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The human environment


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The human environment penultimate problems of survival
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Special publication / Natural Hazards Research & Applications Information Center ;
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1 online resource (32 p.) : ill. ;
Kates, Robert William
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Program on Environment and Behavior, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado
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Boulder, Colo
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Human ecology   ( lcsh )
Environmental policy   ( lcsh )
Social prediction   ( lcsh )
Technology -- Social aspects   ( lcsh )
Population density   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (p. 30-32).
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Robert W. Kates.
General Note:
"Published in collaboration with the Center for Technology, Environment, and Development, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, Massachusetts."

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ROBERT W. KATES THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT: PENULTIMATE PROBLEMS OF SURVIVAL Published in Collaboration with The Center for Technology. Environment. and Development Clark University Worcester. Massach usetts Natural Hazards Research & Applications Information Center Special Publication #6 Program on Environment and Behavior Institute of Behavioral Science University of Colorado 1983


Copyright 1983 by Robert W. Kates Institute of Behavioral Science University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado 80309 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 83-81382


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Fourteen years are crowded with events, work, and people. The ideas expressed herein are my own, but never really my own, as they are constantly exchanged, absorbed, rever berated, and tested with friends and family. For this paper in particular, I have had advice and cOllnsel from Jesse Ausubel, Dennis Chinoy, Jeanne X. Kaspcrson, and, as a group, my friends and colleagues at Clark University; manuscript preparation assistance from Jim Blair, the Clark University Cartographic Laboratory, and Joan McGrath; shared thinking and research with Len Barry, Ian Burton, Chris Hohenemser, Roger Kasperson, and Gilbert White; and received research support from the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


REUBEN G. GUSTAVSON MEMORIAL LECTURES The Reuben G. Gustavson Memorial Lectures were established in 1975 in recognition of Dr. Gustavson's contributions to education and research. Sponsored by Resources for the Future, Inc., of Washington, D.C., and four universities he served, the lectures 'will be given annually for fifteen years at the University of Arizona, the University of Chicago, the University of Colorado, and the University of Nebraska. Contributions to the lecture fund were made by Resources for the Future, Laurance S. Rockefeller, Wil liam S. Paley, and by former students and colleagues at each of the sponsoring institutions. The lectures deal with Science and Society, with emphasis on questions related to resources and the environment. Robert Kates' lecture. the seventh of the series, was delivered at the University of Colorado on January 27, 1983.


INTRODUCTION The ultimate problems of human existence are problems of mystery; the penultimate problems are of survival. The ultimate problems-the origin, mcaning, and purpose of a human existence that contains the certainty of death-now seem to transcend formal human organization dedicated to their study and solution. Once the sole charge of priest and philosopher, investigation of the mystny of life and death is widely shared with science and ordinary men. The penultimate problems-the epoch-specific, O\"(,lTiding questions of ollr time-seemingly require greatn formal human organi zation (Kates, 1969, p. I). I wrote that at the end of 1969, newly returned from Africa to a country swept up in the turmoil of foreign \\'ar and social change. haying resolved to more systematically address my scientific and political efforts to the penultimate questions of my ficId, which sLUdies the resources and hazards of the human environment. In so doing I was but one of many. John Platt (1969) had just published in Science his agenda of penultimate problems ordered by a scale of crisis intensity Crable I). Fourteen years later. no\\' in the midst of his "5 to 20 years time to crisis," his list of major crises leading to "annihila tion, great destruction, or change" still appears reInant. Nuclear or radiological, chemical, biological warfare escalates. Around the world men and women take to the streets and the ballot box to urge a halt to nuclear arms escalation. A major famine affected some 10-15 million people in the Sahel bet\\'Cen 1969 and 197:). The end of the oceans did not occur in 1979, as predicted in till' cautionary tale of eco-catastrophe by Paul Ehrlich (1970); nonetheless, major issues concerning ecological balallce persist: the interaction of biogeochemical cycles, the future of lTne\\"able resources, and the acceleration of species extinction. The 1970s found the developmellt hopes of millions set back in the face of worldwide economic decline. Local wars underway or initiated since 1969 (killing 1,000 or more) have involved 58 nations and claimed at least 8.3 million lives (Sivard, 1982). The gap between rich and poor nations


2 / The Human Environment Crisis Intensity (No. Affected) Total Annihilation (1010 ) Great Destruction or Change (109 ) Widespread Almost Unbearable Tension (108 ) Estimated Time to Crisis (Years) 1-5 5-20 Nuclear or RCBW Escalation (Too Soon) Nuclear or RCBW Escalation Famines Ecological Balance Development Failures Local Wars Rich-Poor Gap Administrative Poverty Management Pollution Need for Participation Racial Wars Group and Racial Political Rigidity Conflict Strong Dictatorships Poverty, Rising Expectations Environmental Degradation Large-Scale Distress Transportation Housing Education Independence of (107 ) Diseases Loss of Old Cultures Big Powers Communications Gap Tab/(' l. Platt's llJtilJ Classification 01 Major Problems and Crist's (abridged from Platt, llJ{jlJ, p. llllJ) has increased absolutely if not relatively from a difference in per capita income of $2300 in 1969, to $7700 in 1980 (Sivard, 1982), That the agenda of penultimate problems persists is less striking than the omissions from the list. Platt, writing today, would surely include energy issues and the combination of global economic stagnation, inflation, and unemployment as major continuing crises that were absent from his original list. My own unpublished list of penultimate problems prepared that same year is shorter, more environmentally oriented, and focuses on cause, It contains three closely linked problems: I) The Malthusian dilemma, the resurgellt cOllcern with the adequacy of resources and environment in the context of current and future rates of population growth, and the greater growth rates of technology and consumption.


The Human Environment / 3 2) The growing, separate, global concentration of wealth and poverty at a time of continued rising expectations, with the prospect of worldwide social unrest and conflict increasingly along racial, national, and continental lines. 3) The exceptional disparity between the greatly advanced technological capability for change, including that of destruction, and the primitive characwr of the human behaviors and institutions prm'iding for control of this new capability (Kates, 1969, pp. In the remainder of this lecture I want to address briefly each of these issues in turn, using the hindsight of the last 14 years, some research that my colleagues at Clark Univer sity and I have undertaken on each of the problems, and the remarkable set of institutions, research, and documentation that developed during that period. A v\ard first about these latter developments. NEW INSTITUTIONS, RESEARCH METHODS, AND DOCUMENTATION When John Platt foresaw multiple crises that pose the "gravest danger of destroying our society, our world, and ourselves in any of a number of different ways well before the end of this century," he called for ... action. Who will commit himself to this ... search for more ingenious and fundamental solutions? Who will begin to assemble the research teams and funds? \\'ho will begin to create those full-time interdisciplinary centers that will be necessary for testing detailed designs and turning them into effecti\'e application?" (1969, p. 1121). Fourteen years later a host of interdisciplinary centers abound, the most recent being the World Resources Institute. Internationally, many of these institutes are part of the IFIAS (International Federation of Institutes of Ach'anced Studies) network. Another, based near Vienna, IIASA (the International Institutc for Applied Systems Analysis) is funded by 17 countries. The world's natural scientific disciplines have come together under the aegis of the International Council of Scientific Unions and its Scientific


