THE FUTURE: The Next Quarter-Century

In his fantasy Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell painted a frightening picture of what can happen to a nation that fails to guard its political freedoms. This week, in a five-volume, 813-page report that could be called Nineteen Seventy-Five, a presidential commission shows what can happen to a nation that neglects its natural resources. Though the results are far less terrifying than Orwell's, they are startling enough. The U.S., which has long been considered a bottomless store of natural resources, is fast running through its wealth. Unless something is done about it, the U.S. standard of living will fall, and...

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