World Enough and Time


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Successful Strategies for Resource Management

Robert Repetto; Foreword by James Gustave Speth

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“We must mobilize now to achieve the global possible.  If we do, the future can be bright.  We have sufficient knowledge, skill, and resources—if we use them.  If we remain inactive, whether through pessimism or complacency we shall only make certain the darkness that many fear.” –from World Enough and Time


How can we improve living standards and promote economic growth throughout the world while still maintaining our natural resources and environmental quality?  This book by Robrert Repetto describes how governments, businesses, and private citizens have been able to promote policies that lead to a more stable population and resource base and to more efficient energy use.  Repetto argues that worldwide progress could be realized if we continue to implement those strategies that have already proven effective.


Repetto identifies basic mechanisms that are part of successful policy initiatives.  He then provides specific ways to use resources wisely.  He shows through examples how relatively low cost policy changes can result in improved life expectancy and population stability, more livable cities, more plentiful food supplies without damage to soils and water, preservation of biological resources, sustainable use of forests and fisheries, and an abundance of energy with less environmental risk.  Finally, he explores the important implications these initiatives have for governments, international agencies, science, industry, and private voluntary agencies.


This book is a companion volume to The Global Possible: Resources, Development, and the New Century, a series of essays by international experts that formed the basis for discussion at the influential Global Possible Conference sponsored by the World Resources Institute in 1984.  World Enough and Time offers a succinct summary of the principal findings of the conference and makes its conclusions accessible to a wider audience.  It is essential reading for government leaders, environmental groups, and anyone concerned with the future of our plane’s population and resources.


“At last we have a global blueprint for the future that doesn’t reassure us to do nothing or pronounce that there is nothing we can do.  World Enough and Time picks out the success stories of the past decade that could help meet the challenges to come.” –U.S. Senator (Vice President) Albert Gore


“In this book a shrewd analyst has sifted through the resource policy debates and identified strategies that have worked before and can work again.  It’s reassuring to know there are tested ways to make tomorrow better.  With World Enough and Time in hand, we have the evidence.” –former U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie

"In this companion volume to The Global Possible Robert Repetto describes strategies that have already proved effective practicability in stabilizing population, increasing food production, protecting forests, using freshwater and energy supplies efficiently, and managing the world's other major resource systems on a sustainable basis—and that, in many cases, are easier and less expensive than what is being done now. World Enough and Time provides "a global blueprint for the future . . . that could help meet the challenges to come."—Senator Albert Gore








"In this book a shrewd analyst has sifted through the resource policy debates and identified strategies that have worked before and can work again. It's reassuring to know there are tested ways to make tomorrow better. With World Enough and Time in hand, we have the evidence."—former U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie

"Robert Repetto has eliminated the guesswork from planned growth management and substituted concrete remedies, plus a dash of optimism. This is my kind of guidebook to the future!"—U.S. Representative Claudine Schneider

"This book is refreshing for what it is not. Neither a laundry list of worthy proposals not a survey of broad trends, World Enough and Time zeroes in on the differences between the most successful and least successful uses of natural resources to promote economic growth. . . . The book makes clear that given the political will, we are in a position to make enormous progress."—Dr. Harrison Brown, Editor, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

"For a decade, prescriptions for world development have poured in and out of Washington. But World Enough and Time is different. Analytical rather than ideological, this fresh look at what has gone right in recent years may serve, as few publications have, to stimulate a rational design for the commitment of resources for improvement of the future."—Dr. William J. Baumol, Dept. of Econ., Princeton Univ.

"A futurist's look at global environmentalism and economics, the book promotes such inexpensive proposals as building appropriately designed community drinking water systems that would cost slum dwellers only a 10th of what they now pay to water vendors."—National Journal

"Few if any world order offerings have rested on such hard evidence of successful policies and strategies of resource management as this one. . . .  The conferees have detailed management and options and set stimulating and realistic policy agendas. This book is a perceptive and hopeful global blueprint based on successes of the past decade and aimed at al sectors, public and private. Highly recommended."—Library Journal

"This report sets out some sensible general principles of conservation and reasonably concrete proposals concerning economical ways to protect and utilize water, air, land, food and other natural resources."—Foreign Affairs

"Should be one of the best sellers in the contemporary environmental literature. It is crammed with facts and real-world examples galore, not fulsome rhetoric. Its prescriptions are based on evidence, not wishful thinking. It is the product of some of the best minds in the business, not an idiosyncratic ivory tower analyst."—Timothy O'Riordan, Environmentalist 

"One of the few well argued and well researched works on pervasive world resource issues available."—David Pearce, International Journal of Environmental Studies

"A useful and encouraging discussion of practical methods to improve global resource use."—Gillian Dutton, Ecology Law Quarterly
ISBN: 9780300036497
Publication Date: September 10, 1986
152 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
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