The Tragedy of the Commons


We are after all a site with OUTDOORS and LIFE in our tag line, we should not be quiet about this subject!

Texts begin to come in, research and ideas start to form, and our push to say something begins.  Globally, the details are late to arrive, but the flood gates have been opened, and by now most of our readers have seen the memes and read the details, but for us to stand by and watch doesn’t align with our goals.  We need to get something out!

We jump in with this.

Not bad for joining the awareness brigade, but let’s do more than just push the awareness button, let’s at least answer a few questions…

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These posts went up, but the discussion continues…I would like to add that no one should just take our word for the content we post, and so under the “How can we help” slide, I would amend it to say “Stay Informed”.  Not just about the “what?”, but also about the “why?”.

I’m not sure understanding the “why?” will help solve questions like “how we got here” or “how can we fix this”, but despite our worst efforts, I remain optimistic.

I remain optimistic that understanding something as simple as The Tragedy of the Commons can remind people that reason and self-interest can work together in a way which supports the betterment of all?  TED-ed made a really good video on the point I’m trying to make. – take a look – This is part of life, this is part of what is happening in the Amazon Rainforest, this is part of what is happening globally, there is more to “why?” than just one thing, but it’s part of the conversation.

What do you think?  I do hope you’ll share your thoughts on what’s happening, and why?  Some may say we should just stick to talking about rock climbing, but I agree with my teammates…we should not be quiet about this subject!


Rainforest Trust  Rainforest Alliance  Rainforest Action Network  Arbor Day Foundation

17 Replies to “The Tragedy of the Commons”

  1. Not until it burns do people take notice. Sad we don’t hear about the devastation animal agriculture has rained on the rain forest for decades.

    Reduce consumption of beef? Funny.

    I like it that your rock climbing tree has branches of relevance. Good job.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Collective consciousness is very powerful to bring about change. If it is correct that greed is the reason for this devastation then what ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the question! Personally I think we need to spend more time on using greed as tool for social change. How do we do that right? And can change of this magnitude happen quickly enough? Not sure of the answers, but I am hoping that just having the conversation is a step in the right direction!


      1. Ues. It is actually very scary to even think where all so calles development is taking us. I Strongly feel that if everyone take care of their immediate environment , it would immensely help


  3. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head by pointing to the Tragedy of the Commons as the reason for most environmental degradation.

    I suppose awareness about this concept would make a positive difference. But how much can you really change without political will in today’s world?


  4. It seems, every day is a new heartbreak. Some tell me, this has always been so… But these are OUR heartbreaks. What must mother nature do to get and hold our attention? Thank you for this post, though it hurts to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you put it perfectly, these are OUR heartbreaks, this has to be what makes it so much more personal! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  5. Hand to heart….I have been an environmental activist all my life, the destruction is getting worse but I do feel more and more of our fellow humans, unconscious up til now waking up. Question being will it be in time? Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my associates, a climatologist explains it like this: (Think of it like getting into an accident, you are about to rear-end someone. The accident is going to happen, but we can still control the speed at which we will crash.) I kind of think everyday that goes by we lose another day to decelerate, but hopefully we start to hit the brakes soon? Thanks for the thoughts, it means so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just saw this today. Maybe it is mid-life pragmatism, but what this situation has really made me want to do is reforest the U.S. wherever we can. That is something that is doable — right now. Even planting one more tree in our yard feels like something good and right when so much is wrong. We must hope. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting observation in the NY Times: that not all the burning is due to big, bad, beef, but for soybean production … … and if you follow the link under the heading, “The Amazon and Indonesia: Intentionally Set Fires”, you’ll find an interesting item saying that the majority of the fires are on land already deforested. We need to be careful not to point at a single, simple “enemy”. That’s a mindset that’s caused a WHOLE LOT of trouble over the centuries. BTW, I’ve been hearing more — and want to learn more — about “regenerative agriculture”, which includes raising cattle so there is no environmental damage. Something that should be encouraged, rather than dumped into the same pot with factory farming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the NY Times piece! This is what I love about this medium…people sharing information and and building ideas. I’ll check out the piece at once!


  8. I find it all so very sad. The destruction and waste. Despite the frequency and intensity of storms, the melting of the ice caps, the rise of water levels (Lake Michigan set a record high in June).everyone is not on board. There are so many people who hold positions that can effect how we treat our environment that do not believe in global warming or that some of our actions are harming the environment.

    Liked by 1 person

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