Population, Environment, and Beyond
A great deal has been said and written about pollution, overpopulation, the depletion of natural resources, and the imminence of an ecological breakdown of catastrophic proportions. The urgent questions are: What can and must be done? How can we organize our knowledge, mobilize our energies, and focus our policy planning so as to create a new relationship between man and the world in which he lives?
In Growth Policy a team of experts presents a truly original, interdisciplinary approach to growth policy research from an ecosystem perspective. The authors provide an overall systems framework in which research in population, environment, and social values can be integrated and then expanded to aid the policy-decision process.
The authors challenge the conventional wisdom and assumptions that underlie current policy making, and they question the ability of present political and policy-making institutions to coordinate and control the interactions among the environment, population, resource consumption, and technological development. Nor do they subscribe to the facile notion that technology alone will solve the overall problem. Instead, they propose a macrosystems approach to policy research that identifies the issues, classifies and expands the range of possible policies, uses analytical models and computer technology to compare these possible policies in terms of the overall effect desired, and finally, requires the cooperation of policy makers and researchers as well as the public at the national and international levels. This approach has the virtue of developing rational and careful planning decisions without denying the elements of subjectivity and risk involved in such decision making. It also seeks to ensure that considerations of basic human values permeate all responses to the environmental crisis. The authors argue that new concepts of life on earth, of human society and culture, and even of man himself need to be formulated if human society is to enhance
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