible to overuse. Such exploitation is an environmental injustice, which only benefits a few of the elite. Thus, the rest of the world suffers from this environmental inequality, and eventually everyone on earth must pay for the environmental cost of exploitation. In response, the U.S. government should enact a law to eliminate environmental injustices.
The gradual obliteration of ai...


... middle of paper ...


...rpopulation, and social injustice - problems that are beyond the ability of a single nation to resolve. Thus cooperation and international commitment are essential if we are to preserve our environment for future generations.



Works Cited

http://www.atimes.com/oceania/AH13Ah01.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20060820172746/http://www.oktedi.com/aboutus/keyStatistics.php Banks G. 2001. PNG – Baseline Study. Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development. IIED/World Business Council for Sustainable Development. No 180. 98 pp
http://www.oktedi.com/operations/mine-closure-planning
Hettler, J.; Irion, G., Lehmann, B. (1997). "Environmental impact of mining waste disposal on a tropical lowland river system: a case study on the Ok Tedi Mine, Papua New Guinea".Mineralium Deposita.
Cheeseman, T. (2000, October). "Conservation and the Maasai in Kenya: Tradeoff or Lost

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Environmental Injustice throughout Centuries Essay

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