PROGRESS FOR A SMALL PLANET by Barbara Ward

PROGRESS FOR A SMALL PLANET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In plain words and short chapters, Barbara Ward offers a program for environmentally sound, humanly rewarding economic development. That it can be done is her basic argument--and she specifies methods and cites examples. First on the docket are the industrial nations. Here, contrary to the doomsters, she sees no intractable energy gap and--challenging the technocrats--no imperative need for nuclear power. Fuel savings can rise, she posits, to meet the rise in demand; coal can be more fully utilized, renewable resources await tapping and storage; waste-conversion processes are already available; a ""more conserving agriculture"" can be fostered. In every instance, Ward is alert to the human component. Can people be induced to sort their trash? she asks; and suggests alternative strategies. Internationally connected, she knows what's going on everywhere, from Scandinavian paper mills to Japanese rice paddies. She knows, too, that the chemical industry isn't about to reform voluntarily--but that society, over the last century Or so, has. So she builds on that to propose smaller enterprises, ""co-determination"" in the workplace, and ""private socialism""--with a leveling of responsibilities and rewards--in the nation. Turning to the Third World, she focuses on rural development, on and off the farm; on ""villagization"" and local control; on ""a wider and more balanced distribution of the gains from the whole process of modernization."" It's an instructive, heartening approach. ""There clearly is some fallout from the new mood"" of saving and sharing, Ward remarks; and this volume, with its call for global co-operation on the domestic model, just might be the one tool to harness it.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1979
ISBN: 0393300188
Publisher: Norton