Garrett Hardin is an American ecologist, best known for his controversial beliefs about population control.
Hardin was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1915. He attended the University of Chicago and went on to earn his doctorate in biology from Stanford
University. In 1946, he was hired as a professor of human ecology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he became the faculty research lecturer in 1966.
Hardin became famous through his writing, specifically through a 1968 work, "The Tragedy of the Commons." In this essay, Hardin draws an analogy between overgrazing the common pastures in medieval England and the general attitude of modern individuals
towards the environment: in both cases, people rely on others to make sacrifices and eventually they destroy the environment. This happens, according to Hardin, because people are inclined to act for themselves, rather than for the good of society as a whole. Hardin's work here employs many key environmental concepts, such as overgrazing, air and water pollution, and population growth.
Hardin has continued writing, producing works including The Limits of Altruism and Promethean Ethics. In both works, he examines population growth, arguing that programs to aid foreign countries might lead to a straining of the carrying capacity of the earth. Hardin makes similar arguments in support of abortion. He points out that seemingly helpful actions may, in fact, simply postpone
and thus worsen the problem of overpopulation.