The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia

Hardcover | April 8, 1999

byGarrett Hardin

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Garrett Hardin, one of our leading thinkers on problems of human overpopulation, here assails the recklessness and basic ecological ignorance of economists and others who champion the idea of unbounded growth. Hardin delivers an uncompromising critique of mainstream economic thinking. Science has long understood the limits of our environment, he notes, and yet economists consistently turn a blind eye to one feature we share with all of our planet's inhabitants--the potential for irreversibleenvironmental damage through overcrowding. And as humankind draws ever closer to its goal of conquering our final natural enemy--disease--the fallacy of sustainable unchecked population growth becomes more and more dangerous. Moreover, Hardin argues, rampant growth will soon force us to face manyissues that we will find quite unpalatable--most notably, that since volunteer population control will not work, we will have to turn to "democratic coercion" or "mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon" to limit growth, a policy that directly threatens long cherished personal rights. Challenging anarray of powerful taboos, Hardin takes aim at sacred cows on both sides of the political fence--affirmative action, multiculturalism, current immigration policies, and the greed and excess of big business and "growth intoxicated industrialists." Hardin's forceful and cogent argument for the union of ecology and economics is a must for anyone concerned with the goal of a bountiful, yet sustainable world. Sure to spark controversy, this book underscores the urgency of our situation and reveals practical steps we must take to ensurethe long term survival of humankind.

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From Our Editors

From a scientific perspective, the world is facing a grave overpopulation problem. Science has concluded from early on that to have a healthy environment, limits on population and growth must be in place. Economists, however, are addicted to the idea of growth without seeing the consequences of overpopulation. Garrett Hardin is a leadi...

From the Publisher

Garrett Hardin, one of our leading thinkers on problems of human overpopulation, here assails the recklessness and basic ecological ignorance of economists and others who champion the idea of unbounded growth. Hardin delivers an uncompromising critique of mainstream economic thinking. Science has long understood the limits of our ...

Garrett Hardin is Professor Emeritus of Human Ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The founder of the field of human ecology, he is the author of the seminal essay "The Tragedy of the Commons," which has been reprinted in over 100 anthologies, and the book Living Within Limits (Oxford), which won the 1993 Award in S...

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Paperback|Jun 3 1986

$19.44 online$21.00list price(save 7%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.31 × 5.51 × 0.91 inPublished:April 8, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195122747

ISBN - 13:9780195122749

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From Our Editors

From a scientific perspective, the world is facing a grave overpopulation problem. Science has concluded from early on that to have a healthy environment, limits on population and growth must be in place. Economists, however, are addicted to the idea of growth without seeing the consequences of overpopulation. Garrett Hardin is a leading thinker on overpopulation. He argues for the union of ecology and economics to help minimize the problem in The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia.

Editorial Reviews

"With clear logic and imaginative insight, Garrett Hardin has again given us a strong helping hand in the unending task of overcoming denial of the tough issues in population, economics, and ethics."--Herman E. Daly, Professor School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland