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Garrett Hardin Quotes

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Garrett Hardin
April 21, 1915 - September 14, 2003
Nationality: American
Category: Environmentalist
Subcategory: American Environmentalist

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.


Incommensurables cannot be compared.


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 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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.


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


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.


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.


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