Posts and Comments by: Zara Ellexi Hoffman


A New Approach--posted on Sep 25, 2013


"A common theme to the vast majority of the readings we've read this semester, has been public knowledge on environmental issues. We've read countless articles enumerating the deterioration of ecosystems and natural resources, and the "punch line" of these papers has been due to a lack of understanding and information by the consumer population. What Ostrom so eloquently does, brings forth a model for all to understand, is so, so, so helpful to us, those not proficient in scientific knowledge. Hopefully, the enlightened ideas of Ostrom can be spread and publicized. By highlighting and emphasizing the importance of complexity rather than chaos, Ostrom acknowledges the different "pieces of the puzzle" that exist in each environmental issue and makes us aware of the importance of the connection between each network in the system. What strikes me in this paper is what can be seen as a quote summing up her ideas: "Thus, we must learn how to dissect and harness complexity, rather than eliminate if from such systems." This idea must be implemented in all areas of everyday life. Not only while discussing SES's in an environmental issue, but through political systems, school systems, and even familial systems we are all part of. I would like to commend Ostrom for this article. It is no shock to me, that she was prized with the Noble, as she "dumbed down" a concept, foreign to the public, yet something so familiar to us, once pointed out in relatable terms. Although the article is wordy, outlines many ideas, and discusses the second-level variables under the first-level core subsystems, her point still resonates with me, and hopefully with most of us, "not so savvy environmentalists out there.""
--( posted on Nov 12, 2013, commenting on the post Letting The Common Man Learn To Manage The Commons )
"Brian, I agree with your comment one hundred percent. Cardinale makes it pretty clear that we, humans have contributed to the decrease in biodiversity over time. Along with Silliman and Bertness’ paper, Cardinale reinforces our impact on the environment. Thank you shedding light on points five and six that Joseph pointed out. For me, these points put our role in the environment into perspective. Although a stable and productive ecosystem and furthermore, environment are of essence to us, for me, the threat of the extinction of plants and organisms are what struck me must. I guess this idea is most tangible to me. Personally, I fail to notice the decreasing productivity in an ecosystem, and take little note to ecosystems that fail to flourish. Yet, the extinction of plants and organisms in an ecosystem is an idea far from abstract to me-one I can relate to."
--( posted on Oct 1, 2013, commenting on the post Cardinale/Biodiversity )
"I want to shed light on one of the fact that you brought up, "even the essentials of life seems to have a price tag on it. " Every aspect of our lives, nowadays seems to be tied to monetary value. Commodities we once took for granted, are now quantified, basic life necessities are weighed by cost and benefit. Costanza's article reiterated this point to me. I find it fascinating how although technology is advancing, our relationship with the environment surrounding us is strengthened and we are gaining a deeper appreciation for it. Environmental groups are on the rise, "going green," has become the latest trend, and in many states, eco-concious laws have been incorporated into policy making. I agree with you that Costanaz'a article strives to mesh these two fundamental ideals we hold today, in the 21st century-we now tend to "put a price tag on everything," analyzing the monetary value of everything, while we are also strengthening the environment's role in our live. Costanza acknowledges this and puts our natural resources into an economic setting for us-a relatable one for us today."
--( posted on Sep 12, 2013, commenting on the post Adding A Monetary Value to Nature )