THE TIDES OF CHANGE: Peace, Pollution, and Potential of the Oceans by Elisabeth Mann & David Krieger -- Eds. Borgese

THE TIDES OF CHANGE: Peace, Pollution, and Potential of the Oceans

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This second collection of articles from Pacem in Maribus, the international organization dedicated to marine problems, triumphs over a number of editorial flaws. Some of the issues covered: arms control in the seas, the impact of tourism on the Mediterranean littoral, the suggested development of regional marine authorities in areas where national interests presently compete. Some of the material is statistical, some speculative, some clearly written, some couched in impenetrable bureaucratese. The editors do not provide enough background to orient the layman in this jungle of fact and opinion, but some important and depressing truths emerge. One repeatedly sees that existing maritime law is obsolete in the face of the demands now being made on the ocean, and that only a profound alteration in the concept of national jurisdiction can bring about genuinely adequate legal structures. Sven Hirdman, formerly of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, points out that the sea is unsurpassed for purposes of military secrecy, and that ballistic missile submarine development may be only beginning. Ira Rubinoff of the Smithsonian Institute reviews the ecological problems of the proposed sea-level Panama Canal, and Lord Ritchie-Calder lucidly explains how the oxygen content of the Mediterranean is being destroyed by pollution. All of the contributors accept the eventual need for an international ""ocean regime""; the fiscal mechanics are discussed by three British economists. (The position of the Third World vis-a-vis cost-benefits is a thorny issue which arises repeatedly.) In an article proposing a nuclear-fusion-powered ""integrated system factory"" designed to manufacture literally everything in the world out of sea water, Irving Kaplan rather grandiosely points up a direction which several of the contributors appear to think promising. A formidable, disorderly book, but a must for serious students of ecology.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Mason/Charter