Posts and Comments by: Jihae Lee


Bottom-Up or Top-Down?--posted on Sep 25, 2013
Flight of Thought--posted on Sep 2, 2013


"I think it's really interesting to see how someone whose main field of study is not in Economics won a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, mainly for a study which argues against a commonly believed economic theory - the Tragedy of the Commons. Her study teaches us, once again, that society has a lot of control over the environment and its resources and that if we are cautious of our own actions, we will be able to protect it and foster a better living place for everyone. However, it a bit disheartening to see that self-interest will always play a huge role in whether or not the Tragedy of Commons is true or not. In the scenario that the Tragedy of Commons holds to be true, the ecosystem will be damaged because of the users' self-interest to use and expose all of the common services and resources it provides. In the case where the Tragedy of Commons holds to be false, as Ostrom's study proves, users will only control themselves if there are proper motivating and beneficial factors. Either way we act in ways that will ultimately benefit us as consumers. All in all, whether or not users are acting out of self-interest, I think Ostrom's study and its findings play a huge role in the future of our ecology. As Damla mentioned, they highlight the fact that users are in complete control and that they have the capacity to understand the current situation they are in. With further research and the proper communication between researchers and the public we can take the adequate measures to preserve the various SESs and the services they provide to people and other various organisms. It is encouraging to know that with the proper motivation, we, as users, have so much power to preserve the environment ."
--( posted on Nov 11, 2013, commenting on the post elinor ostrom + ownership )
"I definitely agree with Damla that this paper was much easier to read and understand than the last two, especially when discussing the six consensus statements and the four trends. What I found really interesting was that the impacts of biodiversity loss might have as much of an impact on ecological processes as many of the other global drivers of ecological change. Given the evidence to support this trend, I can understand why Cardinale seems to have that sense of urgency in his paper. As Cardinale states, we do not know the full value of biodiversity and its impact on our world, but we definitely know that biodiversity is more beneficial to the environment than it isn't and that people are responsible for biodiversity loss. However, many of the public's knowledge on biodiversity loss and its impact on the environment and humans are limited. Due to this lack of knowledge it becomes easier for us to take biodiversity for granted and continue to harm other species. As Cardinale mentions, I think it is important to invest time and money to get the word out and educate the public. There have been many years of research and a lot of information has been discovered. If we protect the environment and become more cautious of the effects of human activities on it, then in the long run our efforts will be beneficial to both the environment and all of its inhabitants."
--( posted on Oct 1, 2013, commenting on the post Biodiversity Loss and Its Impact on Human Activity )
"I completely agree with you and Costanza in regards to the importance and usefulness of placing a monetary value on our environment and its services. As Costanza stated in his first sentence, ecosystem services are not considered enough when making policy decisions because they cannot be easily quantified. Since ecosystem services are not goods or services that are manufactured by the market and sold to consumers, it is difficult to fully understand their value in our society. By placing monetary values on these services in our environment, their worth becomes more tangible and, as you stated, the society and government will be more cautious of its actions. Currently our society is facing various problems regarding nature, and at the pace the world is globalizing and progressing today with the lack of adequate measures to protect the environment, there will most likely be more problems in the future. For example, in the past two years New York City was struck with Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy. These two natural disasters caused a severe damage to the city and as a result many people lost their homes and material services that are used on a daily basis, such as the MTA, were put to a halt. Similarly, if we take the ecosystem services for granted and continue emitting tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide and wasting raw materials, we will adversely affect the planet and all of its habitants as well. If policy makers and the public in general knew the monetary value of water supply, food production, or gas regulation, then we could implement policies to better utilize these services in regard to their worth and in effect protect the environment as well. Just as any other issue regarding science, I think it is difficult to adequately determine whether the damage caused to the environment outweighs the products produced mainly because many of the ecosystem services are somewhat intertwined with one another. For example, emitting a large amount of carbon dioxide might be more important than gas regulation to some because our society is so industrialized, but the gases released could affect the water supply and food production as well. Recently many more people are trying to "go green" to protect the environment and firms are producing more eco-friendly goods. The U.S. also emitted less greenhouse gases in 2011 compared its previous years. However, at the same time, there are still developing countries that are not fully industrialized yet. I think there should be stronger initiatives to protect our environment to counteract the negative effects that the developments might bring."
--( posted on Sep 11, 2013, commenting on the post Adding A Monetary Value to Nature )