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Building a Sustainable Society.
Washington, D.C.
This publication discusses worldwide problems and issues of concern. There are two major parts. Part I deals with "Converging Demands." For those who regularly read the Worldwatch Papers, much of the material in this section will be familiar. The material is included here particularly for the sake of those readers abroad who do not have ready access to the Institute's publications. Discussed are erosion, biological systems under pressure, oil, food, and emerging economic and social stresses. Part II, "The Path to Sustainability," comprises approximately two-thirds of the publication. A number of issues are examined including population growth, conservation of natural resources, renewable energy (e.g. wood, wind, and falling water), and changing values. The shape of a sustainable society--a sustainable transportation system, the resurgence of agriculture, new industries and jobs, urbanization, greater local self reliance, and simpler life styles--is examined. The means of transition to this sustainable society and the institutional challenges are discussed. The publication concludes with a subject index. (Author/RM)
Inhaltsverzeichnis :

Preface xi

1. Introduction

Part I: Covering Demands

2. Eroding the Base of Civilization 13
The Historical. Expansion of Cropland 14
Thinning Topsoil 17
Spreading Deserts: The Human Hand 22
The Loss of Irrigated Land 24
Conversion of Cropland to Nonfarm Uses 27
The Cropland Prospect 31

3.. Biological:Systems under Pressure 35
Deforesting.the Earth 36
Deep Trouble in Oceanic Fisheries 40
Grasslands for Three Billion Ruminants 45
Per Capita "Consumption Trends 49
Future Resource Trends 52
0il - The Safety Valve 54

4 Twilight of the Age of Oil 57
The Rise-of Oil 58
Our Petroleum Culture 6o
The Emergence of OPEC 62
The Decline of Oil 68
Giving Up on Nuclear Power 73
Coal: The Stopgap '81
Beyond the Age of Oil 85

5. The Changing Food Prospect 89
The Loss of Momentum_ 90
Thie North American Breadbasket 92
Crowing Food Insecurity 95
Land Productivity Trends loo
Substituting Fertilizer for Land 103
The Grain-Livestock Economy 104
The New Food-Fuel Competition io8
The Food Price Prospect 111

6. Emerging Economic and Social Stresses 114
Competing Demands 115
Rereading Ricardo 117
A New Source of Inflation 121
Slower Economic Growth 126
Rising Unemployment 128
Social' Stresses 132

Part II. The Path to Sustainability

7. Population:.A Stabilization Timetable 139
The Existing Projections 141
The Changing Backdrop 142
A- Stabilization Timetable 144
The Family Planning Gap 151,
Social Improvement and Fertility154
Incentives for Smaller Families 157
China's One-Child Family Program158
Inflation as a Contraceptive Force 161
A Gradual Awakening 163

8. Preserving Our Resource Underpinnings 165
Land-Use- Planning 166
Ensuring. Soil Security 171
Stabilizing-biologica7 Systems 175
Reforesting the Earth 180
Preserving the Web of Life 186
Beyond the Throwaway Society 189
Conserving Energy 195

9. Renewable Energy: Turning to the Sun 203
Wood as a Fuel 204
Energy from Waste 207
Planting Energy Crops 2 12
Falling Water 217
Harvesting the Wind 222
Tapping_ the Earth's Heat 226
Rooftops as Collectors 230
Electricity from Sunlight 233
Solar Architecture 237
The Renewable Energy Potential 242

10. The Shape of a Sustainable Society 247
The Changing Global Energy Budget 248
A Sustainable Transportation System 254
The Resurgence of Agriculture 260
New Industries, New fobs 263
The Future of Urbanization 268
Simpler Life-styles among the Affluent 27i'4
Third World Reinforcement 275
Greater Local Self-Reliance 278
From Growth to Sustainability 280
11. The Means of Transition 284
Urgency of ilie Transition 285,
Role of the Market 287
FtnancialCarrots and Sticks 291
Changer-through Regulationv 294
Financing the Transition 298
Reorienting R&D Programs 306
The Rle of Leadership 311

12. The Institutional Challenge 318
Overcoming Vested Interests 319
The Role of Corporations 322
Religions: An Ecological Theology 327
Universities: Getting Involved 334
Public Interest Groups 338
The Communications Media 344

13. Changing Values and Shifting Priorities 349
Values in Transition 350
Voluntary Simplicity 354
Conspicuous Frugality 356
Equity: The Two Dimensions 358
Redefining National Security 361
A New Econoinic Yardstick 365
A Sense of Excitement 369

Notes 213
Acknowlegments 413
Index 417