The environment is a classic example of a "common-pool resource": no one can be effectively excluded from using it, but it is finite and diminishing. Common-pool resources are subject to the "free-rider problem": namely, that people can't be excluded from benefiting from the resource, and therefore have no self-interested reason for keeping it well-maintained. In fact their self-interest lies in relying on other people to maintain it, while they spend their time doing other things. The popular English phrase that captures this phenomenon is "having your cake and eating it".


So what is required is a different social logic: "I will even if you won't". This seems utterly illogical from the point of view of commerce and contract; but it is entirely rational when it comes to building the kind of social movement that climate-change mitigation requires.


RLCC Comment: This is absolutely what I've been writing on this site since its inception. The Commons was and is the right path. It is the only way. Selfishness is the problem. Self-interest is correct only when people understand that self is the unified body that is the whole of humanity who will see it (comprehend and act accordingly). All the souls who refuse will fall away. Their spirit will die out. It's the prophecy, because it's inevitable for continued existence. Everything else leads to further and further disintegration.

Link to source-webpage by Ellie Keen, obtained via:, April 7, 2008, 3:38pm

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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