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  • Bertrand Badré

Thought of the day: A (tragedy)² w/o mask

The tragedy of the commons first mentioned in the 19th century describes a situation where a shared resource (originally unregulated grazing on common land) is depleted by individual users out of their own self interest and contrary to common good. It has been applied most recently to climate change. Elinor Ostrom, author of «Governing the commons» - 2009 Nobel Prize- and others have shown ways to deal with it. Mark Carney, then Governor of the Bank of England, ahead of COP21, introduced similarly the idea of a tragedy of the horizon : « climate change will be felt beyond the traditional horizons of most – imposing a cost on future generations that the current generation has no direct incentive to fix. » The trader focuses on the next second, the CEO on the next quarter/year and public authorities on the next few years possibly the next decade. There is no depositary of the long term in the system. Global warming, rising inequalities, depletion of biodiversity, global public health challenges will not disappear overnight. We are now facing a tragedy of the horizon times a tragedy of the commons. We can address both with vision, leadership and imagination. All seem scarce. Good will and good faith required at scale! No mask please.


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