The cobra effect occurs when an attempted solution to a problem makes the problem worse,as a type of unintended consequence. The term is used to illustrate the causes of incorrect stimulation in economy and politics.
The term cobra effect originated in an anecdote that describes an occurrence during India under British rule. The British government was concerned about the number of venomous cobras in Delhi.The government therefore offered a bounty for every dead cobra. Initially this was a successful strategy as large numbers of snakes were killed for the reward. Eventually, however, enterprising people began to breed cobras for the income. When the government became aware of this, the reward program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the worthless snakes free; the wild cobra population further increased.
A similar incident occurred in Hanoi, Vietnam, under French colonial rule. In 1902, the colonial government created a bounty program that paid a reward for each rat killed.To collect the bounty, people would need to provide the severed tail of a rat.
Colonial officials, however, began noticing rats in Hanoi with no tails. The Vietnamese rat catchers would capture rats, sever their tails, and then release them back into the sewers so that they could procreate and produce more rats, thereby increasing the rat catchers' revenue.
In 1958, Mao Zedong launched the Four Pests Campaign in China to remove mosquitoes, rodents, flies, and sparrows responsible for the transmission of disease. The policy wiped out sparrows but also became a contributor to the Great Chinese Famine: the absence of sparrows led to insect infestation and massive crop loss.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change kicked off an incentive scheme in 2005 to cut down on greenhouse gases. Companies disposing of polluting gases get rewarded with carbon credits, which could eventually get converted into cash. The program set prices according to how serious the damage the pollutant could do to the environment was, and attributed one of the highest bounties for destroying HFC-23, a byproduct of a common coolant. As a result, companies began to produce more of this coolant in order to destroy more of the byproduct waste gas, and collect millions of dollars in credits.Credits for the destruction of HFC-23 were suspended in the European Union in 2013.
In the Autobiography of Mark Twain , the author says that his wife had a similar experience,
Once in Hartford the flies were so numerous for a time, and so troublesome, that Mrs. Clemens conceived the idea of paying George a bounty on all the flies he might kill. The children saw an opportunity here for the acquisition of sudden wealth. ... Any Government could have told her that the best way to increase wolves in America, rabbits in Australia, and snakes in India, is to pay a bounty on their scalps. Then every patriot goes to raising them.
Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents. Species of rats are found throughout the order Rodentia, but stereotypical rats are found in the genus Rattus. Other rat genera include Neotoma, Bandicota and Dipodomys.
The brown rat, also known as the common rat, street rat, sewer rat, wharf rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or Parisian rat is a widespread species of common rat. One of the largest muroids, it is a brown or grey rodent with a head and body length of up to 28 cm (11 in) long, and a tail slightly shorter than that. It weighs between 140 and 500 g. Thought to have originated in northern China, this rodent has now spread to all continents except Antarctica, and is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America. With rare exceptions, the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas.
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam. It covers an area of 3,358.6 square kilometres (1,297 sq mi). It is the second largest city in Vietnam, with over eight million residents within city proper and an estimated population of 20 million within the metropolitan area. Located in the heart of the Red River Delta, Hanoi is the commercial, cultural, and educational centre of Northern Vietnam. Having an estimated nominal GDP of US$32.8 billion as of 2018, it is the second most productive economic area of Vietnam, after Ho Chi Minh City.
A perverse incentive is an incentive that has an unintended and undesirable result that is contrary to the intentions of its designers. Perverse incentives are a type of negative unintended consequence. A classic example of a perverse incentive occurred when the British government offered a bounty for dead cobras with the intent of decreasing the wild cobra population. However, enterprising people began to breed cobras for the income. When the government became aware of this, the reward program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. As a result, the wild cobra population further increased. The term cobra effect was coined to describe a situation where an attempted solution to a problem actually makes the problem worse.
In the social sciences, unintended consequences are outcomes of a purposeful action that are not intended or foreseen. The term was popularised in the twentieth century by American sociologist Robert K. Merton.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist [the United States] has produced", and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature". His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the latter often called "The Great American Novel".
The Eurasian tree sparrow is a passerine bird in the sparrow family with a rich chestnut crown and nape, and a black patch on each pure white cheek. The sexes are similarly plumaged, and young birds are a duller version of the adult. This sparrow breeds over most of temperate Eurasia and Southeast Asia, where it is known as the tree sparrow, and it has been introduced elsewhere including the United States, where it is known as the Eurasian tree sparrow or German sparrow to differentiate it from the native unrelated American tree sparrow. Although several subspecies are recognised, the appearance of this bird varies little across its extensive range.
The Lepidosauria are reptiles with overlapping scales. This subclass includes Squamata and Rhynchocephalia. It is a monophyletic group and therefore contains all descendants of a common ancestor. Squamata includes snakes, lizards, and amphisbaenia. Rhynchocephalia was a widespread and diverse group 220-100 million years ago; however, it is now represented only by the genus Sphenodon, which contains a single species of tuatara, native to New Zealand. Lepidosauria is the sister taxon to Archosauria, which includes Aves and Crocodilia. Lizards and snakes are the most speciose group of lepidosaurs and, combined, contain over 9,000 species. There are many noticeable distinguishing morphological differences between lizards, tuataras, and snakes.
