OUR CROWDED PLANET by Fairfield-Ed. Osborn


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The essayists in this collection, addressing themselves to the problem of population expansion, are a distinguished lot. They include: Joseph Wood Krutch, Andre Maurois, Julian Huxley, Bishop James A. Pike, Charles G. Darwin, Paul Sears, Marston Bates, Lord Boyd Orr, Grenville Clark, Arnold Toynbee, and Father Robert T. Gannon. Not one would be unhappy with the editor's choice of title. And what is more, they all agree that Our Crowded Planet has seen nothing yet. Osborn has divided the volume into several parts. There is first a basic exploration of the problem. Every month the equivalent of the population of Chicago is added to the toll. For every 4 people on earth today, there will be to in forty years. In 1962 we'll be over the 3 billion mark. By the end of this century -- and the estimate is conservative -- the 3 billion figure will double. Suggestions for controlling this tyranny of numbers run from Grenville Clark's plea for conversion of energies from arms to material resources, to the recognition by the World Health Organization of population density as a factor in world health. The ethical and religious questions are examined by representatives of the Roman Catholic and the Protestant faiths. A too-short section analyzes specific problems in China, Japan, Africa and South America. The work is an interesting, if somewhat reiterative one. Unfortunately, few of the humanists have come to grips with the power of absolute commitment.

Publisher: Doubleday