Against IPAT

I recently had a lively conversation with my teenage daughter about our environmental footprint, a concept that she was studying in school.  Like a lot of young people, she is quite concerned about the direction the world is going, about how many planet Earths we...

When NOT to use a landscape approach

I am generally optimistic about approaches for environmental management and governance that are based on dialogue and deliberation, bringing together diverse stakeholders, and searching for common ground.  And I am, obviously enough, a believer in the potential of...

Why can’t we get past the “tragedy of the commons”?

Last year I postponed a rant about the ill-named “the tragedy of the commons” concept.  I can contain myself no longer. Since Garrett Hardin published his influential 1968 paper of that name, decades of scholarship has shown that he got it wrong.  In the right...

Asking ourselves questions about race, environmentalism and inspiration

Regular readers of the Deliberative Landscapes Wanderer may see in this post a deviation from the topics I normally cover.  The turmoil unfolding in the United States of America right now seems to have captured the attention of the whole world, including me, and the...

It’s not always a collective action problem

Commons thinking has had a profound influence on how we understand sustainability, land rights, and natural resource management.  This school of thought traces its origins most notably to Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and believes that under the right circumstances...