The Tragedy of the Climate Commons

 In 1968 Garrett Hardin described a commons shared by all where herders could graze their cows without cost. With no cost each herder was incentivized to graze more and more cows until the ability of the commons to feed them collapsed. 

The Tragedy of the Climate Commons, so far, is that there has been no cost to spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Therefore, all nations and all industries are incentivized to pollute until the climate is collapsing. An answer is to charge for pollution: Cap and Trade. This de-incentivizes pollution, but very slowly. Cap and Trade still provides for the  polluters to destroy the climate commons, only more slowly and expensively. We want more energy and we are willing to destroy the future climate for convenience and energy wealth today.

But there is an unlimited commons; the flux of solar energy in space. All can grab as much as possible without diminishing the whole. The only limit is in the most favorable positions in Geo Synchronous Orbit and these will go to the first to exploit this commons. 

Published by


Chip Proser was a Director-Cameraman and Producer for 7 years at WCVB-TV in Boston. He won multiple Emmys and other awards at the Peabody Award-winning ABC Affiliate, called "Arguably the Best TV Station in America" by the New York Times. He was captured by Zombies and forced to become a screenwriter in 1980 after selling his original feature screenplay "Interface" to Zoetrope Studios. Called "One of the Best Films Never Made" by American Film Magazine, the project resides at Paramount. Proser did the major page 1 rewrite on "Top Gun"; wrote "Iceman". created and wrote "Innerspace", He Created, Wrote, Produced and Directed "Sworn To Secrecy (Secrets Of War", Int’l), a documentary series for A&E; History Channel and Pearson Television. He has written projects for CBS, NBC, HBO, Warner Brothers Paramount, Columbia, Disney, ABC and wrote the interactive game "Top Gun - Fire At Will". He recently Wrote, Directed and Produced "Gaia Selene - Saving the Earth by Colonizing the Moon", a feature documentary on climate change, the energy crisis and mitigating the above by harvesting clean, renewable energy from Lunar Solar Power and Helium 3 Fusion.

Leave a Reply