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Commons & Eco law

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The Coming Financial Enclosure of the Commons. Financial speculation in food commodities has become one of the main drivers of food price volatility, with devastating impacts on small producers and the poor. Yet the disruptive influence of financial speculation on food markets is only a preview of future crises. International financial markets are now attempting to dominate many conventional markets as a long-term strategy to extract greater profits and accumulate capital. While governments have been discussing the issue in the context of the G20’s focus on food security, their responses have been insufficient and contradictory so far and do not begin to address speculation in other hard commodities, where prices are even more volatile and the impacts on energy-dependent countries are equally severe. The systematic financial speculation on commodities (and its systemically influential increase in recent years) has been driven mainly by deregulation of derivative markets.

Clean, fresh water should not be commodified. The Structural Communality of the Commons. By training Stefan Meretz is a German engineer and computer scientist, but he is also a deep theorist of the commons who has written often about commons-based peer production and the development of a free society beyond market and state. Over the past several years I have learned a lot from Stefan's application of free software-inspired thinking to the commons. Below, I have posted his wonderful essay, “The Structural Communality of the Commons,” which appears in The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State (Levellers Press). Stefan lives in Berlin and blogs at This essay, like the rest of The Wealth of the Commons, is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. In coming weeks, I plan to post additional essays from our anthology.

Modern-day pannage, or common of mast, in the New Forest. The commons are as varied as life itself, and yet everyone involved with them shares common convictions. Self-organization can fail. References. The Wealth of the Commons. Lawrence Fruit Tree Project - Lawrence, Kansas | Discover and renew earth’s abundance in your own community. Commons Law Project. Top 10 Policies for a Steady-State Economy. By Herman Daly Let’s get specific. Here are ten policies for ending uneconomic growth and moving to a steady-state economy. A steady-state economy is one that develops qualitatively (by improvement in science, technology, and ethics) without growing quantitatively in physical dimensions; it lives on a diet — a constant metabolic flow of resources from depletion to pollution (the entropic throughput) maintained at a level that is both sufficient for a good life and within the assimilative and regenerative capacities of the containing ecosystem.

Ten is an arbitrary number — just a way to get specific and challenge others to suggest improvements. Although the whole package here discussed fits together in the sense that some policies supplement and balance others, most of them could be adopted singly and gradually. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Ten pieces of the policy puzzle for an earth-centric economy 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Currently these policies are beyond the pale politically. Now Published: Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights and the Law of the Commons. After three years of hard work, I am pleased to announce that my new book – co-authored with Professor Burns Weston of the Center for Human Rights at the University of Iowa College of Law – has just been published.

Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights and the Law of the Commons was recently released by Cambridge University Press. Here is a short summary of the book: The vast majority of the world’s scientists agree: we have reached a point in history where we are in grave danger of destroying Earth's life-sustaining capacity. But our attempts to protect natural ecosystems are increasingly ineffective because our very conception of the problem is limited; we treat “the environment” as its own separate realm, taking for granted prevailing but outmoded conceptions of economics, national sovereignty, and international law. Green Governance is a direct response to the mounting calls for a paradigm shift in the way humans relate to the natural environment. 1. 2. 3.