Monbiot, Attenborough, and Greta Thunberg


I have just read an article by George Monbiot dismissing the Tragedy of the Commons because it is used to justify privatization. He has been misled by this specious use of the Tragedy. All Hardin actually proposes in his classic essay on the topic is ‘mutual coercion mutually agreed upon’, which is exactly what must happen.

(Correction, should have happened some time ago)

George is not the only one who has been misled in this way. As Kate Raworth points out, Elinor Ostrom also mistakes carefully regulated communal arrangements for true open access commons. Better current examples are fishing outside territorial limits and above all the use of the atmosphere as a CO2 sink.

I would appreciate George’s comments on my weblog ‘Page’ on the real, very different basis of the ‘Tragedy’. Please read that ‘Page’ for a fuller explanation, but as long as growth remains the dominant orthodoxy, privatization, contrary to being a cure for the Tragedy, is  a pretext to disrupt existing sustainable arrangements.

The real reason is that humans are at the end of an epoch when growth has been feasible. This time limited epoch was due to our capabilities not possessed by our hominid ancestors. But the buccaneering optimum strategies to take advantage of opportunities for growth suddenly become the worst possible strategies when preserving the ecosphere, on which all life depends, becomes paramount.

Not only should this be obvious if homo really is sapiens, but the warnings have been getting steadily more strident ever since Limits to Growth flagged up a problem in 1972.

The obvious has not merely been ignored, there has been a massive denial campaign. The deniers used the same successful strategy as enabled the tobacco industry to continue making profits for several decades.

There are two interlocking reasons why this has happened: the logic of the Tragedy is that, as Hardin said, there must be mutually agreed coercion – world wide. Interlocking with this rather tall order, humans are hard-wired against loss in the here and now, even small losses, so no politician dare suggest downsizing.

What really grieves me is that no one else, certainly no one who has the ear of the public, appears to grasp the need for something which guarantees security in downsizing. George Monbiot, Kate Raworth, David Attenborough, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and even Greta Thunberg make their passionate appeals without seeming to realize this need.

I am trying to get a response form Rupert Read,. He is less famous, but I have read his hard hitting IFLAS lecture

I have of course appealed to all of them without reply, but Greta has not yet had time.

Meanwhile see the following Twitter exchange on 28th Jan (‘fraid I am not savvy enough to link it):


In the midwest windchill temperatures are reaching -60C [Scientists] What the Hell is going on with global warming??


Glad you asked. The polar vortex is supposed to stay at the North Pole, but dwindling sea ice (from climate change) has caused the vortex to split in three places. Splits like this will become more common as climate change worsens.


26 responses to “Monbiot, Attenborough, and Greta Thunberg


  2. Hi Clive,
    Monbiot is controlled opposition, a gatekeeper.
    The apparent infection in the Mainstream media by the plants of various Mockingbird initiatives dating back to the cold war is more prevalent now than they have ever been.
    I happen to think that both the Tragedy of the commons and also the Significance of Anthropogenic Carbon emissions is overstated and as a distraction from the Environmental despoilation and Infinite growth paradigm on a finite planet.
    WHilst I disagree with you on the details You and I are on the same side, whilst Monbiot might agree with some of our positions it is important to understand that he speaks for an unspoken un-propagandised agenda

  3. Not convinced by your criticism of Ostrom, Clive – but I agree with you that Hardin’s point about mutual coercion mutually agreed is right.

  4. Sorry to say this as we are basically on the same side, but you either disagree with my main thrust, or do not grasp it. Part of my thrust is elsewhere in my now rather jumbled blog, but I (claim to) understand why the capitalists have no option but to behave as they do.
    Consequently you do not address my suggestion that a UBI
    (or something even better to allow downsizing to be other than frightening for most).will lubricate a transition to sustainabilty acceptable to all.
    The guest speaker was inaudible to me, but her drift, that Greta T is merely a puppet does not affect the possibility that she could draw attention to my blog

