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Sai Mulakala, Megan Miller

The Tragedy of the Commons

  • Hardin wrote Tragedy of Commons in 1968.
  • Garret Hardin, an ecologist from Texas, was a leading ecologist from Texas who in 1968 wrote a theme paper which concerned the affects of overpopulation and had a concept of Tragedy of commons which brought attention to “the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment.”
  • In the beginning of the essay, Hardin draws attention to problems that cannot be solved by technical means. Hardin says that the problems arise from human population growth and the use of Earth’s natural resources.
  • Hardin also notes the limits placed in the availability of energy on Earth, also consequences of these limits for quality of life.
  • He also notes, to maximize population, one need to minimize resources spent on anything or than simple survival, and vice versa.
  • From this point, Hardin switches to non-technical or resource management solutions to population and resource problems. The essay also addresses potential management solutions to commons problems including privatization, polluter pays, and regulation.
  • Hardin also suggests that "freedom" completes the tragedy of the commons. Hardin believes that humans "can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms."

  • Who- was an American ecologist who based his studies on the effects of overpopulation
  • What- Created the Tragedy if the Commons which explains that an increasing amount of individuals who act independently and in self-interest are depleting shared limited resources. Even though there is enough of these resources now, they will eventually run out, if not completely.
  • Where- Received a BS in zoology from the University of Chicago and then moved to and studied at University of California, Santa Barbra

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