The tragedy of the over-surveyed commons

By any metric, Garrett Hardin’s The Tragedy of the Commons article in Science, a copy of his address as 1968 president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, rates among the most important in the history of ecology. Hardin’s thesis builds around the metaphor of the commons, a pasture open to all, on which it benefits each herder to run as many livestock as possible, and to pay no heed to the inevitable degradation and collapse. His pessimistic message: that individual self-interest makes restraint in reproduction and consumption irrational, leading to irreversible pollution and environmental damage. —> Read More