Handbook of Global Environmental Politics
Show Less

Handbook of Global Environmental Politics

  • Elgar original reference

Edited by Peter Dauvergne

The first Handbook of original articles by leading scholars of global environmental politics, this landmark volume maps the latest theoretical and empirical research in this young and growing field. Captured here are the dynamic and energetic debates over concerns for the health of the planet and how they might best be addressed.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 3: Garrett Hardin and Tragedies of Global Commons

Marvin S. Soroos

Extract

3 Garrett Hardin and tragedies of global commons Marvin S. Soroos Arguably no other work in the field of environmental policy has been as widely read and influential, and perhaps as controversial, as biologist Garrett Hardin’s (1968) article ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’. The article appeared as a first wave of environmental concern was building in the late 1960s that culminated in the first Earth Day in 1970 and the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. It was the era of the Torrey Canyon oil spill in the English Channel and Paul Erhlich’s (1968) book The Population Bomb that drew attention to the rapid global population growth rates of the 1960s. A few years later, the Club of Rome released its alarming report entitled The Limits to Growth (Meadows et al., 1972). Over the years, many have criticized Hardin by questioning the inevitability of the environmental ‘tragedies’ he warns about or the ethics of his proposals for averting them. His later article, ‘Living on a Lifeboat’ was especially controversial for arguing against providing emergency food assistance programmes for nations suffering from famine in order to encourage demographic responsibility (Hardin, 1974; for a critique see Soroos, 1977). Nevertheless, as politically incorrect as some of Hardin’s proposals have been, I have found myself repeatedly drawn back to his basic model, and the parables he offers to present it, as I have sought to explore the dynamics of international and global environmental problems and analyse the strategies...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.