We have a Growing Problem
Garret Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons first appeared in a science journal in December, 1968. In this article Hardin attempts to convince his audience that there is indeed a population growth problem and that something need to be done about it. Although Hardin realizes that solutions to the problem are not clear, he states that if we ignore the issue, “it is clear that we will greatly increase human misery” (1). For someone to acknowledge there is a problem is one thing, but to get someone to notice and do something about it is another. Hardin’s article is written to do just that and his strategy of using facts and appealing to people’s emotions is the route Hardin takes to write his essay.
Hardin’s article is interesting when reading it because it is almost like one is reading the transcript of a persuasive speech. For example, when someone gives a persuasive speech they give a lot of facts and evidence to try and prove their point. In this particular article, Hardin tells his audience two logical reasons why it is bad if our population continues to grow. He first points out the theoretical idea that “it is not mathematically possible to maximize two variables at the same time” (2). In this case, those two variables would be people and resources. Then, he uses biological facts by stating that people require a certain amount of kilocalories a day (2). The point he is trying to make is that the more people there are the smaller amount of kilocalories there will be for each person, which in turn, can result in a decrease in the quality of life which is the primary concern when talking about over population.
The use of facts strengthens Hardin’s argument because they are used to point out the logical problem. His article is almost like a persuasive speech and his use of facts was part of his strategy to get his point across. It seems as if Hardin’s intended audience was people of power and they probably already knew of the problem. The point he was trying to make was the fact that the population problem is such an obvious one and that since people know that, something should probably be done about it. Ultimately, Hardin uses this selection of facts to bring attention to a problem he believes that is something that Americans probably do not think of...