Almost one billion people suffer from malnutrition worldwide. While the global population is still growing dramatically, many starve. At the same time, our environment and climate are threatened, whilst agricultural production is stagnating.
This book promotes conscious and responsible dealings with nature and with ourselves, and poses an important question: how can we maintain a viable and vital diversity of the species - including our own?
'[T]he writing is fluent, and major facts and arguments bear repetition for their reinforcement value. The books were first published in German with sales exceeding expectations. The translation is of high standard and the books are a pleasure, as well as stimulating, to read. And in the true spirit of The Sustainability Project, these books complete with search, bookmark and notes function are also now available in e-book format... For informing, educating and stimulating debate and action among society in general and among scientists, administrators and politicians, these 12 books in 'The Sustainability Project' will provide all with food for thought and a lasting resource for teaching and public speaking on a wide range of the interdependent issues that will determine whether future development is sustainable - or not.' The New Agriculturist 200911 'This book gives an accessible overview of the problems society faces in feeding a rapidly growing world population. Hahlbrock (biochemistry, Max Planck Institute of Plant Breeding Research, Germany) eloquently describes the development of agriculture from the Neolithic revolution to present times, and shows how increases in human populations were linked to revolutions in agriculture, specifically developments in plant breeding. He argues that the future success of humanity will require a fundamental change in strategy from expansion to contraction as people set themselves the difficult goal of increasing food production while reversing ecological destruction and halting exponential population growth. This monumental goal, according to the author, can likely only be achieved with the help of genetic engineering to speed the development of new crop varieties. Despite denials that it is Hahlbrock's intention to advertise genetic engineering, this is exactly how the book comes across, and he does make a convincing case. However, the author barely touches on the challenges and potential problems associated with this approach. For a more thorough discussion of the potentials and challenges of genetic engineering, see Lords of the Harvest by Daniel Charles (CH, Apr'02, 39-4565). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and general readers. -- J. R. Reeve Utah State University 201002
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