Impertinent irresponsibility

Evidence shows clearly that we will not be able to eat fish in the future unless strong global policing action is taken now. We know already that future generations will never enjoy cod as a popular and usual dish. Still, even so-called “developed” countries make irrational political moves about fishing and short-sightedness combined with global disinterest runs rampant.

Overfishing is a canonical example of a tragedy of the commons. In other words, everyone is responsible, and nobody cares.

A topic I was debating the other day with a new colleague was: why should we care? Another I was debating longer ago with an older friend was: should we take responsibility for other people’s actions and reduce our demand for fish to induce a decrease in production?

The conclusion was straightforward: any purely rational approach based on a fundamentally individualistic philosophy (where everyone should be only responsible for their own actions) dictates unsustainable behaviors. This is a logical conclusion, leaving choices to be made:

  • not be rational: let God dictate what is “good for you,” possibly reducing your environmental footprint. Possibly effective, but unpredictable.
  • empathize with fellow humans worldwide and time-wide (of the future), then take responsibility for other people’s actions and act. Likely effective, but equally unlikely to happen within current morals and value systems.
  • not do anything.

Choose your future.