Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Tragedy of the Commons

A few decades ago, there was a consensus on the Left that overpopulation was the chief threat to the environment, and to the quality of human life on Earth also.

As SciAm explains:
Fifty years ago, University of California professor Garrett Hardin penned an influential essay in the journal Science. Hardin saw all humans as selfish herders: we worry that our neighbors’ cattle will graze the best grass. So, we send more of our cows out to consume that grass first. We take it first, before someone else steals our share. This creates a vicious cycle of environmental degradation that Hardin described as the “tragedy of the commons.”

It's hard to overstate Hardin’s impact on modern environmentalism. His views are taught across ecology, economics, political science and environmental studies. His essay remains an academic blockbuster, with almost 40,000 citations. It still gets republished in prominent environmental anthologies.
The SciAm article goes on to launch a vicious political attack on Hardin.

Now the leading environmentalist organization, the Sierra Club, files lawsuits in order to expand the human migrations that are overpopulating the USA.

SciAm concludes:
Hardin lobbied Congress against sending food aid to poor nations, because he believed their populations were threatening Earth’s “carrying capacity.” ...

We must reject his pernicious ideas on both scientific and moral grounds. ...

The climate movement needs more people on this lifeboat, not fewer. We must make room for every human if we are going to build the political power necessary to face down the looming oil tankers and coal barges that send heavy waves in our direction. This is a commitment at the heart of proposals like the Green New Deal. ...

Instead of writing a tragedy, we must offer hope for every single human on Earth. Only then will the public rise up to silence the powerful carbon polluters trying to steal our future.
This is just crazy left-wing nonsense. Most of the increases in carbon pollution are coming from immigration and Third World development. The Green New Deal would require even more carbon pollution, because burning fossil fuels would have to replace nuclear power.

Our scientific institutions have sold us out. This article says that everyone on Earth has a right to have as many babies as they want, and then we must subsidize whatever parasitic lifestyle they choose.

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