The Hungry Millions-The Modern World At The Edge Of Famine
The population explosion in large parts of the world poses a menacing prospect for those living on the globe. In 1990 the world population had passed the four billion mark. Few have clearly visualised the consequences of having an addition to the world?s population of what amounts to more than 3.5 Canadian each year and a new erstwhile Soviet Union every fourth year. In the first sixty years of the twentieth century the world?s population doubled and a second doubling was estimated by the year 2004. At the present rate the population would double every 35 to 40 years. This means that within 120 years the current production of foodstuffs will have to be increased if the standards of now are to be maintained-and yet these are inadequate for more than half of the people now living on earth. That is why the author finds the modern world at the edge of famine. If the future hungry millions are to be fed through agriculture, a broadbased use of chemical fertilizers will become indispensable. The distribution of fertilizers on this scale would involve tremendous efforts that may hardly be humanly possible. Some innovative plans conceived in the west, like desalination of sea water and its effective use in agriculture can create more problems then they would be expected to solve. Collateral space limitations due to increase in population are hard to foresee in terms of magnitude. Cynical hopes that war will get rid of excess populations are, according to the author unfounded. The book surveys the situation in all continents and grapples with the technicalities connected with nutrition and the dilemma of modern technology. The author feels that there can be no more urgent task than that of spreading knowledge of mankind?s truly precarious situation. Public education on the broadest possible basis is called for. And, this book is an earnest endeavour in this direction. The crisis in the global context has been laid bare along with a search for appropriate solutions.
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