carbon trading

Privatising the atmosphere: A solution or dangerous con?

In 1833 William Forster Lloyd wrote a pamphlet (Lloyd, 1833), which described what has later become known as the ‘tragedy of the commons’ (see Hardin, 1968). It described how self-interested subsistence farmers would destroy common land by over-stocking it with cattle. If you are struggling to feed your family then short-term self-interest is understandable, although there are numerous examples of how communities across the globe have worked collectively to sustain their local environments for hundreds or even thousands of years.

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