protected to prevent them from becoming: 'the ultimate cess pool of the world' for among other things they are a 'vital component in the buffeting of atmospheric processes, without which life on earth would be insupportable/
Tropical forests too must be protected. Their exploitation 'for timber for the rich countries should be restrained and other ways found to help the developing countries to balance their financial budgets. As there is very little to be gained from agriculture on soil formerly occupied by rainforests, extension of agriculture in these areas should be abandoned as counterproductive.' The preservation of our environment, of course, also requires a reduction in pollution levels, and the conference called for ' "no release" policies for substances on the International Register of Potentially Toxic Substances.'
All these measures, however, would clearly not be possible unless we also reduce the impact of man's activities on the environment. What is required, first of all, are stringent population-control measures. 'To limit population growth will not in itself save the world from impending disaster' the Declaration reads 'but it is an essential part of the solution and its importance cannot be over-emphasised.' The conference warned very dramatically that if population growth were not controlled 'the deaths of a thousand million people from lack of food, some by outright starvation but mostly by disease caused by severe malnutrition, may well be the tragedy of the century. 9
The second measure required to reduce our impact on the environment is to abandon the goal of economic growth. The conference called for 'a fundamental new approach to economic growth — new growth (a term proposed by Maurice Strong) . . . new growth emphasises quality rather than quantity.' Its achievements must be compatible with reducing 'the demand on the earth's resources and the risks to its life-sustaining systems to levels that are fully compatible with human survival and well-being.'
What is more this means, among other things, basing our survival 'almost entirely on renewable resources' and in the case of energy 'the transition to renewable resources must be achieved within the next thirty years not only for reasons of conservation but also to protect the environment from damage that might prove catastrophic.'
The conference recognised that 'This effort will require major changes in the incentives and penalties that motivate the economic life of our societies/ These changes, however, were indispensable. Ecology, in fact, must become politicised and this was also the theme of Kenneth Hare's summing up. T approve of political solutions,' he said 'there are no others.'
'We call upon all governments, all communities, all people,' the Declaration concluded 'To take immediate action to avert the disasters which loom ahead.' Can the governments of the world really ignore these warnings? Do we not all secretly realise that they are justified and that the future of our planet may depend on decisions that must be taken today?
THE COASTAL SOCIETY
Thir d annual meetin g
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, November 3, 4, 5, 1977 Washington Plaza Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA
Theme : Energy Across the Coastal Zone. Papers an d discussion , interdisciplinar y i n scope, dealin g wit h variou s aspects o f energy movin g i n an d throug h th e coastal zone . Sessions wil l be devote d t o state an d federa l policie s an d programs , th e industria l poin t o f view , th e conservationis l poin t o f view , economi c considerations , an d alternativ e powe r sources (waves, tides , etc.) . Speakers by invitation . Ther e wil l be a POSTER SESSION ; wit h abstracts fo r presentation s o n an y an d al l topic s relate d t o th e coastal zone hereb y requested . Fees: preregistratio n S28 , a t meetin g S35 ; include s progra m wit h abstracts , luncheon , an d proceedings volume . Bot h a one-hal f day an d on e day fiel d tri p are planned . Fo r furthe r information : T . Terich,Dept . o f Geography , o r M . L. Schwartz , Dept . o f Geology , Western Washingto n Stat e College , Bellingham , W A 9822 5 USA .
Note : These tw o meetings precede th e annua l meetin g o f th e Geoiogica i Societ y o f America , whic h wil l be hel d i n Seattleo n November 7 , 8 , and 9 .
HOSTED BY WESTERN WASHINGTON STATE COLLEGE
Ecologist. Vol.7 No.6 j( >(J