Environment: Acts of Man, Not God

Rampaging floods in India and Pakistan. A devastating drought in Africa. The disappearance of fish off the coast of Peru. These recent, widely reported phenomena all have something in common. Though they were triggered by nature, their magnitude was increased disastrously by man's trying to expand his food production without considering the ecological side effects.

On the Indian subcontinent, residents of the Himalayan foothills have been chopping down trees at a prodigious rate to get more cropland for the growing population. The deforestation was particularly apparent to Economist Lester R. Brown, an agricultural...

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