Global warming as the Tragedy of the Commons

Laboratory Activity

A classroom/laboratory activity to understand tragedy of the commons through case studies and discuss global warming as a tragedy of the commons.

Students will examine past environmental problems to understand the concept of the tragedy of the commons. Then, they will discuss “Earth’s atmosphere” as a commons and “global warming” as a tragedy, and propose economic solutions to solve this tragedy-of-the-commons problem.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Describe the concept of tragedy of the commons.
  2. Discuss global warming (caused by climate change) as a tragedy-of-the-commons problem.
  3. Propose two fiscal policies that could be solutions to the global warming problem.

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By Laura Triplett, Gustavus Adolphus College

Hosted at InTeGrate at Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College

Language: English

Location: Global

Grade: Undergraduate

Access: Online, Offline

Computer Skills: Basic

Discipline: Economics

Discipline Topics: Tragedy of the Commons

Climate Topics: Climate Change and Economics