Garrett Hardin (1986)
Garrett James Hardin
April 21, 1915
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Died||September 14, 2003 88) (aged|
|Known for||The Tragedy of the Commons (essay)|
Garrett James Hardin (April 21, 1915 – September 14, 2003) was an American ecologist and proponent of eugenics 112 He is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist, whose publications were "frank in their racism and quasi-fascist ethnonationalism".who warned of the dangers of human overpopulation. He is most famous for his exposition of the tragedy of the commons, in a 1968 paper of the same title in Science , which called attention to "the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment". He is also known for Hardin's First Law of Human Ecology: "We can never do merely one thing. Any intrusion into nature has numerous effects, many of which are unpredictable." :
Hardin received a B.S. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1936 and a PhD in microbiology from Stanford University in 1941 where his dissertation research addressed symbiosis among microorganisms.Moving to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1946, he served there as Professor of Human Ecology from 1963 until his (nominal) retirement in 1978. He was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research.
A major focus of his career, and one to which he returned repeatedly, was the issue of human overpopulation. This led to writings on controversial subjects such as advocating abortion rights,which earned him criticism from the political right, and advocating strict limits to all immigration, which earned him criticism from the political left. In his essays, he also tackled subjects such as conservation and creationism.
In 1968, Hardin applied his conceptual model developed in his essay "The tragedy of the commons" to human population growth, the use of the Earth's natural resources, and the welfare state. [ citation needed ] His essay cited an 1833 pamphlet by the English economist William Forster Lloyd which included an example of herders sharing a common parcel of land, which would lead to overgrazing.
Hardin blamed the welfare state for allowing the tragedy of the commons; where the state provides for children and supports over-breeding as a fundamental human right,[ citation needed ] Malthusian catastrophe is inevitable. Hardin stated in his analysis of the tragedy of the commons that "Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all." :1244 Environmental historians Joachim Radkau, Alfred Thomas Grove and Oliver Rackham criticized Hardin "as an American with no notion at all how Commons actually work".
In addition, Hardin's pessimistic outlook was subsequently contradicted by Elinor Ostrom's later work on success of co-operative structures like the management of common land,for which she shared the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Oliver E. Williamson. In contrast to Hardin, they stated neither commons or "Allmende" in the generic nor classical meaning are bound to fail; to the contrary "the wealth of the commons" has gained renewed interest in the scientific community. Hardin's work was also criticized as historically inaccurate in failing to account for the demographic transition, and for failing to distinguish between common property and open access resources.
Despite the criticisms, the theory has nonetheless been influential.
In 1993, Garrett Hardin published Living Within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos, which he described at the time as a summation of all his previous works. The book won the 1993 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. In the book, he argues that the natural sciences are grounded in the concept of limits (such as the speed of light), while social sciences, such as economics, are grounded in concepts that have no limits (such as the widespread "infinite-Earth" economic models). He notes that most of the more notable scientific (as opposed to political) debates concerning ecological economics are between natural scientists, such as Paul R. Ehrlich, and economists, such as Julian Simon, one of Ehrlich's most well known and vocal detractors. A strong theme throughout the book is that economics, as a discipline, can be as much about mythology and ideology as it is about real science.
Hardin goes on to label those who reflexively argue for growth as "growthmaniacs", 67 He argues that, contrary to some socially-motivated claims, population growth is also exponential growth, therefore even a little would be disastrous anywhere in the world, and that even the richest nations are not immune.and argues against the institutional faith in exponential growth on a finite planet. Typical of Hardin's writing style, he illustrates exponential growth by way of a Biblical metaphor. Using compound interest, or "usury", he starts from the infamous "thirty pieces of silver" and, using five percent compounded interest, finds that after around 2,000 years, "every man, woman, and child would be entitled to only (!) 160,000 earth-masses of gold". As a consequence, he argues that any economy based on long-term compound interest must eventually fail due to the physical and mathematical impossibility of long-term exponential growth on a finite planet. Hardin writes, "At this late date millions of people believe in the fertility of money with an ardor seldom accorded to traditional religious doctrines". :
Hardin, who suffered from a heart disorder and the aftermath of childhood poliomyelitis,and his wife, Jane, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease, were members of End-of-Life Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society.
