- Explain the idea of sustainability
Sustainability is a common term that is commonly used to refer to the ability to maintain the balance in certain processes that exist in a system. This term is common mostly in studies related to biology and those that cover human systems. There are however other orientations that utilize the use of the term e.g. in ecosystem the word is used to refer to the ability of the ecosystem to maintain the ecological processes i.e. the ability of the systems in the ecosystem to live mutually and benefit from each other without causing an imbalance.
In the human point of view, a sustainable development refers to a pattern of resources that are designed to meet the overall needs of the human being wile utilizing the available resources and preserving the environment which is said not only benefits the individuals in the present but also will benefit the future siblings.
The term sustainability is used in the world today in almost every field but that which has been of much emphasis is the sustainability in the human being point of view (Griffin, 2002). The rule of sustainability implies that for a person to live sustainably, the balance in the resources of the earth that the person needs to use to be able to live comfortably must be sufficient. There are no records however that have shown that the human species has lived unsustainably.
In the late years of 1980’s the issues of sustainability have become very essential and many bodies have been developed so that this issue can be addressed very well. In 1988, for example, some rules of sustainability were introduced which advised individuals on the opportunities and risks which are attributable to sustainable development and corporate responsibility. With the combining of forces like the societal expectations and market forces, the solutions of the environmental and social challenges that deliver long term objectives have been developed.
- What types of resources are in the most danger of collapsing?
Sustainable development implies that the use of resources is balanced and no resource is lacking. There are however resources that are said to be at the verge of collapsing if proper regulations re not placed in order to utilize these resources. The world today is seeking to use the alternative sources of these resources and have developed ways of making the place where these resources are found safe.
Some of the resources therefore that are in danger of collapsing include; food and food products sources, research by the UN World Food programme indicated that though a lot of food is produced in the world today, there are also many people who are malnourished, the agrofuels also is a resource that is facing the danger of depletion, the fisheries also are in a collapse today, research stating that at the trend that is currently following in the year 2040 all the major ocean fisheries will be virtually gone (Griffin, 2002).
- Discuss Overfishing. How does Overfishing relate to the concept of the Tragedy of the Commons proposed by Garrett Hardin?
Overfishing refers is an issue that occurs when the fishing activities in a lake or an ocean reduces the number of fish. A water source that is said to have fish that is below the accepted level is said to be overfished. Overfishing therefore is a term that implies that the fish are a threat of being depleted and therefore depletion of a major resource (Clover, 2004). This can occur when the ecological level in the water body is disturbed, or the level of fish goes down than the required number or the critical biomass level is decreased.
Overfishing can be categorized into three categories namely the ecosystem fishing, the growth fishing or the recruit fishing. Ecosystem fishing refers to harvesting fish up to such a level that there ecological system is affected. Fish is said to be one of the important elements in the water ecosystem and therefore Overfishing may result in the imbalance of the ecosystem on the water bodies. Growth fishing refers to harvesting a lot of fish that are not at the size of reproduction. This creates an imbalance at the time when the fish reach the level of reproduction. This is a very dangerous type of fishing because it can make a type of species to go down or extinct completely. Recruit fishing on the other hand refers to the harvesting of fish that are at the maturity level. The fish therefore that would have reproduced are depleted and therefore the level of the fish of the next generation goes down.
The tragedy of commons proposed by Hardin Garret describes a scenario where individuals, just for there own self interests overuse the available resources yet they are aware that the depletion of such resources is undesirable (Hardin, 2005). The article discusses about the importance of sustainability and the need to utilize the available resources so that the sustainability development can be met. The tragedy of Commons relates to Overfishing in that the concept of Overfishing has been declared a phenomenon that will cause depletion of the fish in water bodies.
Another point of view that the tragedy of commons relates to Overfishing is when water as a natural resource is used at higher levels therefore the bodies are replenished and fish consumption becomes more than the reproduction. In the modern times of Columbia river for example, the concept of he tragedy of commons as been used so as to protect Overfishing and destruction of the grand banks and the salmons (Hardin, 2005).
- Choose an environmental law to discuss.
Environmental laws refer to the interactions and the complex composition of statutes, treaties and acts which control the human beings and are said to be desirable for existence. The environmental laws are also controllers of the natural and the biophysical environment. Some of the environmental laws include the endangered species act, the clean water act and the natural environmental policy act.
The endangered species law is a law that was developed in 1973 in the US and was one of the best environmental laws in America in the 1970’s. (Stroup, 2003). The purpose of the law was to provide powers for the government to obtain land for conservation of some species and to use the water conservation funds, to stop the possession, trading, sale and transport of endangered species, to institute penalties to those who violated the law by interfering with the laws of the endangered species.
- Provide the history. What do you feel are the limitations of this law? Does the cost of this law outweigh the benefits?
Some of the limitations of the law are that although this law covers endangered organisms, most species e.g. insects and plants are not covered by the law in any way. The law does not also provide funds that are needed for enforcing this law. Most governments usually fund issues of conservation separately which does not bring any connection with the law.
The cost of the law does not outweigh the benefits since economists have the belief that it’s better to use this way o reducing the dangers associated with endangered species because it’s a safe method. The law is said to be almost effective to a greater percentage since its inception. In the US for example in 2007, the endangered species act stated that 95% of the population size of the endangered species had gone high and a few species were listed as extinct.