# The Tragedy of the Commons Belongs to a

The Tragedy of the Commons Belongs to a Class of Problems that have no Technical Solutions The Nuclear Arms Race Human Population Growth The Tragedy of the Commons

Background: What Shall We Maximize? Thomas Malthus on Population Growth Jeremy Bentham: Greatest Good for the Greatest Number Adam Smith: The Invisible Hand

Thomas Malthus: Unlimited Growth Unlimited Population Growth Based on the Exponential Equation QuickTime and a decompressor

are needed to see this picture. Pierre Francois Verhulst: Limited Growth Limited Population Growth Based on the Logistic Equation

The Logistic Equation rate of change = N rN1 K

N = Population Size R = Reproductive Capacity of the Species K = Carrying Capacity of the Ecosystem Pierre Francois Verhulst: Limited Growth

Multiple Possible with the Multiple Steady Steady States States Possible with the

Logistic Logistic Equation Equation The optimum population is less than the maximum possible population. But:

The difficulty of defining the optimum is enormous Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons Pasture Example (the village green) Grazing Example (the wide open west) Inexhaustible Resources of the Ocean

Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons Pasture Example (the village green) What are the benefits and costs to me of adding one more animal to my herd? Benefit: I get all the biomass generated by that animal

Costs: The village green is degraded a bit, but that cost is shared by all other animal owners Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons Oceans Example (fisheries) What are the benefits and costs to me of

taking yet more fish from a stressed population? Benefit: I get all the biomass generated by those fish. Costs: The fish population is further degraded, but that degradation is shared by all my competitors.

Pollution A Commons Can Absorb the Pollution of a Small Population, but Not of a Large One.

Bottom Line Use of a Commons Involves: Privatization of Profit; Socialization of Costs Bottom Line

Use of a Commons Involves: Privatization of Benefits Socialization of Risks Legislating Temperance

Morality is System-Sensitive Prohibition (Thou Shalt Not) is Easy Legislating Temperance is Difficult Freedom to Breed is Intolerable ?

? ? ? Freedom to Breed is Intolerable To couple the concept of freedom to breed

with the belief that everyone born has an equal right to the commons is to lock the world into a tragic course of action. Freedom to Breed is Intolerable

Freedom to Breed is Intolerable Freedom to Breed is Intolerable Conscience is Self-Eliminating

and Pathogenic The genes of those with the conscience to restrict their uses of the Commons or to restrict their breeding will sooner (themselves) or later (their lack of offspring) be eliminated from the population.

Mutual Coercion Mutually Agreed Upon We institute taxes and other coercive devices to escape the horror of the Commons Recognition of Necessity

The Commons is justifiable only under conditions of low population density Injustice is preferably to total ruin Freedom is the recognition of necessity (Hardin Quoting Hegel) Tragedy of the Anticommons

he existence of numerous rights-holders impe the attainment of a socially desirable outco Patents Permits Biodiversity Access

The Ingredients for Avoiding a Tragedy of the Commons: Elinor Ostrom 1. The nature of the resource 2. Recognition of resource depletion 3. Nature of the community:

Small and stable populations with a thick social network and social norms promoting conservation do better The Bermuda Fisheries: A Tragedy of the Commons Averted?

James Butler James Burnett-Herkes John Barnes Jack Ward Where?

The Bermuda Fisheries: A Tragedy of the Commons Averted? Background: 1. A Problem Perceived

2.A Study Undertaken 3. A Policy Changed The Ingredients for A Tragedy of the Commons

The Ingredients for Avoiding a Tragedy of the Commons: Elinor Ostrom 1. The nature of the resource 2. Recognition of resource depletion 3. Nature of the community:

Small and stable populations with a thick social network and social norms promoting conservation do better Prior to 1970: Resource was in excess of the demand. A Commons use of the resource seemed OK.

Policy was to increase fisheries activity. In 1975: Policy was to exploit the harvestable resources to their maximum sustainable levels Estimated Trophic Position 3.5

3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 Estimated TP from AA-CSIA

0.5 0.0 rotfish Kole

Aweoweo Snapper Roi Grou

X Hamlet o

o x o o

x 1980 and 1984 attempts to regulate the use of fish pots, but problems remained: Pots were too indiscriminately efficient Pot fishery was too difficult to police Fishermen used more pots than they were allotted and tagged their illegal pots with other fishers names!

Fishermen took other fishers pots QuickTime and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. 1980 and 1984 attempts to regulate the use of fish pots,

but problems remained: Pots were too indiscriminately efficient Pot fishery was too difficult to police Fishermen used more pots than they were allotted and tagged their illegal pots with other fishers names! Fishermen took other fishers pots I. Reporting and Measurement Issues

I Fish, Therefore I Lie 1980s: A growth in the use of the resource by other economic interests. Tourism: Scuba, Snorkel, Glass-Bottom Boat Charter fishermen found their interests aligned

more with tourism than with commercial fishing 1990:Anne Cartwright DeCouto moves the Fish Pot Ban through Parliament Fish Pots redeemed by the government for substantial cash compensation

1991 and beyond: Fish Pot ban to be permanent Reef fishery goal to be obtaining the maximum yield of fish consistent with the conservation of resources for other users." In short, Fish to well below the MSY

The Bermuda Example of Averting a Tragedy of the Commons Made possible by a fortuitous set of circumstances: A. Affluence B. Isolation C. Changing Economic Interests

D. An Advantageous Political Environment The Ingredients for Avoiding a Tragedy of the Commons: Elinor Ostrom 1. The nature of the resource

2. Recognition of resource depletion 3. Nature of the community: Small and stable populations with a thick social network and social norms promoting conservation do better Garrett Hardin: Summary and Epilogue

He was a controversial misanthrope, and he loved it: A. Right-wing ideologues hated him because of his ideas on population control - he promoted contraception and abortion. B. Left-wing ideologues hated him because of his lifeboat mentality - he favoured strict controls on immigration, and

opposed humanitarian foreign aid. C. He did his part to reduce human population. Pioneering professor, wife die in apparent double suicide y Scott Steepleton

eptember 18, 2003 Garrett James Hardin, a pioneer in the field of populati effect on Earth, died over the weekend along with his wi in an apparent double suicide.

The bodies of Mr. Hardin and his wife, Jane, were found inside their Santa Barbara home Sunday. Mr. Hardin was a professor emeritus at UCSB whose groundbreaking 1968 essay "The Tragedy of the Commons" put forth the notion that human misery would increase greatly without the recognition that livable space on Earth is finite.

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