The coypu, also known as the nutria, is a large, herbivorous, semiaquatic rodent. Classified for a long time as the only member of the family Myocastoridae, Myocastor is now included within Echimyidae, the family of the spiny rats. The coypu lives in burrows alongside stretches of water, and feeds on river plant stems. Originally native to subtropical and temperate South America, it has since been introduced to North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, primarily by fur farmers. Although it is still hunted and trapped for its fur in some regions, its destructive burrowing and feeding habits often bring it into conflict with humans, and it is considered an invasive species.
The muskrat, the only species in genus Ondatra and tribe ondatrini, is a medium-sized semiaquatic rodent native to North America and an introduced species in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. The muskrat is found in wetlands over a wide range of climates and habitats. It has important effects on the ecology of wetlands, and is a resource of food and fur for humans.
Cobra Commander is a fictional character and the main antagonist from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books, movies, video games, novels, and animated series. He is the supreme leader of the terrorist organization Cobra, and is the main archenemy of the Joes. The character is also featured as an opponent of G.I. Joe in other series, such as Sigma 6 and Renegades, as well as subsequent comic books, video games, and movies. He was portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and by Luke Bracey with the voice of Robert Baker in the 2013 sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the Flexible Mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol that provides for emissions reduction projects which generate Certified Emission Reduction units (CERs) which may be traded in emissions trading schemes. The market crashed in 2012 when the value of credits collapsed and thousands of projects were left with unclaimed credits. The struggle about what to do with the old credits sank the 2019 COP 25 in Madrid.
The ecological restoration of islands, or island restoration, is the application of the principles of ecological restoration to islands and island groups. Islands, due to their isolation, are home to many of the world's endemic species, as well as important breeding grounds for seabirds and some marine mammals. Their ecosystems are also very vulnerable to human disturbance and particularly to introduced species, due to their small size. Island groups such as New Zealand and Hawaii have undergone substantial extinctions and losses of habitat. Since the 1950s several organisations and government agencies around the world have worked to restore islands to their original states; New Zealand has used them to hold natural populations of species that would otherwise be unable to survive in the wild. The principal components of island restoration are the removal of introduced species and the reintroduction of native species.
Laird James McCullen Destro XXIV, usually referred to simply as Destro, is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books, and cartoon series. He is the leader of the Iron Grenadiers, and founder of M.A.R.S. Industries, a weapons manufacturer and supplier for Cobra. Destro is portrayed by Christopher Eccleston in the 2009 live-action film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Varmint hunting is the practice of hunting vermin — generally small/medium-sized wild mammals or birds — as a means of pest control, rather than as games for food or trophy. The targeted animals are culled because they are considered economically harmful pests to agricultural crops, livestocks or properties; pathogen-carrying hosts/vectors that transmit cross-species/zoonotic diseases; or for population control as a mean of protecting other vulnerable species and ecosystems.
Baroness is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline by Hasbro, originally appearing in the first issue of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic series by Marvel Comics in June, 1982. The Baroness is a villainess, associated with G.I. Joe's nemesis, Cobra.
The Four Pests Campaign, was one of the first actions taken in the Great Leap Forward in China from 1958 to 1962. The four pests to be eliminated were rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows. The extermination of sparrows is also known as Smash Sparrows Campaign or Eliminate Sparrows Campaign, which resulted in severe ecological imbalance, being one of the causes of the Great Chinese Famine. In 1960, Mao Zedong ended the campaign against sparrows and redirected the fourth focus to bed bugs.
Rodents are mammals of the order Rodentia, which are characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws. About 40% of all mammal species are rodents; they are found in vast numbers on all continents except Antarctica. They are the most diversified mammalian order and live in a variety of terrestrial habitats, including human-made environments.
Animals is an American animated comedy television series created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano. The first two episodes were independently produced and presented at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015. In May 2015, HBO picked the series up with a two-season order, which premiered on February 5, 2016. The series was renewed for a third season on May 19, 2017. Season 3 premiered on August 3, 2018. In October 2018, it was announced that HBO had canceled the series.
Cat predation on wildlife is the result of the natural instincts and behavior of both feral and domesticated cats to hunt small prey, including wildlife. Some people view this as a desirable phenomenon, such as in the case of barn cats and other cats kept for the intended purpose of pest control; however, contrary to popular belief, there is no scientific evidence that cats are an effective means of rodent control, and ecologists oppose their use for this purpose because of the disproportionate harm they do to beneficial native wildlife. As an invasive species and superpredator, they do considerable ecological damage. In Australia, hunting by cats helped to drive at least 20 native mammals to extinction, and continues to threaten at least 124 more. Their introduction has caused the extinction of at least 33 endemic species on islands throughout the world. Feral and domestic cats kill billions of birds in the United States every year, where songbird populations continue to decline.