4 The Human Environment Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), while the world's nations work through the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) begun in Stockholm in 1972. New sources of funding have emerged-such as the Club of Rome in the early '70s and the MacArthur Foundation in the '80s. Reuben Gustavson, who played such a key role in the development of Resources for the Future, would have been pleased by these developments. In the wake of this creation of institutions has come a wave of research, documentation, and methodology. The development of global simulation models has triggered a new growth controversy that has yet to abate, and a dozen emulative or competitiw> models-seven of which were recen tl y reviewed together (Meadows, Richardson, and Bruckmann, 1982)-have been constructed. The energy cri sis encouraged ne\'; accounting systems using BTUs or joules instead of to dOCUIIIl'Ilt energy flows or transactions. Progress was also made in documenting flows of the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, and phosphorus in addition to water, and in monitoring the stratosphere, oceans, and the terrestrial biomass. Major international studies and revinvs have looked back at the year 1972 (Garcia, 1981), over the 10 years since the Stockholm Conference on the Environment (Holdgate, Kassas, and White, 1982), and forward on the next 20 years (U.S. Council on Environmental Quality, 1980), 50 years (Ridker and Watson, 1980), 75 years (Freeman and Jahoda, 1978), and 200 years (Kahn, Brown, and Martel, 1976). Despite this outpouring of institutions, research, and documentation, a major caveat is in order. In the words of the UNEP World Environment report, ... the data base is of very variable quality ... there are startling gaps and a special lack of reliable quantitative information on the developing world. This must be remembered when projections of the future state of the world environment are examined: many are based on only the scantiest of evidence about what, in fact, has been happening" (Holdgate, Kassas, and White, 1982, p. 622).


The Human Environment / 5 MENTAL MODELS OF THE FUTURE Yet, questionable data appears to me a lesser issue than other problems that may perplex the reader of these environmental diagnoses and prognoses. A more important issue relates to the very different mental models authors hold as to the future, differences that can be crudely summarized along three dimensions: trend, cause, and certainty. Most people who have thought about the penultimate problems have a mental image of the future that is convert ible to a trend projection. Consider, for example, this incomplete diagram of 1,000 years of past and future world population (Figure I). Take a moment and see if you can mentally extend it to the year 2050, when my granddaughter Sara will be 70, or if you are really brave and foolhardy, to 2200. 14 12 10 Q. 0 W Q. 8 ? u. 0 I/) Z 6 .... .... CD 4 2 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 2200 Figure I. World Populatioll. 1200-2200 A.D.: Do-It-Yourself Projl'llioll Figure 2 shows the curves my students draw. These curves reflect well the basic divisions in trend. Curve A is the cornucopian vision of continued exponential growth, at least within Sara's lifetime; Curve B represents one of many variants of reaching a steady-state, zero-population-growth world; and Curve C is the Malthusian vision of overshoot


6 / The Human Environment and collapse (Meadows et aI., 1972). All of the analyses since 1969 are strongly influenced by their authors' vision of the potential for either growth, steady state, or collapse. 14 12 W .... 10 Q. o W Q. U. o III 8 Z 8 o .... .... III 4 I A./ 1 I B. I ,--1,/ I" I 1 1 I 1 I 1;-.... I \ I \ I \ 1 \ / ... C. I .... ,_ 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 2200 Figure 2. World Population, 1200-2200 A.D.: Altt'rnative Projections Beliefs as to the cause of such trends also differ widely. Some see physical limits or the behavior of natural systems as prime movers; others find cause in society (social or economic organization) or culture; still others highlight the autonomous role of technology; and still others, combinations thereof. Sometimes the distinctions are subtle, the causation must be inferred; sometimes it's blatant, as in Nature Pleads Not Guilty, Garcia's indictment of society for the worldwide trouble of 1972. Finally, the degree of certainty one attaches to a diagnosis or prognosis is a mixture of both belief and style. Scientists differ in the strength of their own belief in their analyses, while others, regardless of belief, may speak either softly or loudly. A recurring problem for scientists who wish to influence or even to inform is to penetrate the cacophony of modern communication, to secure a place on the agendas of the media, the public, the decision makers. Thus, some opt to speak loudly either from belief or from necessity or both.


The Human Environment / 7 To overstate your case has become commonplace because to understate it may mean it will never be considered. These three dimensions-the trends forseen, their causes, and the certainty with which they are proclaimed-are themselves simplifications, but in combination they transcend the usual dichotomous separation between neoMalthusians and anti-Malthusians, growth or no-growth advocates, prophets of boom or prophets of gloom, cornucopians or catastrophists, or any of the other neat dualisms that are curren t these days. That the posi tions are more varied, however, does not seem to diminish the rancor evi dent in the debate and controversy. Having cautioned you to take the analyses of others with a grain of three-dimensional salt requires that I locate myself along these dimensions. As to trelld, I think we are at a key turning point away from exponential growth tov,ards a global steady state, but both exponential growth or overshoot and collapse can still characterize regional de\'elopment. As to calise, I am an interactionist-nature, society, and technology all contribute to our penultimate problems, but may vary in importance by problem or setting. As to certainty, I am cautious-often skeptical-about evidence, but strongminded as to desired values, while always despairing of being able to separate fact from value. Let's return to the penultimate problems. In my remaining time, I will address each of the problems in turn, first summarizing the major trends of the last H years, then presenting some thoughts as to the dynamics or causal process that underlies the trends, and then concluding with some personal concerns for the future. THE MALTHUSIAN DILEMMA In 1969, the population problem, some called it a bomb, appeared as such in its usual exponential form (Figure 3). Here in the early years of the '80s, this penultimate problem appears to have changed profoundly. It is now possible to visualize the ultimate population of the earth, ultimate at least for our lives, our children's, and their children. All


