American ecologist (1915-2003)
Garrett James Hardin was an American ecologist. He focused his career on the issue of human overpopulation, and is best known for his exposition of the tragedy of the commons, in a 1968 paper of the same title in Science, which called attention to "the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment". He is also known for Hardin's First Law of Human Ecology: "We can never do merely one thing. Any intrusion into nature has numerous effects, many of which are unpredictable." Garrett held hardline anti-immigrant positions as well positions on eugenics and multiethnicism that have led multiple sources to label him a white nationalist. The Southern Poverty Law Center called his publications "frank in their racism and quasi-fascist ethnonationalism".
Garrett Hardin Quotes Page 2
Education can counteract the natural tendency to do the wrong thing, but the inexorable succession of generations requires that the basis for this knowledge be constantly refreshed.
You can never do merely one thing. The law applies to any action that changes something in a complex system. The point is that an action taken to alleviate a problem will trigger several effects, some of which may offset or even negate the one intended.
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