Archives for nature



How Will California’s Parks Do Under Private Management?

California embarked this week on a grand experiment in common property resource management when, in order to help close a gaping budget hole, it turns over dozens of state parks to private firms and community coalitions.

Seventy of the state’s 278 parks were set to close July 1. But a last-minute change to the state budget will keep all but five open, though many will not be managed by the state. At least six parks will remain open under corporate contracts with firms like American Land and Leisure, which operates campgrounds in 12 states. Dozens more have been rescued, at least temporarily, by local municipalities, private donors, and non-profit organizations.

Economists have long-held that the tragedy of the commons — any individual has too little incentive to protect from exploitation a non-excludable resource he holds in common with potentially countless others — could only be overcome by state intervention or private ownership. Read More »



Biodiversity Is Always a Goal, Right?

Apparently not. Consider this interesting passage from The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity, by James Lovelock: Read More »



Eating Polar Bears Is Okay in Greenland

This is our third and final guest post from the very polymathic Nathan Myhrvold. The first two were Icelandic travelogues; this one takes us to Greenland. It includes some of the most stunning photographs we have ever seen. Iceland is a modern technological society which retains a frontier attitude. Greenland, on the other hand, really […] Read More »



How Iceland Went From Blood Feuds to Geothermal

The other day, we brought you a guest post by Nathan Myhrvold that chronicled his recent trip to Iceland. Here, as promised, is the next installment, equally fascinating, with equally stunning photographs. What is Myhrvold exactly? As he admits himself, it’s hard to say — but in this TED talk he does a good job […] Read More »



Iceland Rocks: Or, How Is Eating Whale Like Voting for President? A Guest Post

It doesn’t seem fair that one person can be so good at so many things. Nathan Myhrvold is one such person. He is probably still best known as the former chief technology officer of Microsoft. These days, he runs an invention company and spends his free time digging up dinosaur bones, experimenting with old and […] Read More »



What Do Brazil and Washington State Have in Common?

The answer isn’t that surprising in retrospect, but I’d never thought about it until I visited Seattle the other day and saw some statistics assembled by the Washington Policy Center. Here are some hints: 1. It has something to do with a post I wrote about Brazil not long ago. 2. It has something to […] Read More »