Garrett Hardin said it best, "Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit "in a world that is limited."" It has always seemed to be mankind's agenda to get as much as you can for as little cost as possible, a practice that has almost always lead to the depletion of a resource. "The Tragedy of the Commons- explains just this, how man as an individual or as a whole has made a practice of taking from our Earth until it ceases to give any more. The word "common- is used to describe a natural resource that is available to all living things.
Years ago the American Southwest was a lush landscape doted with many species of grasses and small plants able to withstand the harsh climate of both hot dry summers and cold dry winters. Unfortunately this vegetation was unable to withstand the appetite of the thousands of cattle who grazed on this vegetation during the early part of the past century. As a result, the vegetation has been lost, desertification has swept through the region, and only a handful of tolerant plant species remain. The cattle industry that once thrived in the region has now almost disappeared or relocated to more ideal locations, taking with them the same elements that destroyed the southwest. .
The "Tragedy of the Commons- is continuously unfolding all around the world. The reckless use of our natural resources will soon lead to a major lack of these resources. Lakes are sources of fresh water for both human consumption and irrigation throughout the world. Poor planning and over consumption of these lakes has caused many to dry up. Recently in the news, Lake Baiyangdian, within the Hebie Provence of China is said to be almost dried up. Water is a common resource, and it is on that has always been taken for granted. Although a regions climatic processes can have a great influence on water levels within lakes and reservoirs each year, the ultimate and primary user responsible to disappearing bodies of water are ultimately humans.