Whole Earth Review

Vital Signs 1992: The Trends That Are Shaping Our Future.

Vital Signs 1992: The Trends That Are Shaping Our Future. – book reviews

J. Baldwin

So how’s it going? Popular media would have us believe that absolutely everything is going straight to hell. That’s discouraging and even paralyzing, especially to the young idealists who must do the dirty world This book documents and often graphs a selection of representative and important trends. Yes, there’s bad news (world food supply per capita is shrinking), but there’s also good news indicating that our efforts (and luck) are making some important things better. Its about time somebody provided this service. Who better to do so than Worldwatch? There’ll be a new Vital Signs every year to augment their annual, essential, State of the World. You need both eyes.

By planning during the design and production stages for the dismandement of motor vehicles, household appliances, and other sources of scrap, as some manufacturers are now doing, limitations on the reclamation of steel and other valuable substances can be lifted. Automobiles, for example, can be built without copper and other elements that hinder recycling, or processes can be designed in advance that allow for ease in the disassembly of products after disposal. That is where the fullest potential for recycling lies.

A mature industrial society with a stable cycled steel. with air and water pollution only a small fraction of what they are when primary minerals are used. Except for losses due to impurities, rusting, and the unavoidable loss of some steel from recycling, metal can be used over and over again, indefinitely:

Vital Signs 1992

(The Trends That Are Shaping Our Future) Lester K. Brown, Christopher Flavin, and Hal Kane, 1992; 131 pp. $10.95 postpaid from W.W. Norton & Co./Order Dept., 800 Keystone Industrial Park, Scranton, PA 18512; 800/233-4830 (or Whole Earth Access)

COPYRIGHT 1993 Point Foundation

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group