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Thanks for all the fish, Earth

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Dec. 15th, 2003 | 06:46 pm
mood: sadsad

Cod is dead

review of a new book showing how short-term greed is close to emptying earths oceans.

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from: irilyth
date: Dec. 15th, 2003 08:24 pm (UTC)

It's not short-term greed, it's a lack of property rights. "While such regulations drive up costs and discourage some fishing effort, they do not alter the fact that fish are valuable but no one owns them." Since no one owns them, no one has an interest in keeping populations high.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/reg20n3f.html and http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/reg18n3h.html talk more about property-rights based solutions, channeling natural healthy human greed into environmentally responsible practices.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Dec. 15th, 2003 08:59 pm (UTC)

I'm not sure that property rights would work. The best counter example I can think of is corporations that don't show sufficiently high profit can be punished by the capital markets. If a company doesn't sufficiently please it's investors, they sell off it's stock which causes the share price to decline. At some point the share price can drop below the value of the companies assets, which allows another organization to buy the corporatio and sell off it's assets for a profit.

Given the choice between the company being destroyed in the short term versus the long term, most will try and delay for as long as possible.

Also as a bitter idealist, I do want to point out that greed is emotion that motivates people, it is merely the one most encouraged in our current capitalist society. (There's also choices like community, amusement, and pride).

To me the solution is to convince most people to not eat fish. Without a market for fish the motivation to overfish disappears. (Perhaps we can view it as a temporary moratorium while fish stocks replenish).

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her other side

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from: saltbox
date: Dec. 16th, 2003 07:25 am (UTC)

Whoops, this is what I get for reading in reverse order. I ended up replying here.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but my sense is that it doesn't lie in any single tool: property rights, moral suasion, or environmental regulations. Each has its benefits and flaws. The important thing is to recognize where those benefits and flaws and learn to apply them in the most beneficial manner.

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