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This is a book of passion. Warren Johnson (geography, San Diego University) involves the reader so effortlessly that, before you know it, you've been taken on a whirlwind tour of our country--what we've done, what we should have done, and what we must do, ecologically and economically, in order to survive. Johnson encourages us to accept the inevitability of finite resources: ""The conditions that created this country were rare and unique--a wide-open continent and new technologies to exploit its resources. These conditions will not return; there is no way to recreate the frontier."" He also urges us not to equate the necessity of returning to simpler times with regressing. Without sounding like Pollyanna, he consistently manages to promote the idea that less can mean more. He foresees a fall in income; a weakening of federal dominance; failure of large corporations; labor replacing machines, and finally the resemblance of future America to Thomas Jefferson's pastoral ideal. If it weren't for the folksy, Farmer's Almanac setting he provides, such images of the future might only serve to produce palpitations (if not incredulity). But in this case the reader is supplied with so many warm and well thought out ""how-tos""--don't rigidly resist change; allow prices to rise slowly, ""permitting a steady adaptation to scarcity by everyone""; reduce energy consumption--as to instill confidence that the challenge of the future, however contracted, can be handled with the same aplomb Johnson has shown.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1978
ISBN: 1935212168
Publisher: Sierra Club