Using a governing metaphor a bit less subtle than a strip mine, environmentalist, author, and filmmaker Tobias argues that humanity is waging a war of aggression against the planet, a ""melancholy war which is destroying Earth and all her precious progeny."" He travels around China, Indonesia, India, Kenya, the US, and Antarctica and returns, laden with fact and anecdote, to tell us that there are too many of us and that rapine economic development is killing the planet. It's hard to argue with that. Tobias often finds a vivid way to make a point, clarifying, for instance, the argument for birth control: ""At current birth and death rates, the world is adding a Los Angeles every three weeks."" At times, however, he writes like a prophet, or rather like a man who is trying to write like a prophet speaks, obscuring the essentially sober, substantial points he makes. But Tobias is both knowledgeable and passionate in his attempt to reconcile scientific rationality with a religious reverence for the planet. A one-hour documentary based on the book will air on PBS-TV in the fall.