Second Best Solutions Regarding Ocean Privatization?

Letter 1

From: F

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 9:22 AM

To: Walter Block <>;

Subject: Practical Application of Privatization of Water

Dr. Block,

I reached out to you last year regarding DtU II and you graciously connected me to B and L.

As the author of Space and Water Capitalism when I was presented with this challenge I immediately thought of you. We’re having major issues protecting the economic impact of deteriorating coral reefs in South Florida. I wanted to speak with you to get some ideas on how we could devise an insurance program to cover these potential economic impacts.

You wrote: “water is akin to fast moving land…”

Please let me know if you could do a 30 min call in the coming week or two?

Warm regards from a huge fan,


Letter 2

From: Walter Block <>

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 12:16 PM

To: F, J

Subject: RE: Practical Application of Privatization of Water

Dear F:

A 30 minute call? Maybe. But, first, do tell me by return e mail, what this is all about.

Best regards,


Letter 3

From: F

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:56 AM

To: Walter Block <>;

Subject: RE: Practical Application of Privatization of Water

Dr. Block, thank you for the prompt response.

We are working with the Nature Conservancy to see if insurance can be a funding solution for the economic losses related to coral reef damage.

I would like to know if you have any ideas on:

1.       What kinds of economic damages we can attribute directly to the loss of coral reefs beyond the obvious (flood barrier, tourism, natural water filtration)

2.       Most importantly, how could private financing of this work?

We’re basically trying to find a way to privately fund the cost of coverage for a negative externality in the commons.

One way they have addressed this in the past is through a tax where the NC acts as a manager of a dedicated fund. The fund procures insurance, restoration and mitigation efforts on behalf of the governments that impose this tax on tourists.

What are arrangements we could propose that could fund this in a private manner? Since we cannot privatize this property, is there a way of creating “synthetic” privatization where you get similar benefits of ownership without actual title? I just don’t know if you’ve thought through something like this before.

The economic impact of coral reefs to South Florida not considering the flood barrier is estimated around $1bn a year.


Risk Management Consultant

Letter 4

Dear F:

Sorry, I can’t help you. I put 100% of my efforts on issues like this to promote ocean privatization, in which case the externality will be internalized.

Here’s my book on that subject:

Block, Walter E. and Peter Lothian Nelson. 2015. Water Capitalism: The Case for Privatizing Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, and Aquifers. New York City, N.Y.: Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield;

scathing review:

I put no effort into thinking about how this could be done when the tragedy of the commons is still in operation. If you come up with anything on this score, I’d be delighted if you would share it with me.

Well, apart from fish farming, and, privatization of small parts of the ocean near the coast for crab and lobster raising. Wait, there’s also shooting whales with electronic devices to claim ownership.

Best regards,



3:33 pm on November 10, 2019