8 / The Human Environment major demographers agree that we are at the point of inflection where an exponential growth curve begins to be the S-shaped curve of the logistic. Current estimates (shown in Figure 4) differ only in timing and ultimate population, but are bracketed between 8 and 11 billion people with a MODERN TIMES OLD : NEW STONE AGE NEW BRONZE MIDDLE STONE AGE; COMMENCES STONE AGE AGE IRON AGE AGES W 7000 BC 6000 5000 4000 BC B.C B.C 3000 B.C 2000 B.C E 5 .., u " :r 1i. .., l-I 1 -" u iii c.. ... 30 III Z o 23 iii o 1000 B.C. A.D. 1000 2000 B C A.D. A.D Population and Poverty \ :!:i!j) More Crowding Forecast In W orId's Poorer Cities Human numbers look two to fIve nJ/II/on years to reach their /Irsl billion. about 1800 A.D. By 1975, 175 years later. the figure was tiP to lour villi on Addmg the next two /JllIlon could lake only 25 years, accordmg to cur rent pro/ectlons Today 5 population explosion /5 pUfllng tremendous pressures on Earth "5 resources. environ ment. and social labflc Figure 3. World Populatioll Growth Through History (van del' Tak. Haub. and Murphy. 1979. p. 2. Courtesy of the Population Referellce Bureau. Inc)


The Human Environment / 9 global steady state beginning as early as 2050. There are exceptions. Lester Brown (1981) tells us we can have a sustainable world of 6 billion people if we have the will and foresight, and Herman Kahn (1976) a quadcentennial (2176) population of 15 billion, give or take a factor of two. UNITED NATIONS 11.0 10 9.B WORLD BANK --------------------------------B 6 NUMBERS IN BILLIONS 1----------STABILIZED SIZE 2 OL______ L____ ______ ______ _L ______ _L ______ ____ 1975 2000 2025 2050 2075 2100 2125 2150 Figure 4. Projections of World Population in 2000 and l'ltimate Stabilized Size (\'an cler Tak. I!aub. and Murphy. 1979. p. eli!. CourtesY of the Population Reference Bureau. Inc.) NOTES: Primary sources rdnred to in this graph include: l'.S. Bureau of the Census. 1979: World Bank. 1979; l'nited ;'\ations. 1979: Bogul' and TSlii. 1979. The U.S. Census Bureau has not published projections b('\ond 2000. The Worlel Ban k ]lU hI ishes on Iy onl' seril's. Thl' ot her project ions sho\\"n meeli lim series (bl't \\'('('n high and lo\\" \'arian ts), If, as I think, we arc at the point of inflection, and rates of population growth are decreasing, not only in the rich industrialized world but in many countries in the Third World, then there is some cause for elation. The task of


10 / The Human Environment providing a better life for the world's peoples will be reduced because the declining population signals some improvement in living standards and life expectancy, and reduces the burden of providing housing, schooling, and jobs for the ncw millions. The decline in birthrate that was evidenced in somt' countries during the '70s puts to rest one of the deep conflicts in responding to this overriding issue-whether a decline in tht' rate of population increase must precede or follow economic improvement and reduction in child mortality. This declint' provides limited support for all of the three major theories of the demographic transition: economic development, birth control, and national culture. The largest reductions were in nations with high rates of development, with strong population control policies and actions, and primarily in the culture zone of East and Southeast Asia. But population decline occurred in lesser degree where only one or t\yO of the three factors were present. \Ve learned that population control could precede economic development, albeit at a slower rate, at least in cultures that prove receptive to it-much as we recently learned that French people regulated their population, for reasons that are not clear. a ccntury ahead of the other nations of Western Europe. beginning prior to the industrial revolution. For 100 years. as shown in Figure 5, French mothers had a third fewer children than mothers in the rest of \\'estt'rn Europe. While the transition to a steady-state world is in sight, it will be uneven-varying from Europe and North America, where 26 nations have essentially achieved zero population growth, to Africa. where population will increase tenfold over the next 75 years. African demographic exceptional ism is particularly evident in projectl'cl growth rates for the year 2,000, at which time it is expected that 75% of Asian populations will be growing at very fast rates (2.1 % or higher), compared with only 30% of Latin American and 10% of Asian populations (Tsui and Bogue, 1978). If we stabilize at 10 billion people, there will be cause for satisfaction, but quiet at best; the world of 2050 will be a world with 2 112 times the current population-with 2 112


1.0 .9 > .8 ... g .7 II: w .... 6 ...J ..: i .5 ... .4 o .3 o .2 .1 The Human Environment / 11 HUTTERITES 11920.1 OL____ ____ ____ -L ____ ____ ______ L_ ____ ____ ____ 1780 1800 1820 1840 1860 1980 1900 1920 1940 1960 Fig-url' 5. Index of ;\brital Fellility: Sl'lected European Countri(''>, 17'(1,7-1960 (van de Walle alld Kllodel. 19'(1,0, p. 17. COUlll''>y of the Population Refl'rl'nc(' Bureau, 111(.) times the human needs to satisfy, l\'or will that task be even I y distri bll ted, Ins lIch a world, Nigeria will ha ve more people that the lTnited States or the Soviet Union. This map (Figure 6), in which the continents are proportional to their population, shows the change in demographic power by continental region between 1800, 1980 and after 2050. In Year 1800 1980 2090 25 0 III = 50 D' I; 75011_ ... Fig-ure 6. Chang-ingWorld Population.


12 / The Human Environment 1800,1 in 5 persons was a European, 1 in 14 and African. In the years following 2050, the figures will be reversed, with profound effects on issues of power, migration, and race. Nor will the steady state be necessarily a happy statewestern values are rooted in accumulation, achievement, and growth. The hierarchy of social organization permitted by upward mobility will need to change in a world of more limited demands and opportunities. What to replace it with will be a major challenge. That the turning point in global population was revealed in the 1970s does not, of course, signal an end to the Malthusian dilemma, or a reduction in the controversies between anti-Malthusian and neo-Malthusian thought. The remarkable thing about Mal th us' Essay on Population is not that it fits the cynical definition of a classic given by Petersen (1979): "a work that everyone ci tes but no one reads," but that, despite its repeated refutation, both in theory and observation, it arises anew in each successive intellectual generation by successive expansion of the numerator of resources and the denominator of population (Figure 7). In 1798, the numerator of the Malthusian equation was solely food and agricultural land, not because Malthus was ignorant of other natural resource needs, but because food requirements so dominated other needs. By the 1850s, however, the food requirements were expanded to other energy and material resources, marked by the classic volume of Jevons (1865) in Britain on the coal question, at the same time as national censuses made possible expansion of the denominator as well. In the United States, the counterpart development might have been the plea of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1873 and 1890 (1890) for forest conservation. Food, however, does not disappear; it persists as a concern but on a wider population scale. The postwar United States would mark a new turning point with the Paley Commission report (President's Materials Policy Commission, 1952), discounting fears as to resource scarcity and laying the groundwork for a new definition of the Malthusian numerator involving amenity


