Tag Archives: Peter Hay

The changing face of eco-politics

In the 1980s, environmental politics developed a set of fundamental assumptions heavily influenced by socialist humanism. This socialist perspective was a radical break with the benign authoritarianism that had dominated eco-political thinking in the previous decade; while there were some Marxist influences to be seen (particularly in ‘eco-socialism’), the dominant socialist influence on the new thinking was classical anarchism.

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Filed under David, green politics

The ‘tragedy of the commons’ forty years on: the tragedy of enclosure

Garrett Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ was first published forty years ago, in the magazine Science. The tragedy, for Hardin, is summed up thus: “freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.” Many people will be aware of any number of dreadful eco-catastrophes that have occurred in the past 40 years and, seemingly, vindicated Hardin’s analysis: Exxon Valdez, the Aral Sea, the Grand Banks cod fishery, Chernobyl … Hardin seems to have been spot on.

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Filed under David, economic analysis, sustainability