This Khan Academy video uses a simple example of a public fishing pond to illustrate the tragedy of the commons, which allows unprotected areas or resources to become depleted or destroyed by overuse.
The resource includes a video, a transcript, and an interactive quiz.
This is a simple example that helps students understand the need for regulations and protections for the things that no one owns but that everyone relies on, like air, water, and nature.
They suggest a solution: having some sort of permitting or restrictions established to protect these areas.
It may help to have students make a list of everything they can think of that isn't owned on Earth but could be used by many different people.
This video could be connected to topics such as competition, population density, ecosystem limits, and planning for future generations.
This video could be used to introduce different concepts of caring for the Earth and for the future, like those of many Indigenous cultures that live within their ecosystem's limits and think many generations ahead when making decisions.
There is nothing in this video that needs to be verified as scientifically accurate. The video clearly explains the concept of the tragedy of the commons. It can be useful in explaining how humans treat our atmosphere and biosphere.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Civics
D2.Civ.13.6-8 Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.
D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
Dimension 2: Economics
D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
D2.Eco.1.3-5 Compare the benefits and costs of individual choices.