Resources 1798 1848 1898 1948 1998 Population 1798 1848 1898 1948 1998 The Human Environment / 13 \PAoliUlion \menilies Divided By \Species Biosphere Figure 7. Expanding the Malthusian Equation: Resources Divided by Population. resources and the pollution-absorbing capacity of the environment. The Stockholm Conference on the Environment in 1972 would enlarge these concerns to a global scale cen tered on the biosphere and the basic life-support system of biogeochemical cycles. The final extension is the current concern with extinction (Regenstein, 1975; Myers, 1979; Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1981), and predictions of massive spe cies destruction over the next several decades. But the earlier definitions by no means disappear; they persist. In the 1970s the concern with food adequacy gets new life in the context of the Sahelian drought. The con cern with energy and material resource adequacy is revived by the massive increase in commodity prices during that decade and the recognition of the limitations of oil reserves. As with the earlier Malthusian predictions, the neoMalthusian predictions also fail. A classic case, of course, is Jevons (1865) on the coal question. An extrapolation of the


14 / The Human Environment growth in coal use from the time he wrote his book is shown in Figure 8A along with the actual course of British coal production. These figures bear a striking similarity to those represented in Figure 8B, a recent projection concerning oil use taken from the Global 2,000 reports extrapolating 1950-75 oil growth with Hubbert's projection of expected U.S. oil production. Coal from 1861 Oil from 1975 I 550 I 1000 I I 500 I I I 450 I I A I B I I :. 400 I I I I m I < I Co 350 0 I l-I -; 300 I 500 I I m 250 < I 0 I I I 200 '" I c I I 0 I = 150 I I I I In I I 100 I I I actual 100 production I estimated of COB I 50 I production I of crude 011 1800 1900 2000 1950 2000 2050 Figure 8. Extrapolating Coal lIse from 1861, Oil Use from 1975 (Jevons. 1865: U.S. COllncil on Environmental Quality, 1980) Nonetheless. it is safe to predict that neo-Malthusian debate will persist, and along these particular lines: food adequacy will be of most serious concern in Africa; energy adequacy in terms of alternatives for industrialized countries and in terms of fuel wood and high import prices in developing countries; pollution in the megacities of the developing world; species in the tropical rain forest; and the biosphere in the context of the increasing human modification of the atmosphere. To sum up the Malthusian dilemma. the last 14 years have seen a declining rate of population growth everwhere but in Africa, with future projections of a global steadystate population of from 8-11 billion occurring as early as 2050. Support is found for all the major theories of the


The Human Environment / 15 demographic transItIOn debated in the early years of the '70s. At the same time, the numerator of concern in the Malthusian equation continues to expand and the Malthusian equation is constantly redefined anew, providing plenty of concerns for the future. GLOBAL CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH AND POVERTY In 1969, average per capita income for the developing countries was $204, compared with $2,460 for the industrialized countries, a ratio of 1 to 12. In 1980, the figures had risen to $820 and $8,505, respectively, a ratio of 1 to 10 (Sivard, 1982). In absolute terms the rich had grown much richer, but not in relative terms, although the poor were still very poor. The worldwide stagflation had taken its toll on the industrialized nations' growth, while it had penal ized developing countries with an order of magnitude increase in oil prices, high interest rates, and low demand and prices for most export commodities. The penultimate problem of pm'eny and wealth in 1969 anticipated social disorder and conflict, and there were plenty of both in the 1970s, Since 1969, 43 wars claimed at least 8.3 million lives (Sivard, 1982), primarily in the poor D ,.wlthlncounIr1 combined Figure 9, Wars, 1969-1981 (after Sivard, 1982)


16 / The Human Environment parts of the world (Figure 9). Since 1968, there were 7,425 internationally related terrorist incidents (U.S. Department of State, 1982). Amnesty International kept records on some 4,952 prisoners of conscience in 1981 (Amnesty International, 1982) and urged action in behalf of prisoners in 67 countries. Major attempts to ameliorate North-South tension in the form of the Brandt report (1980), the new economic order, aid distribution, or trade concessions basically failed. Official development assistance was .34% of industrial nation gross national product (GNP) in 1970, and.35% in 1981 (SivaI'd, 1982). The U.S. proportion was second lowest among 17 industrial nations and a national disgrace. The global concentration of wealth and poverty is foremost an issue of political economy, not of the human environment. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that economy and environment interact in at least two important ways: on the one hand, economy may prevent the realization of feasible improvements in the human environment; on the other, within specific regional contexts, environment often exacerbates the disparity between nations. By the end of the '70s, the sociopolitical, rather than the technical, obstacles of many environmental issues were clear. There was a consensus that, in the aggregate, food supplies were adequate to feed all the world's peopleshortages were limited to region or class (Figure 10). Thirty percent of the population of low-income countries may be malnourished, but poverty rather than environment was the prime source. Similarly, there is a growing consensus on other issues of health andmonality. Based on the experience since 1969, it now seems clear that communicable diseases that take the lives of 5 million children a year can be eradicated as was smallpox (Holdgate, Kassas, and White, 1982); that improved water and sanitation are in reach of the rural peoples of the world, as they have been provided for urban people (United Nations, 1980); that death from disaster can be reduced by at least half, using the best practices currently available in developing countries (Burton, Kates and White, 1978); and that pollution can be controlled for about


The Human Environment / 17 150 150 DEVELOPED COUNTRIES DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 140 140 130 130 >< >< w w C 120 r--"''' C 120 iiE iiE .... / PER CAPITA .."". ............. .,;" ."", FOOD PRODUCTION ,/,'" \pER CAPITA I ... FOOD PRODUCTION ..... ", ..... ..... '-."", 100 100= 1961-65 Average 100-1961-65 Average 90 90 1961-65 67 69 71 73 1975 1961-65 67 69 71 73 1975 Figure 10. Total and Per Capita Food Production: Dewloped and Developing Countries, 1961-6.') to 1976 (\'an der Tak, Haub, and Murphy, 1979, p. Courtesy of thl" Population Reference Bureau, Inc.) NOTE: Developed countries in(lude all of Europe, U.S.S.R., israel. Japan, SOlllh Africa, U.S., Canada, Aw.tralia, l\:('\\' Zealand. Developing countries include all others. 1-2% of GNP, as is being done in many industrialized nations (Holdgate, Kassas, and White, 1982). In each of these areas, there is more knowledge than is currently used; what is needed is a lillie wealth and much will. Political economy and environment converge to produce a class of small, low-income nations that are the poorest-ofthe-poor (Figure II). Indeed, the gap between them and o ASIAN MOUNTAIN o COASTAL WEST AFRICAN EASTERN AFRICAN SAHEL SOUTHERN AFRICAN Figure II. Least-Developed Nations (Clark University Program In International Development and Social Changt'o 1974)


