Over the past four decades, a number of issues have attained public attention, all of which are directly or indirectly related to, or influenced by, the question of human population growth; its absolute size, distribution, and rate of change.
In the development and elaboration of any social idea, literary efforts of different types are needed. A number of groups have been strong on the production of short tracts and newsletters, and have generated a few books, but very few of the magazine-length articles that would fill in the gap between these two extremes.
The lack of any journal dealing with these related topics has meant that there has been no epicenter for their discussion, and no coherent body of literature to which interested parties can be referred. Older items of lasting value tend to be lost from view — which is one reason The Social Contract re-published Garrett Hardin's celebrated essay, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” in our initial issue. Many of us would benefit from reading it again, and many of the next generation of readers, to whom the standard must be passed, will never have read it at all.