Well, it’s been quite some time since the last post, but I’ve been busy! This post is just a short notice of a new paper, just published today. The paper is part of a special issue on the Tragedy of the Commons in the journal Sustainability. My paper takes a comparative look at the Tragedy in ecological communities and human societies, and the potential of human mutualisms for avoiding tragedies. The situation is not a very hopeful one, however, given our ever-growing human population. Hardin did note this in his original essay. Finally, this paper was inspired by an earlier paper by myself and Ken Angielczyk.
Here’s a link to the paper, as well as the abstract.
This paper develops mathematical models of the tragedy of the commons analogous to ecological models of resource consumption. Tragedies differ fundamentally from predator–prey relationships in nature because human consumers of a resource are rarely controlled solely by that resource. Tragedies do occur, however, at the level of the ecosystem, where multiple species interactions are involved. Human resource systems are converging rapidly toward ecosystem-type systems as the number of exploited resources increase, raising the probability of system-wide tragedies in the human world. Nevertheless, common interests exclusive of exploited commons provide feasible options for avoiding tragedy in a converged world.