18 / The Human Environment other developing nations is growing rapidly, both absolutely and relatively. This is a map of the so-called "least developed nations," a dubious accolade, whose criteria (per capita GNP, illiteracy, percent manufacturing) were defined when I was in the employ of one such nation. With the best of intentions, there was hope that identifying this group of nations would entitle them to special considerations of need in global aid distributions anel in trade adjustments. Five years after this designation, home in America, my colleagues and I were struck by the nonrandom location of these nations. Located mainly in Africa, they are peripheral not only to the core centers of world power, but within their own regions as well. Their small size, landlockedness, regional peripherality, and arid or mountain environments combine to enhance the effects of political-economic poverty. It is not environment that makes them poor, but it is environment that makes them the poorest-of-the-poor. Looking to the future, the most immediate response to the global inequalities of wealth will be an ever-accelerated pattern of national and international migration reproducing that which has already occurred in Europe Crable 2) Receiving Countries Sending West Countries Total Germany France Switzerland Belgium Netherlands Greece 250 240 Italy 500 230 100 150 12 Portugal 510 40 450 Spain 640 150 330 100 40 20 Yugoslavia 490 400 55 25 Total 2,390 1,060 940 280 70 40 Table 2. European Migration Balances, 1960-1970 (in thousands) (Bouvier, Shryock, and Hendnson, 1977, p. l:l. Courtesy of the Popu lalion Rdl'reIHl' Bm('au, Inc.) "Less than 10,000. and North America. The great disparity in numbers between Europe and Africa will result in massive African outmigration, with Africans occupying the migrant worker status of current-day Latins. This outmigration is already evident in France today (Table 3). In the Americas, the legal


Nationality Algeria Portugal Italy Spain Morocco Tunisia Poland Yugoslavia Other Total The Human Environment / 19 Number (OOOs) 884.3 858.9 558.2 531.4 322.1 167.5 86.4 77.8 709.5 4,196.1 % of Foreign Population 21.1 20.5 13.3 12.7 7.7 4.0 2.1 1.8 16.8 100.0 Table 3. Foreign :\'ationals in Francl'. 197ti (in thousands) (Boll\'ier. Shryock, and Hl'ndl'rson. 1977. p. l:l. Courtl'sy of the Population Reference Bureau, Inc.) and illegal migration across the permeable U.S. border will accelerate, illegal migration at the Mexican frontier having recently doubled in direct response to the devaluation of the peso. One recent projection (Davis, 1982) of a I.S million annual immigration to the United States, which is only a half again larger than current estimates of immigration (legal and illegal), sees an Hispanic-Black-Asian majority in the United States by the middle of the next century. These massive migrations will bring fresh energy, new culture, and old issues of power, exploitation, and racism to most of the wealthy world. To sum up, the rich grow richer absolutely, less so rela tively, as an ever more important gap appears among the poor countries. with the emergence of a persistent group of least-developed countries. In such a world, social disorder is commonplace. and unmet human needs mock the great potential for the betterment of human existence. The basic causes, rooted in political economy, arc beyond my compe tence to analyze, but un met human needs could be met with modest reallocation of resources and national leadership. The least-developed nations remain so. their problems exacerbated by environmental and spatial location. The gaps will be most evident between Africa and the rest of the world, and the accelerating migration from poor to rich countries will bring new problems and opportunities.


20 / The Human Environment THE SOQALCONTROL OF TECHNOLOGY There is a basic asymmetry between the benefits and risks of a technology. With the exception of those technologies the function of which is to kill or destroy (weapons, chain saws, pesticides, antibiotics), most technologies only create hazards incidental to their production and beneficial use. Thus the identification of a technological hazard and social efforts to control it inevitably lag behind a given technology's use. The vested interests of both technology sponsor and consumers further restrain social control. In the 1970s, the lag between technology development and hazard control diminished considerably both for old and new technologies. This is shown for 6 hazards in Figure 12. In the United States, for example, much of the '70s was marked by the discovery of the "hazard-of-the-week"-c: 0 (J < c: \I) 0 \I) -:; \I) 0 10 -.. .. as .!: \I) u. > c: c: -< \I) E c: .\I) lE Do \I) > \I) Q 100 50 0 200 Cadmium Asbestos .P_C.B.'s 100 Age Of Technology In Years From Present Thalidomide PRESENT Figure 12. Technological Development and Hazard Control (based on estimates by M. Morrison, Clark University)


The Human Environment / 21 between 40-50 new or newly discovered hazards were featured in the media each year. This increase in hazard management arose from several sources. Commoner (1971) argued that changes in technology since World War II have been fundamental and disjunctive, not simply the continuation of processes initiated by the industrial revolution. The most dramatic technological threat was the introduction of nuclear weapons in 1945. Less dramatic, but also significant, was the synthesis, largescale production, and disposal of thousands of new chemicals, and the mobilization and concentration of fossil energy and naturally scattered materials. While one may argue about whether World War II represents a technological watershed and that the spate of hazard identification is the delayed recognition of the perils of progress, there have also been major improvements in the ways in which hazards are identified and monitored. These include new screening techniques with low-cost tests; computer modeling of hazardous sources, pathways, and sinks; monitoring networks for major air, land, and water pollutants; and rapid growth in general scientific effort devoted to hazard research. Along with the disjunctive change in technologies and improved means of hazard identification, the public, too, has become more sensitive to hazard. More than 78% of the public perceive greater risk today than in the last 20 years, contrary to the expectations of most experts (Harris, 1980). The source of this changing public perception is not wholly clear. Part of it lies in the actual and identified increase in hazardous technologies and in the attention provided to them by both scientists and the media. But there are also deeper roots: the concern with radiation and chemicals may be replacing older insecurities, enhanced by the periodic fluctuations of optimism and despair in public mood, and by the politics of liberalism and conservatism. Whether pu blic perception matches the reality of hazard, the burden of hazard on society is a large one. In the United States alone, the estimated social costs of hazards associated with the manufacture and use of technology-including


22 / The Human Environment property damage, losses of productivity from illness or death, and most but not all of the costs of controlamounted to between $179 and $283 billion in 1979 (Table 4), equivalent to 7.8%-12.4% of GNP (Tuller, forthcoming). Cost To Cost of Control Damage and Loss Private Sector 67.4-80.4 Federal Government 21.7-34.8 State and Local Government 11.0-17.3 Not Available Public 31.7-52.1 Total 99.1-132.5 79.8-150.2 Total Costs and Losses 178.9-282.7 Table 4. Social COSLS. Damages. anJ Losses from Technological HazarJs. 1979 (in millions of Jollars) (TlIlln. forthcoming) Similarly, from 15% to 25% of the annual mortality is associated with \'arious technologies (Harriss, Hohenemser, and Kates, 1978). No similar analyses have been done else where in the world, but there is every reason to believe that such patterns of damage and loss w(ndd be found equally in most industrialized countries and in urban areas of developing countries, ,,\'here the damage estimates might even be greater. Despite this large toll, there are grounds for cautious optimism. Most acute effects (e.g., accidental injury) of technology have been on the decline or have held relatively constant. Cancer rates, with three exceptions (declining stomach and uterine, rising lung cancer), have been rela tively constant, although studies claim a significant increase in the 1970-76 period in the United States, with later data still unavailable (Schneiderman, 1982). Significant progress in the United States has been made in reducing levels of 3 of the 5 major air pollutants (Conservation Foundation, 1982), and national surveys, while revealing epidemic proportions of deleterious blood-lead levels in children, demonstrate nevertheless a marked and gratifying decrease (Figure 13). The llNEP World Environment report finds that despite rising human impacts on natural


