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Our planet, Earth, can be considered a giant space ship, whose passengers presently include 3.8 billion people. They roam around in a spherical cabin about 25, 000 miles in circumference, which has definite limits in ceiling and floor--and they whiz around space at 66, 600 MPH in varying degrees of comfort or discomfort.

"Environment" is not an abstract concern, or simply a matter of esthetics, or of personal taste--although it can and should involve these as well. Man is shaped to a great extent by his surroundings. Our physical nature, our mental health, our culture and institutions, our opportunities for challenge and fulfillment, our very survival-all of these are directly related to and affected by the environment in which we live. They depend upon the continued healthy functioning of the natural systems of the Earth.

Environmental deterioration is not a new phenomenon. But both the rate of deterioration and its critical impact have risen sharply in the years since the Second World War. Rapid population increases here and abroad, urbanization, the technology explosion and the patterns of economic growth have all contributed to our environmental crisis. While growth has brought extraordinary benefits, until recently it has not been accompanied by sufficiently foresighted efforts to guide its development.

Now, however, in many localities, determined action has brought positive improvements in the quality of air or water-demonstrating that, if we have the will and make the effort, we can meet environmental goals. We also have made important beginnings in developing the institutions and processes upon which any fundamental, long-range environmental improvement must be based.

The basic causes of our environmental troubles are complex and deeply imbedded. They include: our past tendency to emphasize quantitative growth at the expense of qualitative growth; the failure of our economy to provide full accounting for the social costs of environmental pollution; the failure to take environmental

factors into account as a normal and necessary part of our planning and decision-making; the inadequacy of our institutions for dealing with problems that cut across traditional political boundaries; our dependence on conveniences, without regard for their impact on the environment; and more fundamentally, our failure to perceive the environment as a totality and to understand and to recognize the fundamental interdependence of all its parts, including man himself.

As we are finding out day by day, we cannot correct such deeprooted causes overnight. Nor can we simply legislate them away. The need includes new knowledge, new perceptions, new attitudes-extending to all levels of government and throughout the private sector as well: to industry; to the professions; to each individual citizen in his job and in his home. It amounts to nothing less than a basic reform in the way our society looks at problems and makes decisions.

Our educational system has a key role in bringing about this reform in the training of professional environmental managers to deal with pollution, land planning, and all the other technical requirements of a high quality environment. It is also vital that our entire society develop a new understanding and a new awareness of man's relation to his environment--what might be called "environmental literacy. This will require the development and teaching of environmental concepts at every point in the educational process.


While education may provide ultimate answers to long-range environmental problems, we cannot afford to defer reforms which are needed now. As a consequence, we have already begun to provide the institutional framework for effective environmental improvement; one upon which increasing importance will be attached during this decade.

Reading List

1. Environmental Quality. 3rd Annual Report of the Council on Environmental Quality. Washington, D. C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972.

2. Environmental Quality Staff, Calif. Tech. Smog; A Report to the People. Los Angeles, Calif.: Ritchie, Ward Press, 1972.

3. Rabin, Edward H. and Schwartz, Mortimer D. Pollution Crisis: official documents. Dobbs Ferry, N. Y.: Oceana Pub., 1972.

4. Research and Education Association Staff.

Pollution Control

Technology. New York: Research and Education Association, 1973.

5. Rihm, Alexander Jr. Automobile Pollution and the Great Credibility Gap. Detroit, Mich. : American Automobile Association, 1972.


The People's Republic of China will be required to solve many problems as it becomes more active in international affairs. The country can be expected to expand its trade, to develop industrially, to improve its economic stability, to increase its defense structure, and to seek to accomplish all those projects necessary for improving the lot of her people.

The total area of the mainland is 3.7 million square miles. (This compares to the 3.6 million square miles of the 50 United States.) However, 78 percent of China is desert, waste or urban land. Only 11 percent is cultivated and, it is estimated, only about 3 percent more of marginal land could be reclaimed and made productive. China has more cities with a population of over one million than any other nation in the world. But there are only 25,000 miles of railways (as compared to 370, 000 in the U.S.) and 326,000 miles of highway, of which only 1000 miles is paved, 160,000 miles surfaced with gravel or crushed stone and 170, 000 miles unimproved dirt roads. There are about 105, 000 miles of inland waterways, 25,000 of which are navigable by steamer.

But China's major problem is her population. Unless the current growth rate is reduced sharply, the nation's industrial development will become an academic question. This, the most populous state in the world, may be adding as many as 19 million people each year. That means that every 11 years or so, China increases in population by the current total population of the United States. Can the People's Republic of China grow the food, build the homes, the schools, the transportation structure, and provide the services for such an expansion?

The actual population of China has been difficult to determine. The following article, extracted from Issues in United States Foreign Policy, published by the Department of State in October 1972 outlines the efforts made to estimate the number of Chinese on the mainland. Until an accurate census is taken it will be difficult to measure the per capita growth in that land, and, thus, determine the real progress being made.

508-367 O-73-16

"No one knows quite what China's population is--not even the Chinese. In November 1971, Vice-Premier Li Hsien-nien told Egyptian journalists that the population estimates used by different Chinese Government departments--presumably for year-end 1970-varied from under 750 million to 830 million. This range is similar to that separating the estimates put forward by foreign experts. For mid-1970, Leo Orleans, Library of Congress demographer, estimates the population at 753 million; U. N. population experts put it at 760 million; and John Aird of the U.S. Bureau of the Census places it at 836 million.

"All these estimates accept as a starting point the official census conducted by Peking in mid-1953, which showed a population of 583 million. But they differ on the size and nature of subsequent population growth over 17 years.

"Registration System

"At the time of the census, Peking established a population registration system requiring local officials to report to higher authorities annual births, deaths, and migrations, and year-end population. By the end of 1957 the registered population had stopped publishing official data, but from time to time Chinese officials discussed this data with foreigners.

"In September 1961, Mao told Viscount Montgomery that the annual growth in the registered population had slowed from 15 million (in 1955-57) to 10 million as a result of 'Great Leap' hardships. Edgar Snow was given a grain 'requirement' for the end of 1964 which indicates a registered population of 733 million. Vice Premier Li stated that in 1970 the Ministry of Trade used 830 million to draw up local marketing surveys; this is believed to be the registration figure for year-end 1970 since it is the only one broken down by localities.

"Figures Distrusted

"During the early 1960's Peking began to distrust the registration figures. Chinese demographers noted that registration

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