Believing in individuals' choice of when to die, they committed suicide in their Santa Barbara home in September 2003, shortly after their 62nd wedding anniversary. He was 88 and she was 81.
Hardin caused controversy for his support of anti-immigrant causes during his lifetime and possible connections to the white nationalist movement. The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that Hardin served on the board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Social Contract Press and co-founded the anti-immigration Californians for Population Stabilization and The Environmental Fund, which according to the SPLC "served to lobby Congress for nativist and isolationist policies".
In 1994, he was one of 52 signatories on "Mainstream Science on Intelligence",an editorial written by Linda Gottfredson and published in the Wall Street Journal , which declared the consensus of the signing scholars on issues related to race and intelligence following the publication of the book The Bell Curve .
Hardin's last book The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia (1999), a warning about the threat of overpopulation to the Earth's sustainable economic future, called for coercive constraints on "unqualified reproductive rights" and argued that affirmative action is a form of racism.
Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to intensive grazing for extended periods of time, or without sufficient recovery periods. It can be caused by either livestock in poorly managed agricultural applications, game reserves, or nature reserves. It can also be caused by immobile, travel restricted populations of native or non-native wild animals. However, "overgrazing" is a controversial concept, based on equilibrium system theory. A strong indicator of overgrazing is where additional feed needs to be brought in from outside the farm, often to support livestock through the winter. Traditionally this feed was sourced on the farm, with fewer animals being kept and some fields being used for hay and silage production. Modern farm businesses often choose to keep more animals than their land can support alone; buying in external feed to offset this.
Sustainable development is the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while simultaneously sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend. The desired result is a state of society where living conditions and resources are used to continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system. Sustainable development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The tragedy of the commons is a situation in a shared-resource system where individual users, acting independently according to their own self-interest, behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling the shared resource through their collective action. The theory originated in an essay written in 1833 by the British economist William Forster Lloyd, who used a hypothetical example of the effects of unregulated grazing on common land in Great Britain and Ireland. The concept became widely known as the "tragedy of the commons" over a century later due to an article written by American biologist and philosopher Garrett Hardin in 1968. In this modern economic context, "commons" is taken to mean any shared and unregulated resource such as atmosphere, oceans, rivers, fish stocks, roads and highways, or even an office refrigerator.
Human ecology is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built environments. The philosophy and study of human ecology has a diffuse history with advancements in ecology, geography, sociology, psychology, anthropology, zoology, epidemiology, public health, and home economics, among others.
Environmental ethics is an established field of practical philosophy "which reconstructs the essential types of argumentation that can be made for protecting natural entities and the sustainable use of natural resources." The main competing paradigms are anthropocentrism, physiocentrism, and theocentrism. Environmmental ethics exerts influence on a large range of disciplines including environmental law, environmental sociology, ecotheology, ecological economics, ecology and environmental geography.
Eco-capitalism, also known as environmental capitalism or (sometimes) green capitalism, is the view that capital exists in nature as "natural capital" on which all wealth depends. Therefore, governments should use market-based policy-instruments to resolve environmental problems.
Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry, historically by nomadic people who moved with their herds. The species involved include various herding livestock, including cattle, camels, goats, yaks, llamas, reindeer, horses and sheep.
Malthusianism is the idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply or other resources is linear. It derives from the political and economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, as laid out in his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus believed there were two types of "checks" that in all times and places kept population growth in line with the growth of the food supply: "preventive checks", such as moral restraints, and restricting marriage against persons suffering poverty or perceived as defective, and "positive checks", which lead to premature death such as disease, starvation and war, resulting in what is called a Malthusian catastrophe. The catastrophe would return the population to a lower, more sustainable, level. Malthusianism has been linked to a variety of political and social movements, but almost always refers to advocates of population control.
