Synopses & Reviews
Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-304) and index.
"The Ehrlichs have gathered together in this one ecological primer the root cause of all of the perils facing the earth's health and survival. Expanding on the original Malthusian Theory positing the earth's human population growing geometrically while its food could grow only arithmetically, they discuss global warming, acid rain, garbage crises, AIDS epidemics, deforestation, and the destruction of eco-systems, all bringing the earth closer to suicidal cataclysm than most people realize. The key is that a long history of exponential growth in no way implies a long future of exponential growth. The graph has already spiked. Poles apart from the views of economists, the Ehrlichs hold that 'perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell,' and 'production' causes ecological destruction which will, in less time than most anticipate, spell Armageddon to the earth and its population. Carefully spelled out are the reasons why overpopulation in rich countries is, from the standpoint of earth's habitability, more serious than rapid population growth in poor countries. That the population explosion currently in operation will end soon is not in question. In doubt, only, is whether the end will come humanely because birthrates have been lowered or tragically through rises in death rates." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)