[Coral-List] cooperation and the tragedy of the commons

Alina Szmant alina at cisme-instruments.com
Thu Jul 18 13:54:31 UTC 2019

Dear Etsan and Doug:  

I disagree with your analysis and it's premises. If the tragedy of the commons was not actually happening (for millenia now, not a modern phenomenon), the Earth would not be in the state of degradation and overuse as is all around us, anthropogenically driven climate change would not be happening, and so many, many, many animals and plants would not have gone extinct or be endangered due to human activities.

Regulations and private property have been invented by human societies to try to curb the human instinct to "take it while it's still there for me to grab FIRST", but for many reasons, including the pressures of overpopulation, necessity and innate human greed, they aren't working. The evidence that they aren't working is shown by all the threads of environmental degradation just in this list serve alone.  The several small examples of where some environmental protection has worked are overwhelmed by the many more where they haven't worked because of "the tragedy of the commons".


Dr. Alina M. Szmant, CEO
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-----Original Message-----
From: Coral-List <coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> On Behalf Of Ehsan KAYAL via Coral-List
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 1:07 PM
To: Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
Cc: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] cooperation and the tragedy of the commons

Dear Douglas and other colleagues. Long ago, the myth of the tragedy of the commons has been debunked by economists and other scholars (see here for
instance: https://economicquestions.org/tragedy/). I believe it is time we biologist also accept the fallacy of such theory.
Ehsan Kayal, PhD
Station Biologique de Roscoff
Place Georges Teissier
CS 90074
29688 Roscoff Cedex
tel: (+33)298295646
ehsan.kayal at sb-roscoff.fr
This conversation is most likely monitored by the government “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

On Wed, 17 Jul 2019 at 16:05, Douglas Fenner via Coral-List < coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:

> The cure to the tragedy of the commons?  Cooperation (In reef 
> fisheries)
> https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/the-cure-to-the-tragedy-of-the-comm
> ons-cooperation/
> --
> Douglas Fenner
> Ocean Associates, Inc. Contractor
> NOAA Fisheries Service
> Pacific Islands Regional Office
> Honolulu
> and:
> Consultant
> PO Box 7390
> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
> A call to climate action  (Science editorial)
> https://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6443/807?utm_campaign=toc_s
> ci-mag_2019-05-30&et_rid=17045989&et_cid=2840296
> New book "The Uninhabitable Earth"  First sentence: "It is much, much 
> worse than you think."
> Read first (short) chapter open access:
> https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/read-a-chapter-from-the-uninhabitabl
> e-earth-a-dire-warning-on-climate-change
> Want a Green New Deal?  Here's a better one.
> https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-a-green-new-deal-heres-a-
> better-one/2019/02/24/2d7e491c-36d2-11e9-af5b-b51b7ff322e9_story.html?
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