Hardin .:. Living Within Limits

Hardin, Garrett, Living Within Limits. Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos. New York 1993.


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Hardin, Garrett,
Living Within Limits. Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. x, 339 Seiten mit Literaturverzeichnis und Register. Halbleinen mit Schutzumschlag. Grossoktav. 240 x 160 mm.

Hardin | Philosophie | Psychologie | Soziologie | Oekologie | Oekonomie

We fail to mandate economic sanity," writes Garrett Hardin, "because our brains are addled by...compassion." With such startling assertions, Hardin has cut a swathe through the field of ecology for decades, winning a reputation as a fearless and original thinker. A prominent biologist, ecological philosopher, and keen student of human population control, Hardin now offers the finest summation of his work to date, with an eloquent argument for accepting the limits of the earth's resources—and the hard choices we must make to live within them.
In Living Within Limits, Hardin focuses on the neglected problem of overpopulation, making a forceful case for dramatically changing the way we live in and manage our world. Our world itself, he writes, is in the dilemma of the lifeboat: it can only hold a certain number of people before it sinks—not everyone can be saved. The old idea of progress and limitless growth misses the point that the earth (and each part of it) has a limited carrying capacity; sentimentality should not cloud our ability to take necessary steps to limit population. But Hardin refutes the notion that goodwill and voluntary restraints will be enough. Instead, nations where population is growing must suffer the consequences alone. Too often, he writes, we operate on the faulty principle of shared costs matched with private profits. In Hardin's famous essay, "The Tragedy of the Commons," he showed how a village common pasture suffers from overgrazing because each villager puts as many cattle on it as possible—since the costs of grazing are shared by everyone, but the profits go to the individual. The metaphor applies to global ecology, he argues, making a powerful case for closed borders and an end to immigration from poor nations to rich ones. "The production of human beings is the result of very localized human actions; corrective action must be local....Globalizing the 'population problem' would only ensure that it would never be solved." Hardin does not shrink from the startling implications of his argument, as he criticizes the shipment of food to overpopulated regions and asserts that coercion in population control is inevitable. But he also proposes a free flow of information across boundaries, to allow each state to help itself. "The timehonored practice of pollute and move on is no longer acceptable," Hardin tells us. We now fill the globe, and we have nowhere else to go. In this powerful book, one of our leading ecological philosophers points out the hard choices we must make—and the solutions we have been afraid to consider.
Part I Entangling Alliances 1. The Challenge of Limits 3 2. Overpopulation: Escape to the Stars? 7 3. Uneasy Litter Mates: Population and Progress 17 4. Population Theory: Academia's Stepchild 26 5. Default Status: Making Sense of the World 39 6. The Ambivalent Triumph of Optimism 47 7. Cowboy Economics versus Spaceship Ecology 54 8. Growth: Real and Spurious 61 9. Exponential Growth of Populations 83 10. What Malthus Missed 94 11. The Demostat 102 12. Generating the Future 111 13. Limits: A Constrained View 121 14. From Jevons's Coal to Hubbert's Pimple 134
Part II Looking for the Bluebird
15. Nuclear Power: A Nonsolution 147 16. Trying to Escape Malthus 160 17. The Benign Demographic Transition 178
Part III Biting the Bullet 18. Making Room for Human Will 187 19. Major Default Positions of Human Biology 197 20. Carrying Capacity 204 21. The Global Pillage: Consequences of Unmanaged Commons 215 22. Discriminating Altruisms 225 23. The Double C-Double P Game 237 24. Birth Control versus Population Control 247 25. Population Control: Natural versus Human 259 26. The Necessity of Immigration Control 276 27. Recapitulation and a Look Ahead 294
Notes and References 313 Index 333

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