Analysis Of Garrett Hardin's 'Tragedy Of The Commons'

Decent Essays

We live in a world where sometimes we are told there are endless resources. The population of the world is growing rapidly, so the question we must ask, are we going to run into a problem where there are too many people in this world and not enough resources to accompany this rapid growth in population? In the article “Tragedy of the Commons” written by Garrett Hardin, Hardin believes that the population problem cannot be solved in a technical way because the problem involves questions of human freedoms and rights, both of which are issues of morality as opposed to scientific fact. He goes on to explain how we have become too self-interested in the short term that we aren’t looking at the long-term affects. In order to fix the problem …show more content…

The simple answer is no. Some new reserves will be found which will help fossil fuels last longer, but they won’t last forever. New reserves of fossil fuels are becoming harder to find, and those that are being discovered are significantly smaller than the ones that have been found in the past.” This goes back to Hardin point of having finite resources. Population in the world in 1968 was around 3.5 billion, and in todays society we are approaching 7.5 billion. If people want to keep their privileges like Hardin says, then there must be change to how we consume our resources, or else I must agree with Hardin that we need to mandate the population.

One good comparison Hardin makes is the example of the herdsman bringing in new cattle for personal gain. These men are forced to decide between brining in a extra cattle and gain the benefits, or the negative effect being bringing in another animal and causing overgrazing. The positive outcome almost always wins, which brings in the moral reasoning of if the herdsman is doing the right thing. They want to reap the benefits but Hardin is making the point this selfish decision is going to have consequences down the line to others.
After lying out strong starting arguments Hardin makes the case for instituting flexible and adaptable laws. Dealing with the tragedy of the

Get Access