Adapting to Scarcity and Change (II)

Constructive Alternatives
  • Sally C. Lerner
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


The question that must be addressed here, at the conclusion of the volume, is this: How can we use our better understanding of the development and functioning of justice concerns so as both to minimize their contribution to negative societal consequences and to foster their mobilization in the service of cooperative problem-solving? This is essentially the challenge we face in trying to deal with the tragedies of the commons. Such tragedies, we now realize, arise from the difficulties of maintaining the viability of any finite system to which there is unlimited access by those who believe that they stand to gain much and lose little by exercising that right of access. Historically, of course, societies have sometimes ignored or been unaware of such situations, with resulting serious degradation of resources and consequent episodes of human suffering, embitterment, warfare and societal upheaval. There are also the countless examples of ruling groups that have exercised rigid regulation of access based on criteria that reflect the variety of power relations, as well as caste and class structures, throughout human history. Indeed, much of what we know as human history consists of accounts of power struggles over access to scarce resources—and the resultant human suffering, embitterment, warfare, and societal upheaval.


Environmental Impact Assessment Human Suffering Justice Concern Group Welfare Western Industrialize Nation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. French, D., & French, E. Working communally: Patterns and possibilities. New York: Russell Sage, 1975.Google Scholar
  2. Hunnius, G., Garson, G. D., & Case, J. Workers’ control. New York: Random House, 1973.Google Scholar
  3. Kohl, H. R. The open classroom: A practical guide to a new way of teaching. New York: Random House, 1969.Google Scholar
  4. Lerner, S. C. Environmental impact assessment in an era of relative scarcities. Contact, 1979, 2, 61–67.Google Scholar
  5. Lerner, S. C Energy Policy, A potential source of possitive social impacts. Paper presented at the First National Energy Policy Conference, Morgantown, West Virginia, May 1980.Google Scholar
  6. O’Toole, J. (Ed.). Work and the quality of life. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  7. Rinehart, J. W. The tyranny of work. Don Mills, Ontario: Longman Canada, Ltd., 1975.Google Scholar
  8. Sanderson, G. F. (Ed.). Adapting to a changing world: Readings on the quality of working life. Ottawa: The Labour Gazette (Sperial Edition), 1979.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally C. Lerner
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental StudiesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations