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Will seasteads contribute to pollution and environmental destruction?

Most of the technologies seasteaders use will be much less polluting than those used on land. Resources will be more expensive, which means seasteaders will have to use less of them. Most of the industries emerging from seasteads will be knowledge- or service-oriented, so the net result is likely to be a reduction in externalities relative to territorial nations.

Seasteads will need to be accountable and their residents will need to behave like good world citizens. Gross pollution would likely provoke interference from traditional nations, so it will be in a seastead’s interest to be environmentally conscious. In the future, when sea-surface resources and property rights become delineated, legal mechanisms for resolving pollution disputes are likely to emerge. For example, if you want to dump sludge into your neighbor’s waters, you’ll be liable to pay damages. Currently the ocean is a classic “tragedy of the commons,” as evidenced by existing pollution and overfishing problems, but the solution is better laws and institutions, not staying off oceans all together.


Posted in: Living, Economy, Business

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 2:13 am


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