Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

More on the tragedy of the space commons

Posted by Rich Sweeney on February 19, 2009

Last year I wrote about the costly exernalities associated with the US’s decision to blow up a defucnt satellite instead of removing it from orbit. In today’s NYTimes, James Clay Moltz details the increasingly unstable nature of current space use practices. While we’re probably a long way away from establishing near space property rights, we clearly need some sort of international agreement which partially internalizes the social costs of cluttering the sky with trash.

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