The tragedy of the commons

Who will provide the grand design, what is yours and what is mine?
‘Cause there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here
We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds
In the name of destiny and in the name of God
The Last Resort.
 Glenn Frey / Don Henley

Still the same. So grateful to live in a beautiful, safe country. Not the same for our environment though. It is changing, on land, in the oceans and in the atmosphere.

No matter where we live on this blue planet, what we each do here, affects everyone else, now and into the future. However, all too often, there is a large space between cause and effect. In time. In place. So the damage we are doing is not so easily observable. In our backyards. Or now. But it is certainly affecting many already. Some choose to deny it. Many to ignore it.

Yet those who believe in science believe in man-made climate change. I do. It is happening. I can see what I was taught 30 years ago. Our weather would become more extreme, hotter, wetter, colder, stormier. Unless we reduced our greenhouse gas emissions. Or planted (or retained) more (billions) trees. We have not, in intervening years. However, to be fair, many rank and file people are trying. Sadly, those in power or with vested interests with the hydrocarbon industries, have sat on their hands or paid nominal attention.

We are now each responsible. To change our behaviour, to embrace more environmentally friendly practices and technologies, to demand that our elected representatives act decisively, and that we value the future for next generations, so that they too can enjoy this gorgeous home on planet Earth.

Now more than ever, the ‘tragedy of the commons’ concept (see below) is explaining our fraught and fragile future. Time to take heed, and understand the connection between what we do individually, and what the outcomes will be collectively. To allow this requires humility, generosity, sacrifice and wisdom. Not something that all humans can muster. Our challenge is to encourage our fellow men and women to do so in sufficient numbers, to make a real difference. Else gorgeous coastal centres like above will be inundated, and so many other dire consequences will prevail.

The time to act is now!

For more details of the ‘tragedy of the commons’, refer to the link here . A summary of this concept extracted from that link is provided below. A very powerful scenario I would encourage all intelligent people to contemplate.

“The tragedy of the commons is a term used in social science to describe a situation in a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling that resource through their collective action.”

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