St. Matthew Island is a remote island in the Bering Sea in Alaska, 295 km (183 mi) west-northwest of Nunivak Island. The entire island's natural scenery and wildlife is protected as it is part of the Bering Sea unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Commons can also be understood as natural resources that groups of people manage for individual and collective benefit. Characteristically, this involves a variety of informal norms and values employed for a governance mechanism. Commons can be also defined as a social practice of governing a resource not by state or market but by a community of users that self-governs the resource through institutions that it creates.
William Forster Lloyd FRS was a British writer on economics. He is best known today for one of his 1833 lectures on population control which have influenced writers in modern economic theory.
The Malthusian trap or population trap is a condition whereby excess population would stop growing due to shortage of food supply leading to starvation. It is named for Thomas Robert Malthus, who suggested that while technological advances could increase a society's supply of resources, such as food, and thereby improve the standard of living, the resource abundance would enable population growth, which would eventually bring the per capita supply of resources back to its original level. Some economists contend that since the industrial revolution, mankind has broken out of the trap. Others argue that the continuation of extreme poverty indicates that the Malthusian trap continues to operate. Others further argue that due to lack of food availability coupled with excessive pollution, developing countries show more evidence of the trap.
In psychology, a social trap is a situation in which a group of people act to obtain short-term individual gains, which in the long run leads to a loss for the group as a whole. Examples of social traps include overfishing, energy "brownout" and "blackout" power outages during periods of extreme temperatures, the overgrazing of cattle on the Sahelian Desert, and the destruction of the rainforest by logging interests and agriculture.
In social dynamics, critical mass is a sufficient number of adopters of an innovation in a social system so that the rate of adoption becomes self-sustaining and creates further growth. The term is borrowed from nuclear physics and in that field it refers to the amount of a substance needed to sustain a chain reaction.
The Commonize Costs–Privatize Profits Game is a concept developed by the ecologist Garrett Hardin to describe a "game" widely played in matters of resource allocation. The concept is Hardin's interpretation of the closely related phenomenon known as the tragedy of the commons, and is referred to in political discourse as "privatizing profits and socializing losses."
Average and total utilitarianism are variants of utilitarianism that seek to maximize the average or total amount of utility; following Henry Sidgwick's question, "Is it total or average happiness that we seek to make a maximum?"
Common heritage of mankind is a principle of international law that holds that defined territorial areas and elements of humanity's common heritage should be held in trust for future generations and be protected from exploitation by individual nation states or corporations.
Overexploitation, also called overharvesting, refers to harvesting a renewable resource to the point of diminishing returns. Continued overexploitation can lead to the destruction of the resource. The term applies to natural resources such as: wild medicinal plants, grazing pastures, game animals, fish stocks, forests, and water aquifers.
The double diversion is two-part theory about environmental harm that was developed by William Freudenburg and colleagues beginning in the 1990s, and focusing on "disproportionality" and "distraction." The concept of disproportionality involves the observation that, rather than being a reflection of overall levels of economic activity, the majority of environmental destruction is actually due to a relatively small number of economic actors, which enjoy privileged access to natural resources, “diverting” those resources for the private benefit of the few. Freudenburg's original work on this concept was carried out in conjunction with his colleague from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Peter Nowak. The reference to the "double" diversion reflects the argument that this first diversion is made possible in large part by the second—the diversion of attention, or distraction, often ironically relying on the widespread but empirically inaccurate belief that environmental harm is economically beneficial to the population as a whole.
The tyranny of small decisions is a phenomenon explored in an essay of the same name, published in 1966 by the American economist Alfred E. Kahn. The article describes a situation in which a number of decisions, individually small and insignificant in size and time perspective, cumulatively result in a larger and significant outcome which is neither optimal nor desired. It is a situation where a series of small, individually rational decisions can negatively change the context of subsequent choices, even to the point where desired alternatives are irreversibly destroyed. Kahn described the problem as a common issue in market economics which can lead to market failure. The concept has since been extended to areas other than economic ones, such as environmental degradation, political elections and health outcomes.
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