Environment: Delaying Doomsday

Of all the predictions of ecological disaster, none have sounded more persuasive—or alarming—than those put forth last year under the banner of the prestigious Club of Rome. Based on computer projections of the present rate of population and industrial growth, a team of scientists at M.I.T. forecast massive economic collapse and global epidemics by the end of the 21st century. Last month another computer specialist sharply disputed that gloomy outlook. Writing in the British publication Nature, he reported that the computer programs used by the M.I.T. group contain a simple but highly significant...

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