Tragedy of the Commons *Warning: Reading and thought involve

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Tragedy of the Commons *Warning: Reading and thought involve

Post by MCpl » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:15 pm

Anyone ever having taken a Philosophy or Ethics class may have come across this.

Philosopher John Locke proposed the Tragedy of the Commons in that (and this will be a very brief and crude description) if one puts his/her labour to something, that adds value to it and thus confers ownership. His example was based on land that grew a usable crop that the commons used till it became totally spent (no one tendered the land because they thought: "why should I?" or "someone else will do it.")

So, the rock in Squamish is useless. But if I invest my labour by cleaning it, bolting it, it becomes valuable. For it to continue to have value, ownership should be confered to me so that I will continue to care for this piece of rock in Squamish or else it will become used and abused by the commons and it will become useless again (i.e. rusted bolts).

The question then becomes, should I technically own the routes I've bolted/cleaned, and part ownership in the land that I've help clear around and leading up to crags?

If I do, then that will mean some responsibilities on my part to ensure safety, upkeep, and a certain level of quality. If I do not uphold my responsibilities I should pay the consequences.

In case people are thinking I'm trying to privatize Squamish, this line of thinking is also being considered for the environment. Right now we (especially large factories) pollute the air because it is common property (why would we have to keep it clean? see above). If every piece of the environment is owned, then this will give the owners incentive to maintain it.

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Post by Charlie » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:45 pm

What you are talking about is not material ownership, but a sense of ownership. Although you do not 'own' the route with a title residing with the land title office in New Westminster, you own the route in the sense that you have taken it upon yourself to invent it. The example being that guide book authors will put your name in their holier than thou book.

Taking it further, someone might come along and sue the FAist/equipper of the route if they get hurt on it. This would imply that the FAist/equipper does have an obligation to maintain the route he/she put up in a safe condition until death do her/him part.

What I think has occurred in most places, is that the 'ownership' of the route passes to the caretakers of the climbing area the route calls home. This implies that the climbing community as a whole takes on ownership of the route and puts time/money in collectively to maintain said route; as seen when community events take place to upkeep crags and replace anchors and bolts.

Let's hope no precedent is ever sent that the FAist/equipper is held criminally responsible for some twit getting in over their head and then suing said FAist/equipper. At that point, you wouldn't catch me with a drill in my hands or new anchor beanners in my procession.

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