An Ecolate View of the Human Predicament.

| November 8, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Salton Sea Wasteland by Oliver.Dodd | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Foundational

Year of Publication: 1985

Author(s): Garrett Hardin

Categories: , ,

In a follow-up to his often cited article, Tragedy of the Commons, Hardin re-visits the central idea and clarifies, “Under conditions of overpopulation, freedom in an unmanaged commons brings ruin to all.” In this rewording, Hardin specifically includes the role overpopulation has in driving unsustainable use of the commons, and equates overpopulation with scarcity. Hardin further illuminates this in stating:

“not all aspects that we regard as part of the carrying capacity for human beings can be increased to the same extent. We can increase the amount of food energy we extract from the environment, but how do we increase the amount of wilderness for recreation or the extent of lonely beaches and wild rivers needed for the renewal of the spirit. If several variables are included in the reckoning of carrying capacity, maximizing the one that can be most easily maximized, and keying population size to that variable, will necessarily diminish the per capita allotment of all other goods.”

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