Australian Left Review

Article Title

A Survey of the Crisis


Robert May


BEGINNING with some remarks on past patterns of population growth, we consider the factors which are likely to limit this growth. These comprise food supplies (likely to be the main limit in both short and long terms), renewable resources (air, soil, water for agricultural and other purposes, non-renewable resources, flora and fauna, metals and chemicals, fossil fuels), and the second law of thermodynamics (which provides a rather firm upper limit of 100 years at present industrial growth rates). Psychological aspects of dense crowding and the possibility of thermonuclear war are also discussed, although in this case no quantative assessment of time can be attempted.



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