10° 40' N, 61° 30' W

Friday, November 22, 2002

In keeping with this week's theme of the environment, Brian Micklethwait sheds some light on a somewhat pernicuious tragedy of the commons:

It's the sneakiness of it that gets me. The chewing gum droppers know that in the grand scheme of things their petty little misdemeanour doesn't rate very high on the wickedness scale. And it is exactly this that they exploit. In a world of terrorist outrages, ever rising crime of the more usual sort . . . who has time to moan about chewing gum?

I agree with him wholeheartedly, but I have yet to figure out how this form of pollution could be dealt with, short of banning it like Singapore does.