The Commons, By Garrett Hardin's The Tragedy Of The Commons

803 Words 4 Pages
What is The Tragedy of the Commons? The Tragedy of the Commons refers to an essay written by Garrett Hardin; Hardin explains that humans will overuse a resource until it is no longer present, for short-term financial gain. Hardin points out many examples of this, however, he chooses to single out the fact that given free range of the land herdsman will almost always exceed the carrying capacity of the land, thus exhausting the land of its fertility. The Tragedy of the Commons is also shown fictionally in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, as the Once-ler cuts down all the trees in the forest for his personal gain. A real-world example of The Tragedy of the Commons is represented through the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, which continues …show more content…
This idea directly relates to The Lorax and the deforestation and destruction of the Amazon rainforest, as two different resources are being used without any thought to the conservation of that resource. The Lorax involves a man called the Once-ler. He finds a forest that is host to “truffula trees”, he finds out that he can make sweaters from the tops of the trees. He starts out small, with just a shop, however, it grows into a large factory, thus decimating the “truffula tree” population. A similar situation is going on in Brazil. The Amazon has been shortened by twenty percent over the past forty years, as loggers, farmers, and ranchers use the land for their own gain. Both the Once-ler in The Lorax and the farmers in Brazil are blinded by their greed. The Once-ler eventually realized the destruction he caused, however, it was too late and the forest had already met its demise. If things don’t change in Brazil, the same fate could be held for the …show more content…
The animals in The Lorax are all shown leaving the forest, as the pollution from factories and the destruction of their ecosystems forces them to do so. In the Amazon biodiversity has rapidly declined due to the destruction of the organism’s environment. The Amazon also has a great effect on the world, as the Amazon acts as a carbon sink. This means that the Amazon absorbs more carbon dioxide than it releases. Depleting the tree population will largely affect the amount of carbon taken in by the rainforest, thus leaving large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This relates back to Hardin’s cow pasture example. Hardin explains that “Likewise, the oceans of the world continue to suffer from the survival of the philosophy of the commons. Maritime nations still respond automatically to the shibboleth of the "freedom of the seas." Professing to believe in the "inexhaustible resources of the oceans," they bring species after species of fish and whales closer to extinction.”. Hardin compares the overgrazing of cows to the killing of animals in the ocean, which relates to the animal loss in both The Lorax and the deforestation of the

Related Documents