We all rely on our collective natural resources – water, air, soil, natural diversity – to keep us alive. This is the natural commons of the planet, the common property of all living organisms, which happens to include humans. The commons includes the biosphere, the living aspect of the planet that sustains the web of life upon which we are each individually and collectively dependent.
We each have a collective interest and ownership of the commons. The commons is on loan to present generations from future generations yet to be born. Accordingly we individually and collectively bear responsibility to maintain the natural commons in a condition that is as pristine and unspoiled as possible.
The reality is that large commercial entities rely on exploiting the commons to provide the resources and services from which they profit. In doing so the commons is exploited for private gain. Any and all negative impacts on the commons are externalised. Thus the real long-term cost and impact of exploiting the commons is indirectly borne by every living species that inhabits our biosphere. Degradation of any single aspect of the common space inevitably has knock-on impacts in this interconnected world.