Garrett Hardin - Quotes

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A finite world can support only a finite population; therefore, population growth must eventually equal zero. ---->>>

No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.

No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.

A technical solution may be defined as one that requires a change only in the techniques of the natural sciences, demanding little or nothing in the way of change in human values or ideas of morality. ---->>>

Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all. ---->>>

Indeed, our particular concept of private property, which deters us from exhausting the positive resources of the earth, favors pollution. ---->>>

Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. ---->>>

A coldly rationalist individualist can deny that he has any obligation to make sacrifices for the future. ---->>>

Continuity is at the heart of conservatism: ecology serves that heart. ---->>>

It is a mistake to think that we can control the breeding of mankind in the long run by an appeal to conscience. ---->>>

To say that we mutually agree to coercion is not to say that we are required to enjoy it, or even to pretend we enjoy it. ---->>>

In a finite world this means that the per capita share of the world's goods must steadily decrease. ---->>>

In an approximate way, the logic of commons has been understood for a long time, perhaps since the discovery of agriculture or the invention of private property in real estate. ---->>>

Moreover, the practical recommendations deduced from ecological principles threaten the vested interests of commerce; it is hardly surprising that the financial and political power created by these investments should be used sometimes to suppress environmental impact studies. ---->>>

But it is no good using the tongs of reason to pull the Fundamentalists' chestnuts out of the fire of contradiction. Their real troubles lie elsewhere. ---->>>

But as population became denser, the natural chemical and biological recycling processes became overloaded, calling for a redefinition of property rights. ---->>>

Education can counteract the natural tendency to do the wrong thing, but the inexorable succession of generations requires that the basis for this knowledge be constantly refreshed. ---->>>

However, I think the major opposition to ecology has deeper roots than mere economics; ecology threatens widely held values so fundamental that they must be called religious. ---->>>

Why are ecologists and environmentalists so feared and hated? This is because in part what they have to say is new to the general public, and the new is always alarming.

Why are ecologists and environmentalists so feared and hated? This is because in part what they have to say is new to the general public, and the new is always alarming.

You cannot do only one thing. ---->>>

The optimum population is, then, less than the maximum. ---->>>

An attack on values is inevitably seen as an act of subversion. ---->>>

Incommensurables cannot be compared. ---->>>

Of course, a positive growth rate might be taken as evidence that a population is below its optimum. ---->>>

The only kind of coercion I recommend is mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon by the majority of the people affected. ---->>>

Fundamentalists are panicked by the apparent disintegration of the family, the disappearance of certainty and the decay of morality. Fear leads them to ask, if we cannot trust the Bible, what can we trust? ---->>>

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society. It follows that any choice and decision with regard to the size of the family must irrevocably rest with the family itself, and cannot be made by anyone else. ---->>>

The rational man finds that his share of the cost of the wastes he discharges into the commons is less than the cost of purifying his wastes before releasing them. ---->>>

Using the commons as a cesspool does not harm the general public under frontier conditions, because there is no public, the same behavior in a metropolis is unbearable. ---->>>

The social arrangements that produce responsibility are arrangements that create coercion, of some sort. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 04-21, 1915
Birthplace:
Die: 09-14, 2003
Occupation: Environmentalist
Website:

Garrett James Hardin (April 21, 1915 – September 14, 2003) was an American ecologist and philosopher who warned of the dangers of overpopulation. His exposition of the tragedy of the commons, in a famous 1968 paper in Science, called attention to "the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment" (wikipedia)