The Human Environment / 23 !55 ,./'\. AVERAGE BLOOD 16 \. LEAD LEVELS a: 1!5 UJ / .............. _.-""' I-50 ..J en 14 UJ u C) UJ 12 z 7 UJ 0 ..J I6 0 0 20 0 0

24 / The Human Environment son of 93 technological hazards has identified 5 sets of extreme hazards, 4 of which represent difficult types to cope with (Table 5). These 4 are intentional biocides, the persistent, delayed teratogens, the rare catastrophes, and the diffuse global threats. The fifth group is composed of common killers, such as automobiles or black-lung disease. Class I. Hazards II. Extreme Hazards 1. Intentional Biocides 2. Persistent Teratogens 3. Rare Catastrophes 4. Diffuse Global Threats 5. Common Killers III. Multiple Extreme Hazards Examples Appliances, Aspirin, Bicycles, Saccharin, Skateboards Antibiotics, Chain Saws, Vaccines Mercury, Uranium Mining Aviation Crashes, LNG Explosions Fossil FuelCOlo Ozone Depletion Auto Crashes, Coal Mining Nuclear War, Pesticides, Recombinant DNA Table 5. Taxonomy of Tcchnolo?;ical f lat_anls The intentional biocides derive their lethality from the great toxicity involved in the design of technologies to hUrl living organisms: humans in the case of wc-apons, insects with pesticides, vegetation with herbicides and chainsaws, and bacteria and viruses with drugs. Highly efficient, these technologies are usually narrowly targeted and access to them is restricted. But, if by error of decision or application or by intention, they drift off target, then they are enormously dangerous. Thus, in our time we have already seen nuclear war in Japan, massive pesticide poisoning in Pakistan, and worldwide penicillin-resistant strains of gonorrhea. Persistent, drlayed teratogen.s and mutagens comprise a class of hazards whose inherent danger arises from the potentiating combination of characteristics, each of which is threatening but manageable by itself. The combination of long life for the material, long delay until consequences


The Human Environment 25 appear, and transgenerational impact make them so hazardous. Metals such as cadmium, selenium, antimony, molybdenum, lead, and mercury have human-created fluxes of between 5 LO 80 times those found in nature. All of these can accumulate slowly, and persist almost forenT to cause se rious disruption to living organisms, especially fetuses. Several are also mutagenic. Heavy mClals and radiation have already caused numerous outbreaks and a fl'\\' major epidemics such as mercury-caused MinamaLa disease in Japan and the seed-grain mass poisoning in Iraq. For most of the rare catastrophes the mechanisms are well understood: a jumbo jet collision, collapsC' of a dam, a n uclC'ar reaClor accidelll, an Ll\' G (I iq uelied nat ural gas) tank explosion. or the fall of a satellite. WC' haH' alread\' had a number of major dam failures, only one jumbo jet collision, a single LNG tank explosion. and near misses with satC'llites and nuclear reactors. Howe\'C'r, for some potential catastrophes such as the accidental creation of a virulent microorganism using recombinant DNA technology, the threat. while possible. is almost impossible LO assess rdiably or pC'rhaps C'vC'n to verify if it did occur. Finally, thert' are the dijju.\(' global threats caused by matC'rials worlll\\'ide in their disbursement that slowly but steadily accumulate mainly in or through thC' atmosphC're and threaten to change the climate, destroy the protC'ctive ozone layer, or increase the acidity of precipitation. The threats are idelllifiable, but much scientific uncertainty still remains rC'garding the spcC'd at which they are evolving, the sourcc:'s, thC' mechanisms, anclthe impacts. We do know that the annual release of C02 into the atmosphere is equal to about 10% of that used by plants; nitric oxidC's and nitrate products produced by human sources are about 50% of what the biosphere produces naturally. and more sulphur dioxide enters the atmosphere from human activities than is exchanged naturally (Holdgate, Kassas, and White, 1982). This taxonomy of hazards lends itself to a priority list or to a hazard agenda (recall Table 5). A few hazards are ex treme in more than one of the 5 dimensions-for example, the radiation effects of nuclear war, recombinant DNA, and


26 / The Human Environment some pesticides. Most hazards are not extreme in any dimension, for instance, saccharin, aspirin, household appliances, or skateboards. In between are examples of hazards that are extreme in one or another major group. This suggests a modified form of "triage": extraordinary attention to the multiple extreme hazards, distinctive effort appropriate to each of the groups of extreme hazards, and an ordered but routine response for the remainder. The years ahead should bring a continuation of the helpful trends of the '70s despite some of the current retreat from caution. The public has been remarkably consistent in its desire for environmental protection and health safety (Figure 14). However, a diminution in the publicly recorded fears for the future will not occur until we understand the Percent 50 Environmental protection laws/regulations have ... 40 30 20 10 o Oct. Oct. Oct. Oct. Sep. Sep. Sep./Oct. Sep. 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 Figure 14. Public Pnception of Environll1elllal Laws and Regulations, 1973-1981 (Conservation Foundation. 1982a. p. Courtesy of the Conservation Foundation and the American Entnprise Institute) NOTE; The primary source of the information repn'seilled in the graph reproduced I)('re is the Roper Organization Polls, 1973-1981. The question asked was; Thert' art' ... differing opinions about how far we've gone with environmental protection laws and regulations, Atthe present time, do you think environmel1lal protection laws and regulations have gone too far, or not far enough, or have struck about the right balance? "Don't know/no answer" responses (not plotted) ranged between 10% and 21%.


