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Managing Common-Pool Resources. What do you do when the resource belongs to no-one?. Managing Common-Pool Resources. What are some CPR?. The Seas and Oceans The Atmosphere Space The Poles?. What is the theory behind the use of CPR? (1). Another way of thinking of this.

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Managing Common-Pool Resources

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managing common pool resources
Managing Common-Pool Resources

What do you do

when the resource

belongs to no-one?

what are some cpr
What are some CPR?
  • The Seas and Oceans
  • The Atmosphere
  • Space
  • The Poles?
another way of thinking of this
Another way of thinking of this
  • What is rational for me as an individual may not, when everyone behaves this way, end up being rational at all.
  • The sum total of Individual Rationality is Collective Insanity
  • Remember the example of the fisheries we saw on the video. Every captain wanted to maximize his profit; and they ended up with no fish left in the sea—so they all went broke.
here is an attempt to apply ownership
Here is an Attempt to Apply Ownership

The "Exclusive

Economic Zone"

Here, tiny South Pacific

Countries are given exclusive

rights to huge areas of ocean

But, can they police them?

another example
Another example…

In the middle of the 18th century

Scotland was a land of clans, who owned the land collectively

The English said,

the land could not be improved

if nobody owned it.

After the Scots were defeated in 1745,

the English "enclosed" their

land, to settle farmers.

but are there alternatives
But, are there alternatives?
  • There are many examples in history of the collective management of resources

Inca Terraces


The Sumerian Capital: Ur

recent collective action
Recent Collective Action

The UNEP Regional

Seas Program

what are the big cp problems for the future
What are the BIG CP Problems for the Future?
  • First, and foremost, global atmospheric change (“Global Warming”)



global atmospheric change
Global Atmospheric Change
  • ONLY a collective response will deal with this—no one country can fix it.
  • Yet, we saw that the attempt to do something, via the Kyoto Protocol, did not work because of National Interests and Differences
  • We cannot “own” the atmosphere, like a piece of territory, because it moves around, so we must find a collective solution.
global sea level rise
Global Sea-Level Rise
  • We saw the picture of Antactica earlier, and it is estimated that all the glaciers will be gone by 2040.
  • All that threatens to cause the seas to rise



Or, Hey, It could

just end like this.

So, let's party.

  • Prof. Caldwell said we are moving out of the “first generation” of environmental problems, which countries could deal with themselves (e.g. EPA, Clean Water Act)
  • We are now entering the “second generation” of problems that are global and individual countries can NOT deal with alone. Sovereign Law yields to International Law, and who will administer and enforce it?