The tragedy of the commons - agricultural soils and water resources within the United States of America, Russian Federation and Poland
Oficyna Wydawnicza AFM
Much of the world’s population considers the earth’s natural resources, which include the air, water and soil, as if they are free to use. This often results in the attitude that they are to a large extent unlimited or at least they do not need to worry about their immediate supply. These are often referred to as the ‘commons’, resources that are shared by people or groups of people. Hardin in 1968 discussed this topic and points out that the commons can be abused in at least two ways; we can take too much out of the common good for example people grazing too many animals on public pastures or by adding more pollutants to a common than the common can recycle i.e. too many chemicals to the air or water. Much of the world’s population has grown up in lands where the natural resources were very large in proportion to the population and thus got use to the concept of the ecosystem recycling and disposing of the pollutants. In some countries the demands of time and energy just for existence is so great that the people have no time to worry about the diminishing quality and capacity of the natural resources base to absorb the abuse and renew itself, resulting in abuse of the commons
Studia Prawnicze. Rozprawy i materiały 2008, nr 1, s. 116-135.