THE NEXT 200 YEARS: A Scenario for America and the World by Herman & others Kahn

THE NEXT 200 YEARS: A Scenario for America and the World

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A forceful argument against Malthusian views of future resources, combined with what most readers may consider a wildly optimistic projection of long-term world trends. The Hudson Institute authors emphasize the possibility of both short- and long-term energy abundance, technological expansion of food output and distribution, environmental improvement, and development of raw materials. This approach is based on the exponential progress already made, for example, in food supplies, and the possibilities for qualitative technological leaps--including migration to outer space--despite the likelihood of crises and dislocations in the more immediate future. The authors' research and development assumptions are actually quite conservative (nuclear fusion power, with its capacity to create new raw materials, is casually played down). The questionable dimension of the book is not its emphasis on human abilities to solve problems through creative innovations, but its implication that no major institutional changes are required to ensure such breakthroughs. Limits-to-growth advocates will certainly challenge the authors' models and calculations, but the essential flaw is the premise that the current world recession, with its threats not only to research levels but to health and production, will be overcome quickly and automatically.

Pub Date: May 17th, 1976
Publisher: Morrow