Living within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos Kindle Edition
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From the Back Cover
"Well worth reading. It is filled with provocative and controversial, even disturbing ideas, and nowhere will you find a better critique of traditional economic theories that ignore the basic ecological concept of limited resources."―San Francisco Chronicle
"Hardin deftly demolishes the optimistic scenarios―from 'escape to the stars' and nuclear power to 'benign demographic transition'―by which some politicians, businesspeople, and aid officials seek to preserve 'growth' in the face of limits imposed by the earth's carrying capacity."―Booklist
"Garrett Hardin has done it again! Fuzzy thinkers will hate this book. Numerate people may not agree with all that is in it, but they will love Hardin's keen analyses and crisp exposition."―Paul R. Ehrlich
"Wonderfully rich in original ideas and insights, Living Within Limits is a compelling examination of the central question facing our civilization at the close of the millennium. In giving his answers, Hardin is unfailingly serious and his analysis is penetrating. But as he is unable to write a dull sentence, he also offers a rare intellectual feast that challenges, charms, and engages the reader in every page. A book that will be widely read and is bound to be enduringly influential."―Paul Demeny, Editor, Population and Development Review
"Another valuable addition to the already extensive, important, and extremely readable ecological literature by Garrett Hardin." ―Dan Scurlock, Human Ecology Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00UCC2U22
- Publisher : Oxford University Press (April 22, 1993)
- Publication date : April 22, 1993
- Language : English
- File size : 1673 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 351 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,666 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I thought I knew a little bit about 'real' economics until I read this book, boy was I wrong. If, like me, you thought that Freakonomics was cutting edge and savvy then you would definitely love this book. Hardin clearly has a firm grasp on what economics is actually about. He throws everything at you - natural selection, Thomas Malthus, carrying capacity, demographics, Unmanaged Commons and so much more that this book is sure to open your eyes to the growing problem around us.
The only negative thing (hence the -1 star from 100) I can say about the book is that there is little continuity or flow to it. Rather than any continuous theme, it seems more like his lecture notes stuck together in some kind of topical series. Besides that, I highly highly recommend everyone read this book - sadly though, I am a realist and know that few will (to society's detriment).
If you like this book, you will like Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed ; or if you liked Collapse, then you will like this book.
Thus far? All you need to know is this. Watch the movie "Kingsman: The Secret Service" Samuel L. Jackson's character 'Richmond Valentine' wants to control the world population problem as he sees it by killing off anyone who isn't rich, beautiful, powerful, and/or famous and you can save yourself the agony of reading this book. I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm sure the author is going to recommend population control in some way, shape, or form, and while extremely logical it's unrealistic.
Humans are going to reproduce, ravage the ecosystem, and think nothing of future generations for whatever cause currently consumes them be it self interest, political, or otherwise. Acting like it's going to change is nonsense.
Hey, here's another movie reference from The Matrix that will save you some time:
Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.
While artificial intelligence could be just around the corner, I doubt I'll see it in the next 50-years. But this quote from The Matrix and the plot of Kingsman sum up this book thus far for me.
Again, I'm stupid and I had to use movie references to make sense of it. I'll finish it, but this is a hard read for a jackass like myself.
P.S. People are still going to have sex and destroy any math and/or logic that comes into existence no matter what level of intelligence is behind population control. When you get to the "people are starving in 1949 China and ate the birds that ate the insects and screwed up the eco-system" part should you read this book, you will realize that all the logic in the world isn't going to stop self-interest. People who are starving will eat some birds, yes - the insects that don't get eaten are (were) a problem. But if you think anyone is going to starve to death to balance out the eco-system then you're nuts.
Maybe the next 200 pages will have better information, but I'm not counting on it.
05.22.17: Finally finished this thing. This was a chore. Here's some more observations from the book.
A. Homer Simpson is running every nuclear facility in the United States. The author actually infers this without bringing up Homer Simpson's name but he may as well have done so.
B. Poor people have nothing to do but reproduce.
C. Optimism and hoping for technology to improve anything for the long term is far fetched science fiction.
Again, I see the logic behind his thinking but I'll give the author credit for this: No politician is going to make population control their main point of emphasis when campaigning for a position.
I still like my two movie references above to describe this book. Planet Earth needs a lot of help and while I agree population will be - if it's not already a problem - the author doesn't do much other than point out a problem and offers very little solutions.
If you're into listening to people whine for hours upon end without providing solutions to the problem, then this book is perfect for you.
Top reviews from other countries
Fascinating, wide-ranging erudition; sharp deductive thinking; fearless debunking of myths and intellectual laziness.
A joy to read; sadly, I will have to keep most of it for myself as the contents are just too far out for politically correct dinner partners...