Boat of Ethics

Topics: Overpopulation, Population, Population growth Pages: 3 (1058 words) Published: December 3, 2013

Noah's Ark; Lonely but Happy

Ecology, most simply put, is "the study of relationships between organisms and their environment". (Encyclopedia Britannica) Garrett Hardin, writer of the essay Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor was a professor of human ecology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and had some extremely harsh opinions about the solution to global population issues. As a professor of human ecology, Hardin studied the relationship between humans and their environment, and in this case the entire globe. It is a well known fact that environmental degradations, unequal wealth distribution and exponential population growth are growing problems in the world, and in his essay, Hardin explains that there are relatively simple solutions to these problems. While Hardin's solutions to the interconnected global environment, economic and population problems are harsh and potentially immoral, Hardin convinced me they are the only solutions to a growing global issue.

Hardin begin's his essay shedding light on a metaphor environmentalists use to help prevent pollution, stating that the earth is a spaceship, and no one has the right to waste or destroy what should be equally shared between it's inhabitants. Hardin immediately disputes this metaphor by asking "does everyone on earth have an equal right to an equal share of it's resources?" (358) Hardin points out that this metaphor causes unrealistic expectations of an equal and fair global society since there are currently not enough resources in the world to be evenly distributed. Hardin argues that the spaceship analogy is false, saying that "A true spaceship would have to be under the control of a captain, since no ship could possibly survive if its course were determined by committee. Spaceship Earth certainly has no captain; the United States is merely a toothless tiger, with little power to enforce any policy upon its bickering members." (358) Hardin...
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