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World War III: Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium Hardcover – July, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
Much has come true and more, like AGW has gone worse than the worst case scenarios of then. Soil depletion is worse. Aquifer depletion is worse. The human over-crowding syndrome of increased hostility, increased anxiety, and increased depression has spread. The whole thing is a nightmare of reality, and much worse now than when the book came out.
I gave the video to the library system along with the book, and the video "disappeared". The book went off the shelves. It was too much for the infinite Earthers to take. Because insufficient action was taken in the 1990s, the horror of the mass die off is too late to stop. The horror of pollution setting off horrible positive feedback loops in nature is close to too late to stop. All because, when faced with the reality of what was going on by Tobias' book and his and Oregon Public Television's video of the book, people stuck their collective heads in the sand and refused to think the Earth was finite.
I remember liking it very much then and it left a great impression on me. World population is the big elephant in the room that many don't want to address, yet it needs to be looked into.
Pursuing humane education, I obviously believe that educating people is the route I would choose. In the book, Michael writes about how in India they used entertainment and advertising to draw people to vasectomy camps and distribute condoms, and how the success of these efforts was an important landmark in family planning history. Throughout the book he repeatedly writes about the need of education, particularly literacy, as one of the most important method to control population. But aside from reducing birth rate, what else will literacy bring? We would most likely run into other situations were the indigent, ones held back by their own illiteracy, could now interact and comprehend more easily the rest of the world, wanting our same standards, thus degrading the planet the same way the industrialized world does. This is part of personal desire for evolution and the ensuing results that we cannot control: the price of development.
Michael also writes something that I believe is so true: Where there is poverty, illiteracy, and crime, there is less money or sensibility that can be mobilized in defense of the environment. Ironically, where there is wealth and relatively high level of universal secondary school education, there is an epidemic of hedonism that has clearly turned its back on Mother Nature.
This book has a lot of good points and many, ten years later, are found to be true.
A great read.