Posted tagged ‘Garrett Hardin’

Def.: “The Tragedy of the Commons”

May 8, 2009

A key phrase for those interested in economy and ecology, coined by Garrett Hardin in 1968 – refers to the fact that when people act in rational economic (private) self-interest with respect to common (public) resources, the common resources are quickly exhausted, leaving everyone resourceless. Teaches us that consumption for private gain and ensuring access to public resources require thinking about sustainability and responsible consumption.

see: Wikipedia and Fred Pearce’s recent book When the Rivers Run Dry, which applies the idea to today’s global water crisis.

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