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cosmicironymag

The "Tragedy of the Commons" Problem

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Jan. 15th, 2010 | 09:09 am

The "Tragedy of the Commons" references an essay by Garrett Hardin in 1968 discussing the social and economic costs to public resources by individuals acting rationally in their own best interests. When communities were organized by plots around a shared plot called the Commons, activies such as grazing, depleted the common areas much faster than the regenerative capabilities of that area because everyone took more than their sustainable share of those resources.

Areas that suffer from this problem in Spades include American fresh water sources
and the Earth's oceans - especially commercial fish populations.

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