TOO MANY: A Study of Earth's Biological Limitations by Georg Borgstrom

TOO MANY: A Study of Earth's Biological Limitations

Email this review


A perfect antidote to dreams of the good life ahead is this coolly analytical work by an agricultural expert. In page after page of a closely written volume, Borgstrom sets forth statistics and examples to show that by no stretch of the imagination can man extend his food resources on the planet to begin to feed a world population which is growing at the rate of 70 million a year and may double by 2000. The evidence of deforestation, erosion, falling water tables, uncontrollable climate, poor soil use, increasingly expensive irrigation and fertilization methods point to the fact that man has reached the end of his rope. Moreover, he has lied to himself with statistics. In spite of chemicals, the world's arable lands can barely hold their own against the inroads of insect and animal predators, disease and weeds. News of the vast increase in the incidence of schistosomiasis as a result of the Aswan Dam, of the disastrous effects of introducing new livestock or food crops to parts of Africa are chilling, to say the least, and do not speak well for the superiority of western science. Borgstrom's remedial measures are not very comforting: of course population limitation but also a major emphasis on recycling of sewage waste. Borgstrom is not a gifted writer -- his favorite metaphor, alas, is ""food for thought."" But his analysis is impressive and should be read by government leaders of both the have and have-not peoples of the world.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1969
Publisher: Macmillan