The Human Environment / 27 mechanisms of the major human diseases of industrial countries (cancer and atherosclerosis), determine the effects on the biosphere of human-induced changes in energy and materials flow, and learn to control the irrational insecurity of the arms race. In the developing world the situation is more worrisome. Technologies that are tightly controlled in industrial countries, such as pesticides or antibiotics, are readily available in many developing countries. The great urban centers of the Third World display patterns of auto injury or pollution that exceed those of many wealthy cities, and at the same time they maintain an environment of infectious disease and malnutrition comparable to or exceeding those of rural areas. In the year 2000, there may be 61 such cities with populations exceeding 4 million, including Mexico City with 32 million people, Paulo with 26 million, and 8 others with over 15 million people. For the industrialized countries, I find particularly troubling the structural changes taking places in the roles of scientist, technologist, and entrepreneur and in the basic division of labor among scientific discovery of principles, technological de\'elopment of devices or processes using them, and entrepreneurial production and distribution. There is an inevitable lag between hazard creation and hazard identification. Scientists, knowledgeable about the basic principles of a technology but uninvolved in its development, serve to provide early warning and identification of hazard. But in the three major technologies of the last 40 years, this has broken down: in the creation of the atom bomb, in computer and related information technologies, and in the emerging biotechnology. In the first case, the dual wartime role of the scientist and technologist that created the bomb ended for some scientists rather quickly. These then became "critical scientists,"to use Ravetz's term (1971), and many of them served and continue to serve to warn us of the dangers of the arms race. In contrast, the subtle consequences, both good and bad, of the information revolution have not emerged yet. Indeed, we still know surprisingly little about television's effects


28 / The Human Environment after 20 years of intensive study (Graham and Kasperson, forthcoming). Fortunately, the first-order consequences of information technologies do not appear to affect health and environment directily (with the exception of radiation and certain chemicals). Most troubling of all for me is the emergent biotechnology, but not because I possess expert knowledge of its hazards. What disturbs me is the structure of the technology, with scientific experiments, technological development, and entrepreneurial production collapsed into a continuous activity, and those most knowledgeable playing all three roles in a rush to early discovery, innovation of use, and profit. Theoretically, biotechnology is extremely powerful, and I worry that even the much-improved societal hazard management developed in the last decade cannot cope with its challenge in the face of the massive co-optation of the relevant scientific community. To sum up, despite an expanding technology and growing hazard perception, there are encouraging signs of improving social control, albeit at a high cost of between 7-12% of equivalent GNP. The basic lag between benefit and hazard identification is diminishing even though the new hazards are more subtle and less evident, supported in part by the increased social sensitivity-some would argue hypersensitivity-to hazard. It is now possible to draw up an agenda of particularly hazardous types based on physical, biological, and social characteristics. Worrisome for the future is the consolidation of roles in technology development as exemplified in the emerging biotechnology and the ready diffusion of hazardous technology in the Third World without the institution of social control.


The Human Environment / 29 CONCLUSION By profession I am a worrier, a scientific worrier in my chosen corner of the human environment. I try to measure, weigh, and anticipate what to take seriously, what to ignore, what to act upon, and what to study more. The penultimate problems of human existence are megaworries, and tonight I have reported on their state over the 14 years since I began systematically to contemplate them. By personality, I am an optimist, but I worry about the interaction of personality and profession-does my internal biology of hope (Tiger, 1979) distort my scientific judgment? Yet I must report hope, surely for at least two of the three penultimate problems. A historic turning point has been reached in world popUlation numbers. There is a growing competence in the social control of technology in industrialized countries. Even the disparity between rich and poor has slowed, albeit in a surprising way by the humbling of the rich rather than the elevation of the poor. Yet there is still much cause for concern: I) It is overwhelming to find that our leaders continue to engage in the endless overkill of the arms race. 2) It is frustrating to know the potential to eliminate death from hunger, disease, and disaster and how little that potential has been realized. 3) It is worrying that in the aggregate we still know so little about the impans of the 3 great technological innovations of the last half century. As a professional worrier, I recently had a surpnsmg interchange with an old friend in the course of doing a videotape interview. She asked me: "As you look to the future, what is the thing you fear most and what is the thing you hope most?" I hemmed and hawed, thought frantically, mentally reviewed my current list of 17 natural and 93 technological hazards, and then spontaneously blurted out "The loss of hope, and the loss of idealism."


30 / The Human Environment If we come to accept the inevitability of nuclear war, the persistence of hunger and disease, the mindless autonomy of technological change, then they surely will come to pass. It is only that curious mixture of faith and necessity that we call hope that can keep the penultimate problems in their place. REFERENCES American Association for the Advancement of Science (1890). Proceed ings AAAS 39, p. 28. Amnesty International (1982). A mnest)' Intenwtional Report, 1982. London: Amnest yIn terna tional. Bogue, Donald J. and Amy Ong Tsui (1979). "Zero World Population Growth?" The Public hz/ere,I'I, Spring, pp. 99-113. Bouvier, Leon F., with Henry S. Shryock and Harry W. Henderson (1977). "International Migration: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," Population Bulletin 32, No.4. Washington: Population Reference Bureau, Inc. Brandt Commission (1980). Norlh-South: A Program for Survival. Cam bridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Brown, Lester (1981). Building a Sustainable Sociely. New York: Norton. Burton, Ian, Robert W. Kates and Gilbert F. White (1978). The Enlll'ron ment as Hazard. New York: Oxford. Commoner, Barry (1971). The Closing Circle. New York: Knopf. Conservation Foundation (1982a). Adaptation flOm "Opinion RoundupEnvironmelllal Update." Public OIJillioll :J. No. I. p. 32. Conservation Foundation (1982b). Stall' of Ihl' ElIlIironment 1982. WashinglOn: The C()J]s('ITation Foundation. Davis, Cary (1982). "The Future Racial Composition of the United States," Intercom 10, No.9 10. pp. 8-10. Ehrlich, Paul (1970). "ho-Catastropl]("" in Editors of Ramparts, Eco Cataslrophe. :\('\\' York: IIalJ)('J" and Row, pp. 1-1,1. Ehrlich. Paul ;lIId Aline Ehrlich (1981). Exlillclioll: The Causes and Consequences of Disappearing Species. New York: Random House. Freeman, ChrisLOphn and Marie Jahoda, eds. (1978). World Futures: The Great Debate. New York: lTniwrse. Garcia, Rolando V. (1981). Drought and Man, the 1976 Case Histor)': Vol. 1: Nature Pleads Nol Guilty. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Graham, Julie and Roger E. Kaspcrson (forthcoming). "Television: A Social Hazard," in Robert W. Kates, Christoph Hohenemser, and Jeanne X. Kaspnson, eds. Perilous Progress: Technolog), as Hazard. Cambridge. Mass.: Oelgeschlager. Gunn. and Hain.


