CONSERVATION FOR SURVIVAL: An Ecological Strategy by Kai Curry-Lindahl


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Dr. Curry-Lindahl, Swedish biologist and UNESCO consultant on environmental problems in Africa, tidily discusses the global biocommunity's natural resources -- the air, water, soil, animal life -- and man's critical role as both contributor to and destroyer of the ecological life chain. This is of course a much overworked subject and Curry-Lindahl's only real achievement here is a synthesis of numerous conservation studies and data available on problem areas throughout the world: insect-eating lizards and tree frogs are vanishing in tropical Africa; Scotland's tundra is being victimized by road building, etc. The text is clotted with much statistical material extrapolated from the literature but withal the book is not formidable reading. Curry-Lindahl repeats many of the now wearisome admonitions (""man is in danger of drowning in his garbage of inorganic matter""; ""The ruthless exploitation of the soil clearly cannot be allowed to continue""), but his analysis of causative factors is surprisingly superficial, i.e., he blames population increase for the environmental crisis, a proposition which Barry Commoner (The Closing Circle, p. 974) has convincingly labeled ""reductionist"" thinking. Equally weak are Curry-Lindahl's proposed solutions, which include (naturally) world population control and international regulations. Strong on swamps, weak on strategy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Morrow