47
The Future of Plants

In the past ten thousand years, the world of terrestrial life has been more influenced by the growing population of human beings, and by their growing ability to alter the environment to suit their short-term needs, than by all other factors combined.

Through the agency of human beings, for instance, those plants they find useful to themselves have been multiplied in numbers and in living space by a factor of millions. Since there is only so much land on Earth and since all suitable portions of it were occupied by vegetation of one sort or another at the time agriculture was developed, the spread, over millions of square miles, of grain and vegetable fields, orchards, sugar cane, and rubber trees has meant a shrinkage of the forests and, generally, of the area given over to plants in which human beings are not particularly interested.

On the whole, then, the world of plants has grown increasingly unbalanced and decreasingly diverse through the agency of Homo sapiens.

What may we look for in the future?

If population continues to increase, energy sources to decrease, international hatreds to grow more intense, the capacity of our leaders to make wise decisions to diminish, then this trend for the plant world will continue even more markedly over the next few decades until civilization crashes. If the crash comes without a thermonuclear war, the plant world may then slowly return to its own over the remains of a shrinking humanity.

It is not pleasant to think of this particular possibility.

However, it may be that, faced with the rapidly growing crises of the closing decades of the twentieth century, humanity will learn to cooperate and take measures to control population, conserve energy, increase the

-262-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Roving Mind
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 350

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?