Saturday, June 18, 2011

#169 / More On B

The Story Of B, by Daniel Quinn, is a serious effort to write a "save the world" primer, in the guise of a novel. I have already mentioned Quinn's iconoclastic suggestion that it should be possible to reverse the exponential expansion of human population by restricting food production. The "population problem," and similar problems related to over-consumption, are real problems. A credible argument suggests,in fact, that if our current population and consumption patterns continue into the 2030's, we would need two Earths to support us.

Fascinating to me is Quinn's diagnosis of what has caused our problems. I think I might have guessed "reliance on fossil fuels" as the touchstone. Quinn, however, attributes our failure to live sustainably to the creation of irrigated agriculture.

If this seems implausible to you, you should enjoy wrestling with Quinn's book!

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