In (II, 8), I mention overfishing as an example of the tragedy of the commons. Privatizing aspects of the oceans is surely a difficult problem. How do we define, enforce, allocate, trade, ... property rights over fish yet to be caught? The government is supposed to protect those rights; I wish they'd offer (taxpayer-financed?) prizes for ideas on how to privatize oceans.
My optimism that this problem has a solution has a religious basis. God, the Christian myth says, created the fish on the 5th day, and man on the 6th. It is unlikely that in so doing, He foresaw that man would destroy the fish.
God must have inserted into the blueprints of the world a possibility of a solution that preserves and multiplies the nature' bounty and the richness of the world's species without putting a damper on the human standard of living. The world works; there is no flaw in it one way or another, except due to a temporary insufficiency of human ingenuity and creativity.
The reality is that we don't have an option to revert to primitivism, de-civilize, go back to Stone Age. We must move forward, and that means taking greater and greater control over nature. We must not let go of this control but refine it. The "planet's" salvation is in the future not the past. Our technologies are still crude. We must encourage progress, so that, as our power grows, we harm our home less and less in the process of improving our standard of living.
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