Tragedy Of The Commons Analysis

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Running Head: TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS 1 Tragedy of the Commons Name Institution Tragedy of the Commons In his famous 1968 essay “The Tragedy of the Commons” biologist Garrett Hardin laid out the foundational text for environmental science in the 20th century. Taking up the philosophical legacy of Thomas Malthus, Hardin explains how the communal ownership of land and resources invariably leads to the complete loss of those resources and an eventual crash in the human population. He reasons that if resources are not infinite and invariably deplete, then human populational growth must eventually reach a final carrying capacity. The most terrifying aspect of Hardin’s analysis is the realization that two separate variables cannot be maximized at the same time (Hardin, 1968). If the human population variable is maximized, then a sacrifice in human comfort must necessarily follow. Despite Hardin’s almost dystopian examination of the problem of the commons, humans do not currently live in such a…show more content…
He draws heavily from the philosophy of Thomas Malthus to argue that a zero-sum game of resource depletion will eventually lead to an economic collapse of human civilization. While critics may object to the criticisms presented, many of Hardin’s empirical claims have been proven untrue. The world does not operate as a zero-sum game – increases in efficiency, the limitless potential of materials as resources, and decreasing populations have created a scenario of ever increasing wealth across the world. Over the last thirty years alone global poverty has fallen by 30% (Qui, 2016). Hardin’s article is an interesting historical artifact, but it should not be used to describe the world as it exists

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