Limits caused scares at the time (1972), with its easy-to-read and ostensibly scientific approach and its graphs forecasting Malthusian gloom and doom. It was slated by many scientific and humanistic critics, however, but, nothing daunted, its basic message reappeared as Meadows et al. Beyond the Limits in 1992. A more dramatic, emotional doomster was Paul Ehrlich, whose equally readable late 1960s Population Bomb became a Population Explosion in 1990. Edward Goldsmith never gives up either, and his unchanging message comes through in 1988, in a collection of essays spanning the 1970s and 1980s, The Great U-Turn. The mantle of pessimism was taken up in 1980 by the Global 2000 report (Council on Environmental Quality, The Global 2000 Report to the President, 1982 edition, Harmondsworth: Penguin): a very indigestible mountain of figures and commentary which is not recommended. However, Simon and Kahn’s (1984) repudiation of Global 2000 is worth reading: in a series of clearly presented and sometimes well-argued essays (and sometimes not well argued) you learn the technocentric, cornucopian perspective. Also likely to excite controversy is Richard North’s upbeat perspective on how we can cope with environmental problems and maintain Enlightenment ideals of progress, in Life on a Modern Planet: a manifesto for progress, 1995,
Manchester University Press. Today, blockbuster doomsaying is generally out, but every year Lester Brown’s Worldwatch Institute launches a State of the World (New York: W.W.Norton) report which makes for sobering reading: a good means of keeping up to date.