The Human Environment / 31 Harris, Louis and Associates (1980). Risk in a Complex Society. A Marsh and McLennan Publi( Opinion Survey. New York: Marsh and McLennan. Harriss, Robert c., Christoph Hohenemser and Robert W. Kates (1978). "Our Hazardous Environment," Environment 20, No.9, pp. 6-15, 38-41. Holdgate, Martin. Mohammed Kassas and Gilbert F. White (1982). The World Emfironment 1972-1982:,.J Report to the Cnited Natiuns Em'i ronment Programme. Dublin: TycoolY International. Jevons, W. S. (1865). TI/{, Cual Questiun:,.Jn Inquiry Cunceming the Progress uf the Natiun un the Prubable Exhaustion uf Coal. London: Macmillan. Kates, Robert W. (1969). "A C:ollt-ge for Penultimate Problt-ms: A 1'\C\\' Kind of Institution for thc Ovcrriding Prohlems of ;\Jan and Emironment." l'npuhlishnl. Wonl'stn, Mass.: Clark lniHTsity. Kahn, Herman. William Brown and Leon Martel (1976). The Next 2()() Years: A SCl'lwriu for ,.Jmerica and the World. :\'e\\' York: William Morrow. Meadows, Donella H. lt al. (1972). The Limits to Growth. A Report for the Club of Roml"s Pl'Ojcc[ on the Predicament of Mankind. l\'l'\\' York: Universe. Meadows, Donclla, John Richardson and Gerhart Bruckmann (1982). Groping in the Dark: The First Decade of Global Mudelling. Chichester, U.K.: John Wilt-y and Sons. Myers, Norman (1979). The Sinki ng ,.J rk: A New Look at the Problem of Disappearing Species. Oxford: Pngamon Press. Plalt, John (1969). ""\'hat We Must Do," Science 166. pp. If 15-1121. Petersen, William (1979). Malthus. Cambridge, ;\Iass.: Han'ard liniyl'l' sity Press. President's Materials Policy Commission (1952). Resolll'cesfor Freedum. Washington: linitcd Statl's GOHTnment Printing Office. Ravetz, Jeromc R. (1971). Scient ific Knuwledge and its Social Problems. Oxford: Oxford llninTsity Prcss. Regenstein, Louis (1975). Tht' Pulltics of Extinctiun: The Shucking Story of the 1I'0rld's Endangl'l'{'(1 Wildlife. 1'\l'\\' York: Macmillan. Ridker, Ronald G. and William D. Watson (1980). Tu Chouse a Future: Resourct' and Enl'ironmental CunsN/w'nces uf ..Jltl'l'natiue Growth Paths. Baltimorc: Johns Hopkins Prcss. Schneiderman. l\Jarvin (1982). "The Mcaning of Camer Trends in the U.S." Policy Choices, Spring. pp. 6-7. Sivard, Ruth Legcr (1982). World Military and Social Expenditures, 1982. Lecsburg, Va.: World Priorities. Tiger, Lionel (1979). Optimism: The Biology of Hope. New York: Simon and Schuster. Tsui, Amy Ong and Donald.J. Bogue (1978). "Declining World Fertility: Trends, Causes, Implications," Population Bulletin 33, No.4. Washington: Population Reference Bureau, Inc.


32 / The Human Envirollmellt Tuller, James (forthcoming). "Economic Costs and Losses," in Rohert \\'. Kates, Christoph HohelH'mst'J", and Jeanne X. Kasperson, t'ds. Perilous Progress: Technology as Ha:ard. Cambridge, Mass.: Oelgeschlager, Gunn, and Hain. United Nations (1979). Prospects of Poplliatioll: Ml'Ihodology lind Assumptions. Population Stlldies No. (i7. Ne\,' York: llnited Nations. llnitl'd Nation;, (19HO). Illtemiltiollill Drinkillg f1'lIter Supply and Silnitlltioll Decade: Preselll Situalioll and Prospnts. A 35 Nt,\\" York: llnitl'd Nations. U.S. Bureau 01 the Censw, (1979). "llllIstratin' Projections 01 World Populations to the 21st Centllry." Cllrrellt PO/Juilltion Heports. Special Studies Series 1'-2:;. No. 79, January. V.S. Council 011 Em'ironmental QlIality (19HO). The G/obll12{)()() Hl'port to the President of the ['lIitt'd States: F.lltnilll!, the 21st Centllry. WashillgLOn: l'nitnl States (;oH'lnllll'nt Printing Ollice. This report is also availahle in all editioll plIbli,hnl bv Press, Ne\\" York,1980. V.S. Department 01 Health and Hliman Senins. PlIhlic Health Ser\"in', Centers lor Disease COlltrol (19H2). Morbidily alld Mortillity l1'eeldy Report 31. No. 10, i\Lmh 19. V.S. Depart!l1t'lll 01 (19H2). Patterlls of Illternational Terrorislll: 1981. Washington: llnitnl States Ikpart!l1eJII 01 State. van del' Tak, Jean, Carl HauIJ and Elaine lVlurphy (1979). "Our PoplIla tion Predicament: A Ne\\" Look," Popuilltioll Bulldill !H, No.5. WashingLOn: Population Rdell'lJ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Robert W. Kates, research professor, Center for Terhnology, Environment, and Development, Clark lTniversity, is recognized internationally for his contributions to risk assessment and management of hazards, climate impact assessment and theory of the human environment. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1929. He studied at New York UniH'rsity, Indiana University (Gary), and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in geography from the University of Chicago. He has been a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Geography at Clark l'ninTsity since 1962, and was named research professor in 1981. He has been a visiting scholar at sen'ral institutions and participated in many collaboratin' rescarch projects including the Collaborativc Rescarch on Natural Hazards project with the Univcrsities of Chicago, Colorado and Toronto. He is co-author with Ian Burton and Gilbert F. \"'hite of The Environment as Ha:ard and author of many other monographs, reports and rcsearch publications. His awards include the Association of American Geographers Honors Award, honorary membership in Phi Beta Kappa, and a MacArthur Prize Fellowship. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and other professional organizations. He is an active participant in the committees and panels of these organizations.


REUBEN GUSTAVSON Reuben G. Gustavson, born in Denver on April 6, 1892, was the son of an immigrant carpenter. Because of a physical ailment caused by a boyhood accident, his father decided that Reuben could never make a living as a carpenter and insisted that he take the commercial course in high school. Reuben's job was as an office worker for a railroad. The likelihood of an academic career for him was extremely slight-particularly one that might lead to national and international repute. Volunteer work in the research laboratory of a tuberculosis sanitorium fired Gustavson's desire to study for a scien tific career. Lack of money (as usual) and admission (language) requirements seemed obstacles. A perceptive admissions officer found a way around the language requirement by accepting an examination in Swedish (the language of the Gustavson home) in lieu of a high school language course. Had it not been for this wise judgment, our country might well have been deprived of Reuben Gustavson's enormous contribution to science and education. He was to be a teacher of chemistry at Colorado State University (1917-20) ancl the University of Arizona (1959-67); teacher and researcher in chemistry and chairman of the department at the University of Denver (1920-37) and the University of Colorado (19-n); \"ice president and clean of faculties at the UninTsity of Chicago (1945-46); president of the IT ni versi t y of Colorado (1943-45), and chancellor of the University of Nebraska (1946-53). He became president of the Resources for the Future (RFF) foundation during its formative years (1953-59) and chairman of its board of directors (1961-71). He died in 1974.

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