Tragedy of Commons

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  • 1. The Tragedy of the Commons Wali Memon1 Wali Memon
  • 2. The Tragedy of the Commons Background: What Shall We Maximize?Thomas Malthus on Population GrowthJeremy Bentham: Greatest Good for the Greatest NumberAdam Smith: The Invisible Hand 2 Wali Memon
  • 3. Thomas Malthus: Unlimited Growth Unlimited Population Growth Based on the Exponential Equation3 Wali Memon
  • 4. Pierre Francois Verhulst: Limited Growth Limited Population Growth Based on the Logistic Equation4 Wali Memon
  • 5. The Logistic Equation  N rate of change = rN1 −   K N = Population Size R = Reproductive Capacity of the Species5 Wali Memon K = Carrying Capacity of the Ecosystem
  • 6. Pierre Francois Verhulst: Limited Growth Multiple “Steady States” Possible with the Multiple “Steady States” Possible with the Logistic Equation Logistic Equation6 Wali Memon
  • 7. The optimum population is less than the maximum possible population. But: “The difficulty of defining the optimum is enormous…”7 Wali Memon
  • 8. Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons Pasture Example (the village green) Grazing Example (the wide open west) “Inexhaustible” Resources of the Ocean8 Wali Memon
  • 9. 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 other9 animal owners Wali Memon
  • 10. 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 further10 degraded, but that degradation is Wali Memon shared by all my competitors.
  • 11. Pollution A Commons Can Absorb the Pollution of a Small Population, but Not of a Large One.11 Wali Memon
  • 12. Bottom Line Use of a Commons Involves: • Privatization of Profit; • Socialization of Costs12 Wali Memon
  • 13. Bottom Line Use of a Commons Involves: • Privatization of Benefits • Socialization of Risks13 Wali Memon
  • 14. Legislating Temperance Morality is System-Sensitive Prohibition (“Thou Shalt Not…”) is Easy Legislating Temperance is Difficult14 Wali Memon
  • 15. Freedom to Breed is Intolerable ? ? ? ?15 Wali Memon
  • 16. Freedom to Breed is IntolerableTo couple the concept of freedom to breedwith the belief that everyone born has an equalright to the commons is to lock the world intoa tragic course of action.16 Wali Memon
  • 17. Freedom to Breed is Intolerable17 Wali Memon
  • 18. Freedom to Breed is Intolerable18 Wali Memon
  • 19. Freedom to Breed is Intolerable19 Wali Memon
  • 20. Conscience is Self-Eliminating and PathogenicThe genes of those with the conscience torestrict their uses of the Commons or torestrict their breeding will sooner(themselves) or later (their lack of offspring)be eliminated from the population.20 Wali Memon
  • 21. Mutual Coercion Mutually Agreed UponWe institute … taxes and other coercive devices to escape the horror of the Commons 21 Wali Memon
  • 22. 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)22 Wali Memon
  • 23. Tragedy of the Anticommons The existence of numerous rights-holders impedes the attainment of a socially desirable outcome Patents Permits Biodiversity Access23 Wali Memon
  • 24. 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”24 Wali Memon
  • 25. The Bermuda Fisheries:A Tragedy of the Commons Averted? James Butler James Burnett-Herkes John Barnes 25 Wali Memon Jack Ward
  • 26. Where?26 Wali Memon
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  • 30. The Bermuda Fisheries:A Tragedy of the Commons Averted? Background: 1. A Problem Perceived 2. A Study Undertaken 3. A Policy Changed 30 Wali Memon
  • 31. The Ingredients for A Tragedy of the Commons 31 Wali Memon
  • 32. 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”32 Wali Memon
  • 33. 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” 33 Wali Memon
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  • 38. Estimated Trophic Position 3.5 3.0Estimated TP from AA-CSIA 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Parrotfish Kole Snapper Aweoweo Grouper Roi 38 Wali Memon
  • 39. X Hamlet o o x o o x39 Wali Memon
  • 40. 40 Wali Memon
  • 41. 1980 and 1984 attempts to regulate the use of fish pots, but problems remained:Pots were too indiscriminately efficientPot fishery was too difficult to policeFishermen used more pots than they were allotted -and tagged their illegal pots with other fisher’s names!Fishermen took other fisher’s pots 41 Wali Memon
  • 42. 1980 and 1984 attempts to regulate the use of fish pots, but problems remained:Pots were too indiscriminately efficientPot fishery was too difficult to policeFishermen used more pots than they were allotted -and tagged their illegal pots with other fisher’s names!Fishermen took other fisher’s pots 42 Wali Memon
  • 43. I. Reporting and Measurement Issues “I Fish, Therefore I Lie”43 Wali Memon
  • 44. 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 44 Wali Memon
  • 45. 1990:Anne Cartwright DeCouto moves the Fish Pot Ban through Parliament Fish Pots redeemed by the government for substantial cash compensation1991 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." 45 Wali Memon In short, “Fish to well below the MSY”
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  • 48. 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 48 Wali Memon
  • 49. 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”49 Wali Memon
  • 50. Garrett Hardin: Summary and EpilogueHe 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. 50 Wali Memon C. He did his part to reduce human population.
  • 51. Pioneering professor, wife die in apparentdouble suicideby Scott SteepletonSeptember 18, 2003Garrett James Hardin, a pioneer in the field of populationseffect on Earth, died over the weekend along with his wifein an apparent double suicide.The bodies of Mr. Hardin and his wife, Jane, were foundinside their Santa Barbara home Sunday. Mr. Hardinwas a professor emeritus at UCSB whose groundbreaking1968 essay "The Tragedy of the Commons" put forth thenotion that human misery would increase greatly withoutthe recognition that livable space on Earth is finite.51 Wali Memon
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