Part of the Focal Problems in Geography book series


The scientific and technological developments of the past two hundred years have brought many benefits, material and otherwise, to mankind but they have also been responsible for many serious problems. Here, in this book, attention is focused upon one, perhaps the most important, of these problems: the relationship between Population and Resources. The accelerating growth in world population running in parallel with world economic growth has brought stresses and strains upon the global environment of such seriousness and complexity that many believe we are heading for Armageddon in which the forces of evil — man’s over-fecundity, greed, selfishness and destructiveness — will lead to Doomsday. As Michael Chisholm has pointed out, the world is now faced with novel problems in relation to the environment, problems concerning which man does not know their full nature nor their full significance; furthermore, the whole art of social management (to which one might add economic management), necessary to meet these problems, is in its infancy.1 Many have long argued that man’s science and technology have raced ahead of his capacity to adjust himself ecologically, economically and socially to the new conditions he has somewhat irresponsibly and uncaringly precipitated. Few thinking people would indeed doubt this assertion. The great, the crucial, problem now is whether or not it is too late: whether, indeed, man can rescue himself from the apocalyptic race towards Doomsday.


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  1. 1.
    Chisholm, M., General Introduction: ‘From Domesday to Doomsday?’, in Benjamin et al. (eds), Resources and Population (1973), pp. 1–7.Google Scholar
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© Harry Robinson 1981

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