Presentation on theme: "GEOG 352 – Day 18. Agenda for Today We have tool presentations from Sam and Matt We have – at last – the final debate I would like to have a little more."— Presentation transcript:
GEOG 352 – Day 18
Agenda for Today We have tool presentations from Sam and Matt We have – at last – the final debate I would like to have a little more discussion of “Can Selfishness Save the Environment?” and, if there's time, possibly show a film.
Can Selfishness Save the Environment? -- a very interesting article As we heard from Chelsey, the authors are quite critical of environmentalists for believing in the essential goodness of human nature. They state that, their appeals to moral righteousness and eco-altruism notwithstanding, environmentalists obviously believe in the importance of using sanctions against inevitable selfish behaviour or they wouldn't advocate laws and strict enforcement with penalties to deter environmentally-unfriendly behaviour. They also challenge the notion that indigenous people weren't capable of doing extensive ecological damage.
Can Selfishness Save the Environment? -- a very interesting article They suggest that if altruism and a concern for collective well-being was the norm, we wouldn't be in the mess that we're in; we wouldn't have to police anyone or at least not most. They cite recent research from economics and biology suggesting a convergence of findings whereby humans and other animals only undertaken “altruistic” actions if 1)they will benefit themselves in the future (“tit for tat”), or if it enables them to propagate their genes.
Can Selfishness Save the Environment? -- a very interesting article One can see two possible fallacies here: 1)people are acting in ways that seem to be endangering their children and grandchildren's future survival, and 2)on the more positive side, there is a lot of evidence that people derive considerable satisfaction from “doing for others” -- giving to charities, volunteering, helping out their neighbours or people who have suffered at the hands of some sort of catastrophe. That they are actually enriched by these activities.
Can Selfishness Save the Environment? -- a very interesting article Nonetheless, we can take some very useful points from the article: that privatization of ecological resources is problematic and ma be counter-productive; that common property systems can be managed successfully, especially where communities are compact and can impose sanctions for non- compliance; that similar principles can work at larger scales with a variety of carrots and sticks for compliance.