Everybody's Guilty

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February 4, 2013
Critical Reaction Paper 1

“Everybody’s Guilty” Critical Reaction Summary
In “ Everybody’s Guilty – The Ecological Dilemma, “ author and professor of Human Ecology at University of California, Santa Barbara, Garrett Hardin, explains the current issue with invisible reverberations. Hardin calls attention to the readers about how innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment. “ We all acquiesce in the system of arrangements and practices that has created our ecological crisis” (Hardin, 40). In order to approve of our actions, individuals tend to hide from reality behind symbols and/or words. Incorporating rhetoric into our everyday lives does this.

Garrett Hardin begins his argument by explaining the naming process that may have unintended consequences and then finishes with potentially solutions to this ecological crisis. For example, using the word “healthy” attracts an audience that is ultimately looking to eat correctly. Without looking at the ingredients, people believe the false advertisement and buy the food that says “healthy” on the box rather than what is actually good for them. By doing this, consumers are using an unethical form of persuasion while not being aware of the consequences or changes this action may have on people. Hardin wants the readers to view our world not as a society, but “as an ecological system” (Hardin, 40). Instead of acting as a whole, people need to understand that as individuals, everyone needs to play their part to improve the world we live on. Hardin suggests, “we [as individuals] can never do merely one thing” (Hardin, 41). The choices that are made everyday can have an impact on something a lot larger than what was intended. In the article, “Everybody’s Guilty”, Hardin uses the example of damming the Nile at Aswan. By building this dam, workers not only secured a water source for electricity and irrigation, which was their only intention, but they also caused deep distress...
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