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Now familiar to all is the cry that present rates of pollution, ecological disruption, and depletion of resources are leading inevitably to worldwide disaster. A multitude of immediate needs, however, compete for the staggering sums required to save the environment, and the reduction of consumption which must accompany such expenditures holds little popular appeal. The decisions, therefore, must ultimately be political ones -- but what choices are governments to make?
Here is the essence of what Professors Harold and Margaret Sprout term "the statesmen's dilemma." These noted scholars examine the dilemma in detail, exploring a wide range of points of view and developing a reasoned philosophical stance of their own. While their account of what is happening to the world and what we are doing about it is a gloomy one, it is notable that the authors do not entirely despair of man's future. In an epilogue they propose a number of measures which, with luck, might enable coming generations to inherit a share of the earth's bounty.
The Context of Environmental Politics is the first volume of "The Third Century Series, " a group of books exploring the major issues and challenges confronting the United States as it enters its third century.