  5. Pingback: Canute alive and living in IPCC Land, Spotted at DAVOS. – RogersLongHairBlog·


    Concerns of Corporate Greenwashing
    Greta Thonberg responded [5] to concerns of corporate capture of her message which has been expressed by the Wrong Kind of Green [6], an Indigenous peoples environmental group. [7] “We attempt to expose those who undermine the People’s Agreement. One role of the non-profit industrial complex is to undermine, marginalize and make irrelevant, the People’s Agreement. The reason being, to protect corporate interests by which they are funded. As well, the non-profit industrial complex protects the industrialized, capitalist economic system, responsible for the capitalist destruction of our shared environment. Those groups who continue to protect such interests must be considered complicit in crimes against humanity.” — Preceding unsigned comment added by RogerGLewis (talk • contribs) 02:39, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

    • I am baffled. I don’t understand how to find the notes refenrenced. Yes, Greta’s ascent has been strange, especially in the family circumstances,
      However call me naive, but I would still see it as useful if Greta Thunberg got the drift of my message. It is not out of the question she might slip what the article says are her her handlers, and say something useful.

      • Hi Clive,
        I agree with you Greta’s message is very useful and I support her in her objectives.
        You will be unsurprised that I have a few qualifications to my support which is not unconditional.
        If you look at the Wikipedia Talk page here for climate Extinction rebellion.
        Bottom of page.

        The problem is curated opposing narratives and polarisation of those narratives by re-enforcement of ingroup biases.

        I am making a Video about these matters. And will post here again when it is done.

  7. Pingback: Agreeing(?) ( tO Disagree, when Now becomes Won, Part Two. – RogersLongHairBlog·

  8. CLive if you click the links you should be directed to the page linked to, if your internet browse is stopping you from doing that you has some sort of bug in your system.

  9. Bug? Possibly, but this is too complex for me to understand. However, I did find Greta’s rebuttal of the improper use of her name. That reinforces my increasing frustration that I cannot get my little contribution out to anyone who matters.

    • Where about do you want to get your Message, Clive? Its a lottery on line if you are not pushed by the social media algorithms and whilst you can email people or post on their Twotters feeds etc. or comment in articles many Celebrity members of the COmmentariat like Montbiot have help with responding or simply have too much volume to get through it all. Noam Chomsky has a famously large work rate for responding to stuff but even he has helped and I am sure cannot deal with all the coms he receives.
      You have a great Blog here Clive and people who wish to address questions will find you when they ask the right questions, to get visors tweet out on threads on twitter which you find need addressing and use Hash Tags #CliveLordJointFounderUKGreenParty #CliveLord #UKGreenPartyFounder #CItizensBasicIncome #Tragedyofthe Commons #TalkToCLiveLord

      Tags are better short and Pithy embed tags in your headers and footers follow the SEO guide for word press.

      It looks pretty basic but a little bit of SEO goes a long way, Twitter and Facebook drive most traffic a shout out on legacy media always does wonders or a mention in the local newspaper.
      Most celebrities I think talk rather more than they listed Clive, wisdom is not a currency of great worth in today’s society of spectacle, what you write will remain in the digital realm for posterity so treat it as a message in a bottle.

  10. Clive, you come top of a search on Google Clive Lord Green on my browser so what every you are doing it is all working quite well.HAve you thought about doing a youtube dialogue or some of that sort of content? I personally think what you put out is of good quality, even though I do not agree with it all, the fact we have a substantial overlap tells me that our views are not convenient for the Higher ups as it were, some of who are senior in the Green Party. ANyway take heart I think you put out a good show and hold your end of the stall up very well old chap.

  11. Funny that. The pattern recently has been spikes on a blog day, and very few hits the rest of the week. I agree re Greens on High.
    You tube sounds a great idea, but I have no idea how or where to start.

    • //
      The Green Party is compromised, Clive I know you had High hopes for Bartley and Berry but frankly they are Stooges for the establishment.

      Speak your Mind Clive these people are not fit to shine your shoes.

  12. Pingback: Distinction Rebellion, Settled Seance and Psuedo Climastrology – RogersLongHairBlog·

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