In 1968, while I was in graduate school at the University of Oklahoma, the journal Science published "The Tragedy of the Commons" by Garrett Hardin. Hardin's article describes a situation in which shared resources are overused and exploited -- leading to depletion of resources for the future. In recent years there has been much criticism of Hardin's essay (and criticism of Hardin) -- but for me it served as a wake-up call to concerns about the environment. With environmental difficulties growing exponentially -- and with many of us not fully aware of the growing rapidity of exponential growth, I have posed to students this problem:
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We may be close to the end before we realize it . . .