IF CHANGES in the basic conditions of life occur at such speed and on such a scale, we can expect equal confusion and controversy in the reasons given for their emergence. But perhaps one or two general propositions are broad enough to ensure a measure of agreement. Clearly the fundamental cause of our century’s upheavals is the steady, continued, yet as steadily unpredictable working out of the world’s technological and scientific revolution. But within this broad context, three separate transformations seem to deserve especial emphasis. The first is the furiously accelerating growth-uninterrupted until 1973-in the use of nonrenewable energy resources, together with the underlying assumption that this, more than any other factor, has explained the postwar fact of unprecedentedly rapid and world-wide economic growth.