In Command of Tomorrow: Resource and Environmental Strategies for Americans

In Command of Tomorrow: Resource and Environmental Strategies for Americans

In Command of Tomorrow: Resource and Environmental Strategies for Americans

In Command of Tomorrow: Resource and Environmental Strategies for Americans

Excerpt

This is a book about resources and environment--about the link between their very long-run requirements and current policies. It starts from the assumption that the availability of ample supplies of moderate-cost energy, and materials and the preservation of a healthy and spiritually rewarding environment are basic to the continuation of a high-level industrial society. And it is written in the belief that the maintenance of such an industrial society, organized so as to spare natural systems from destruction, offers the best hope for the realization of human capabilities in all their individual forms.

Of course, there are many other equally pressing human problems that demand attention if man's future is to endure as long as his past. Even with the most myopic vision it is evident that among the problems man must deal with are war, racial conflict, income distribution, population control, providing for social and political participation, and such timeless and universal problems as the search for meaning in human life. But it is not possible to treat all of them here, so I have considered only resources and environment, the constraints they imply, possible avenues for release from constraint, the social attitudes and values of most use for dealing with resource problems, and the broad policy directions that would at least take mankind in the right direction. This already seems more than enough for one short volume, and so I ask forgiveness if I have omitted attention to some of the reader's favorite causes. But attention to resource and environmental problems will not prejudice desirable action on other fronts. On the contrary, appropriate resource policies, by helping to ensure the material base for society, will ease the other adjustments required.

The title is intended to convey the activist and optimistic thrust of this volume. It implies that we can take charge and mold our destiny rather than wait for it to happen to us. This is in the tradition of western man. But the subtitle reflects a change of emphasis that I feel is important. In the past, in a world of resource abundance, individuals in quest of their own advantage produced a result that was in the main . . .

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