‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ written by Garrett Hardin is an article that is highly pessimistic in its approach. It mainly talks about the problems of the “commons” because of overpopulation, keeping the Malthusian theory as the central argument. Malthus had concluded after observing the continuous growth in the population of the northern states of America that, if unchecked, the population had the tendency to double itself in every twenty-five year period. He proposed that the population would increase in a geometrical fashion (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 …) and on the other hand, the food supply could increase in an arithmetic progression (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…). For Malthus, the main reason for this was that since the supply of food is fixed, in accordance with the law
In today’s society that we live in, there are countless of environmental problems that we face, such as global warming, fishing, pollution, and many other topics of that matter. These issues have affected our environment for the worse and have caused problems physically and economically. Yet, out of all the issues that effects our world on a daily basis, it is shown that overpopulation is one if not, is our biggest issue in our environment that is only getting worse due time, especially due to the rapid growth of the human population and the limited resources that are left on earth that we absolutely need to tend to our growing population. Even Dr. Charles A. Hall, who is a systems ecologist, states that, “Overpopulation is the only problem, If we had 100 million people on Earth or better yet 10 million, no others would be a problem.” Which helps prove that overpopulation is a major issue that we must act upon if we want to save our world.
In his 1968 essay, The Tragedy of the Commons, Garret Hardin addresses the problem with overpopulation and it’s eventual toll on our planet’s resources in a scenario where the individual interest clashes with the collective interest. Self-interest only serves the good of an individual while collective interest is meant to serve the good of everyone in the society. In his essay, he describes overpopulation as a tragedy of the commons because as population grows exponentially, resources only grow statically, and this will result in the depletion of our resources. When a resourc...
A little over two hundred years ago a man by the name of Thomas Malthus wrote a document entitled “An Essay on the Principle of Population” which essentially stated that there is an imbalance between our ability to produce food and our ability to produce children. He said human beings are far better at making babies than they are at finding food for survival. His entire essay is based on these two assumptions. “ First, That food is necessary to the existence of man. And second, that the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state.” When taking into account what is said in this essay, it is obvious that his original analysis of population has been proven right. Today, in the twenty-first century, people still rely on food to live and stay healthy, and many people consume more food than ever before, especially here in the United States. In addition, the natural attractions between men and women exist more so today than they did in Malthus’s time. When discussing the issue of population, it is important to note that it is one of the most controversial issues facing the world today.
Garrett Hardin developed the concept of the Tragedy of the Commons. The basic concept is a giant pasture that is for everyone to have a piece of land and for the herdsman to have as many cattle a possible to sustain the land. This land should be able to maintain itself for quite a long time because of cattle dying as well as the population staying relatively stable. But at some point the population will begin growing and the herdsman will want to maximize their profits by having more cattle, which in return the land cannot sustain. The herdsman receives all the profit from adding one more animal to the pasture so the herdsman will eventually begin adding more cattle, but the overgrazing caused by that added animal will destroy the land making it uninhabitable for everyone. Thus you have the tragedy of the commons. For all the herdsman on the common, it is the only rational decision to make, adding another animal. This is the tragedy. Each man is compelled to add an infinite number of cattle to increase his profits, but in a world with limited resources it is impossible to continually grow. When resources are held "in common" with many people having access and ownership to it, then a rational person will increase their exploitation of it because the individual is receiving all the benefit, while everyone is sharing the costs.
The air that humans breathe is often taken for granted as a byproduct of its free and abundant nature. Nonetheless, it is finite, and damage to this resource can have immediate and detrimental impacts on the well-being of a population. Garret Hardin, in The Tragedy of the Commons, describes this shared area with finite resources as a ‘commons’. Humans are exploiting the commons, and the negative effects are adding up. China, with a population of 1.4 billion people, is one of the main polluters in the world due in part to its industrial production. The coal and gas companies are responsible for the majority of the particle pollution (PM) and ozone in China. High levels of these toxins have caused approximately 1.2 million premature deaths (Joshua,
According to Hardin, freedom is the cause of tragedy of commons. There is no technical solution to solve it. The only solution is to alter human’s principles. The article by Hardin focused on the population growth. Overpopulation is an example of tragedy of commons. Because the world is finite, one is unable to maximize goods and population at the same time. Hardin then propose that the only solution is to limit breeding. “Common system from breeding must be abandoned”
In 1968, Garrett Hardin published his essay “The Tragedy of the Commons” in Science, in which he elaborated his theories for curtailing the overpopulation problem. The article is perhaps best known for Hardin’s definition of the “commons” as a shared, limited resource under limited (if any) regulation. In his essay, Hardin considered the right to breed as a commons and confronted the resulting problem of global overpopulation. Hardin believed in the inevitable exploitation of any commons, and therein lies the tragedy of commons: a commodity which is universally free and accessible will inexorably result in overutilization precisely beca...
‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ deals with the over growing population and suggests a solution in a unique prospect. Undeniably, science and technology is often suggested as a solution to the problem (by majority of the published journal). However, Hardin believes that there is no technical solution, and would only aggravate to the issue if the universe does not change its attitude/ assumption that there is an ‘actual’ technical solution. Hardin tackled the population problem in a harsh manner; defining the roots of the problem and to his idea of solution. Hardin examined the correlation between the population and resources, then analyzed the key factors that caused the population to swell.
Humans very often act in their own self-interest especially in Western society where culture has taught that in order to be successful one has to act as and value being an individual (Leitchman, Wang, & Pillemer, 2003). However, this thought process can be dangerous not only for Western society, but for the world as a whole. Individuals may have their own lives and decisions to make to best benefit themselves, but they are also a part of a larger scale where they must learn to share. The environment is suffering due to dangerous words like ‘self-interest’ because of a phenomenon known as the tragedy of the commons. This idea was developed by Garrett Hardin (1968), an ecologist who explained when each person working is his or her own best short-term interest, it is in turn, detrimental to the overall long-term interest of the individual and all other individuals in the system (Hardin, 1968).
The worldwide population is approaching 7 billion and is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 (Baird). This projected population number is down from a once predicted 16 billion (Baird) and while some are not concerned, others are worried about any increase in population. Population growth is discussed in the articles “Too Many People?” by Vanessa Baird; “Population Control: How Can There Possibly Be Too Many of Us?” by Frank Furedi; and “The Population Bomb Revisited,” by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich. Baird and Furedi concur that a concern for population growth has been around since mathematician Thomas Malthus, in 1798, warned that overpopulation could lead to “the collapse of society” (Furedi). Furedi claims that too much human life is being used as an excuse, by population control supporters, for the world’s current and future problems. Baird tries to discover if “the current panic over population growth is reasonable.” For Ehrlich and Ehrlich the concern over population growth is very real, and they reinforce and support their book “calling attention to the demographic element in the human predicament” (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 63). While taking different approaches to their articles, the authors offer their perspectives on population growth, population control and the environmental impacts of a growing population.
In 1986, Garrett Hardin wrote an article about the population problem we have in our current world, and presented it to a big highly educated audience. He basically told them about the population problem we are currently going through in specific terms. First, he studied the relation of our current population to our current resources, and realized that our population should be brought under control because of the limited amount of resources we have. He then examined the actions that have caused population to increase uncontrollably.
From the beginning of time, the earth has provided its inhabitants with everything needed to sustain life at its most basic level. For instance, the ratio of land to fresh water as well as Earth’s natural cycles provided enough resources for animals to survive. Unfortunately, as the human population grew, the previously abundant natural resources started to become limited. In fact, engineers have recently been tasked with discovering new methods of harnessing energy, harvesting food, and collecting fresh water because the population is quickly depleting traditional techniques. Not only is the sheer number of people on Earth using up all of its natural resources, but humans’ modern desires are furthering the destruction of Earth. In developed
The relationship between humanity and nature has undergone a power shift since the time of cave paintings in Lascaux. The Tragedy of the Commons describes a balance between pre-industrial humans and nature, a relationship of morbid regulation. Human kind was prosperous, however limited in growth by various methods of population culling, which prevented humans from dominating the resources presented by nature. The issue occurs when humans reach a point of social cohesiveness that they are able to resist nature’s methods of population regulation and grow uninhibited. At this moment I believe humans departed from our relationship with nature, we circumvented the terms of natures presence in the relationship and embodied a supreme position of exploitation
Garrett Hardin, an American ecologist, warned of the dangers of overpopulation. In Hardin’s best-known works, “The tragedy of the Commons” and “Lifeboat Ethics,” he talks about the importance of sustainability and requiring everyone to take action. Hardin stresses the importance of evaluating our environment to maintain a high quality of life without sacrificing future generations ability to do the same. Sustainability is having a healthy balance between economic, social, and ecological issues. In my essay, I will expand on these issues and how they are addressed in Hardin’s writings.