Garrett Hardin

(Garrett James Hardin)

Garrett Hardin
Garrett Hardin
  • Born: April 21, 1915
  • Died: September 14, 2003
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Environmentalist

35

Quotes

8

Citations

46

Concepts

0

Videos

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
“One picture is worth a thousand words,” said an ancient Chinese; but it may take ten thousand words to validate it. Miscellaneous
Freedom to breed Is intolerable…. People vary. Confronted with appeals to limit breeding, some people will undoubtedly respond to the plea more than others. Those who have more children will produce a larger fraction of the next generation than those with more susceptible consciences. The differences will be accentuated, generation by generation. Freedom & Liberty ;Social Sciences
It is one of the peculiarities of the warfare between reform and the status quo that it is thoughtlessly governed by a double standard. Whenever a reform measure is proposed it is often defeated when its opponents triumphantly discover a flaw in it. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Maritime nations still respond automatically to the shibboleth of the "freedom of the seas." Professing to believe in the "inexhaustible resources of the oceans," they bring species after species of fish and whales closer to extinction. Humor ;Environment & Environmentalism ;Animals
No technical solution can rescue us from the misery of overpopulation. Freedom to breed will bring ruin to all. Development & Growth
The only kind of coercion I recommend is mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon by the majority of the people affected. Immigration & Emigration
The only reason we have late abortions is because we make early abortion difficult. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
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. Society ;Families, Children & Parenting
A coldly rationalist individualist can deny that he has any obligation to make sacrifices for the future. Future
A finite world can support only a finite population; therefore, population growth must eventually equal zero.
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.
An attack on values is inevitably seen as an act of subversion.
But as population became denser, the natural chemical and biological recycling processes became overloaded, calling for a redefinition of property rights.
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.
Continuity is at the heart of conservatism: ecology serves that heart.
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. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all. Freedom & Liberty
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? Trust ;Families, Children & Parenting
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.
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. Time
Incommensurables cannot be compared.
Indeed, our particular concept of private property, which deters us from exhausting the positive resources of the earth, favors pollution.
It is a mistake to think that we can control the breeding of mankind in the long run by an appeal to conscience.
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. Power
No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means. Environment & Environmentalism
Of course, a positive growth rate might be taken as evidence that a population is below its optimum.
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. Society ;Freedom & Liberty
The optimum population is, then, less than the maximum.
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.
The social arrangements that produce responsibility are arrangements that create coercion, of some sort.
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.
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.
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. Environment & Environmentalism
You cannot do only one thing.