Human Ecological Thinking Through Time   Leave a comment

This page is in progress… email us if you have any suggestions for good historical figures in Human Ecology!

Garrett Hardin: The man who made the commons well-known in the ecological community. We’re still debating when his “tragedy of the commons” becomes the outcome of human negotiation. Here’s some witticisms of his, courtesy of the Garrett Hardin Society:

  • “The major ways in which ecology and economics differ is in their attitudes toward a) limits, b) discounting the future, and c) dealing with irreversible changes”
  • “The first law of ecology, if there is one, is “we can never do merely one thing””
  • “Of every well-meant proposal, ecologists ask a standard question: ‘And then what?'”
  • “The ecological thinker is haunted by the consequences of time”
  • “The myth of the limitless world is but one of the many myths that have grown up in the protective shadow of the insufficiently examined idea of progress”
  • “Thou shalt not transgress the carrying capacity”
  • “Whenever a community consists of too many people for the resources available to it, heavy mortality can then actually improve the conditions of life for the lucky survivors”
  • “We are limited by the basic theorem of ecology, ‘We can never do merely one thing'”
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Posted August 1, 2011 by esahumanecology

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