The Tragedy of the Commons

Santa Barbara, CA

1969_The Tragedy of the CommonsEcologist Garret Hardin publishes The Tragedy of the Commons, an economic theory used to explain natural resource depletion and environmental degradation. He explains that individuals, working out of self-interest, exploit and degrade our shared resources (the commons). Hardin’s theory operates on two principles: 1) the world and its resource are finite and 2) individuals seek to maximize personal gain as if resources were infinite. He argues global environmental crises can be curtailed by taking action through transboundary governance or privatization.

World Population : 170,060,000

Key:   1,000,000 People    1,000,000 People (Annotated)    Milestone

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