IPCC on Climate- Tragedy of the Commons

The White House released the National Climate Assessment Report today eliminating legitimate doubt that climate change is underway with increasingly dire and catastrophic consequences to the global biosphere and to human life yet to come. The report is the product of more than four years of work by hundreds of scientists and it is substantially more comprehensive and alarming than its predecessor report issued in 2009. Unlike the United Nation’s report released three weeks ago, this report focuses on what is happening in eight geographical regions of the United States.

After reviewing today’s report and the United Nation’s report, I do not see how any reasonable person who knows how to read can continue to doubt that human activity has caused and will continue to cause global warming and climate change.

The Republican Party likely will persist in denying climate change because the oil companies and the rich people who own them intend to continue to enrich themselves at our expense. For example, FOX News is claiming that President Obama and the Democrats made up this report to distract our attention from what happened at Benghazi.

Global warming and climate change is the new reality and no amount of denial will make it go away. Instead of pointless arguments regarding whether it exists, we must accept that it does and do everything in our power to avoid contributing to the problem.

To accomplish this, we will need a collective change of heart. As the report explains, climate change is really a case of the ‘tragedy of the commons.’

Mitigation is a public good; climate change is a case of ‘the tragedy of the commons’ (high 
confidence). Effective climate change mitigation will not be achieved if each agent (individual, 
institution or country) acts independently in its own selfish interest, suggesting the need for 
collective action. Some adaptation actions, on the other hand, have characteristics of a private good 
as benefits of actions may accrue more directly to the individuals, regions, or countries that 
undertake them, at least in the short term. Nevertheless, financing such adaptive activities remains 
an issue, particularly for poor individuals and countries. [3.1]

Collective action means that we change our hearts about mass consumption and greed. Following the no harm rule, we are capable of working to decrease air pollution, acid rain and ocean acidification, leaving future people with an environment that is not uninhabitable. With a change of heart, we can work to eradicate poverty, rather than strip-mining a couple of large western states of coal that we send to China by way of the Evergreen State. Before we do that, maybe we would consider having an intelligent conversation about how we can all decrease some of these emissions– China is working on that, why can’t we? We can reduce our waste is this country as well. There is no longer any excuse for it.

This is an opportunity for once, to work together in the world instead of trying to take it over, or lie, cheat and rip people off and then blame them (whoever they are) for all of our problems.


NOAA-led researchers discover ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails off the U.S. West Coast

Antarctic Ice Shelf On Brink Of Unstoppable Melt That Could Raise Sea Levels For 10,000 Years

Coal Exports Face Unprecedented Opposition in the Pacific Northwest

Decorah Eagles

7 Responses to IPCC on Climate- Tragedy of the Commons

  1. girlp says:

    The rightwing is backwards, I guess their followers will believe climate change when the ocean is in their backyard.

    • lyn says:

      Sorry that most of us now will be missing the main event, whatever it may be. We will never know the End of the Story or who was right and who was wrong. What’s to do anyway?

      • We won’t be missing the main event because it’s happening now. We know who is right and who is wrong and what we need to do about it because science has provided us with the answers.

  2. gblock says:

    “For example, FOX News is claiming that President Obama and the Democrats made up this report to distract our attention from what happened at Benghazi.”

    The trouble with that claim is that most people are no longer paying that much attention to what happened at Benghazi.

  3. Malisha says:

    Poppycock! There have been 13 bipartisan congressional investigations into what happened at Benghazi and not one of them found any basis to support a belief that anyone in the administration or the State Department knew the consulate would be attacked before the attack took place or that anyone was at fault for failing to prevent the attack after it started.

    Remember 9/11? The investigation showed that on August 6, 2001, a scant month before the attack, a memo was sent to the President basically warning him about it and saying that it was imminent and the chatter was confirming it, but later, the report that explained all that brought the response: “That was just a memo giving general information.”

    It is Benghazi that is the distraction.

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