What You Can’t See Will Hurt You!
Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., in a chapter titled Human Survival: A
Psycho-Evolutionary Analysis appearing in the book, Human Survival &
Consciousness Evolution, writes
"The great experiment in
consciousness, human evolution, now stands at a precipice of its own
making. The same consciousness which struggled for millions of years
to ensure human survival is now on the verge of depleting its
planet’s resources, rendering its environment uninhabitable, and
fashioning the instruments of its own self-annihilation.
consciousness (we) develop the wisdom not to do these things? Can we
foster sufficient self-understanding to reduce our destructiveness,
and mature rapidly enough to carry us through this evolutionary
crisis? These are surely the most crucial questions of our time, or
of any time. Today we face a global threat of malnutrition,
overpopulation, lack of resources, pollution, a disturbed ecology,
and nuclear weapons.
At the present time, from fifteen to twenty
million of us die each year of malnutrition and related causes;
another six hundred million are chronically hungry and billions live
in poverty without adequate shelter, education, or medical care
(Brandt, 1980; Presidential Commission on World Hunger, 1979).
situation is exacerbated by an exploding population that adds
another billion people every thirteen years, depletes natural
resources at an ever-accelerating rate, affects "virtually every
aspect of the Earth’s ecosystem (including) perhaps the most serious
environmental development ... an accelerating deterioration and loss
of the resources essential for agriculture"
Environmental Quality, 1979)
Desertification, pollution, acid rain,
and greenhouse warming are among the more obvious effects.
Overshadowing all this hangs the nuclear threat, the equivalent of
some twenty billion tons of TNT (enough to fill a freight train four
million miles long), controlled by hair-trigger warning systems, and
creating highly radioactive wastes for which no permanent storage
sites exist, consuming over $660 billion each year in military
expenditure, and threatening global suicide (Schell, 1982; Sivard,
1983; Walsh, 1984).
By way of comparison, the total amount of TNT
dropped in World War II was only three million tons (less than a
single large nuclear warhead).
The Presidential Commission on World
Hunger (1979) estimated that $6 billion per year, or some four days’
worth of military expenditures could eradicate world starvation.
While not denying the role of political, economic, and military
forces in our society, the crucial fact about these global crises is
that all of them have psychological origins. Our own behavior has
created these threats, and, thus, psychological approaches may be
essential to understanding and reversing them.
And to the extent
that these threats are determined by psychological forces within us
and between us, they are actually symptoms - symptoms for our
individual and collective state of mind. These global symptoms
reflect and express the faulty beliefs and perceptions, fears and
fantasies, defenses and denials, that shape and mis-shape our
individual and collective behavior. The state of the world reflects
our state of mind; our collective crises mirror our collective
In the book entitled Population - Opposing Viewpoints is a chapter
written by Jacques-Yves Cousteau which first appeared in the Nov.
1992 edition of Populi. In this article, Cousteau writes,
MALTHUS’S PREDICTION HAS COME TRUE
"What is happening now is a consequence of the exponential nature of
population growth while available resources obey a linear
progression and are ultimately limited, as the British economist
Thomas Robert Malthus prophesied almost 200 years ago.
were repeated by the Club of Rome after World War II, and
substantiated by Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution; in
his acceptance speech of the Nobel Prize in Stockholm, addressed to
the leaders of the world, he insisted that they had only 30 years to
harness the demographic threat.
"Twenty years have passed since,
Borlaug told me, and not only have
the leaders taken no action whatsoever, they have even avoided
discussing the subject. Since then, the situation has worsened."
SOLUTIONS MUST BE FOUND TO CURB POPULATION GROWTH
If we want our precarious endeavor to succeed, we must convince all
human beings to participate in our adventure, and we must urgently
find solutions to curb the population explosion that has a direct
influence on the impoverishment of the less-favored communities.
Otherwise, generalized resentment will beget hatred, and the ugliest
genocide imaginable, involving billions of people, will become
We must have the courage to face the situation: either the leaders
of the world, having participated in the Rio Conference, understand
that what is at stake is literally to save the human species, and
accept the need to take drastic, unconventional, unpopular
decisions, or the impending disaster dreaded by the British and
American scientific academies will precipitate"
Cousteau concludes with:
"Uncontrolled population growth and poverty
must not be fought from inside, from Europe, from North America or
any nation or group of nations; it must be attacked from the outside
- by international agencies helped in the formidable job by
competent and totally independent non-governmental organizations.
"A world policy inspired by eco-biology and eco-sociology is the
only one capable of steering our perilous course towards a golden
age, and protecting cultural and biological diversity while proudly
hoisting the colors of humankind."
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE
In the 1982 book, Higher Form Of Killing - The Secret Story Of
Chemical And Biological Warfare [Hill and Wang Publishers, 19 Union
Square West, New York 10003 - to order, call 800-788-6262], which is
a research masterpiece, Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxman write,
"In no future war will the military be able to ignore poison gas. It
is a higher form of killing. [Professor Fritz Haber, pioneer of gas
warfare, on receiving the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1919.]
"The world’s oldest chemical warfare installation occupies 7,000
gently rolling acres of countryside on the southern edge of
Salisbury Plain, known as Porton Down [England]. Over 700 men and
women work there in labs and offices scattered through 200
buildings. There are police and fire stations, a hospital, a
library, a branch of Lloyds Bank, a detailed archive with thousands
of reports and photographs; there is even a cinema to screen the
miles of film taken during experiments.
They are the residue of more
than six decades of research, generally at the forefront of
contemporary scientific knowledge. Though there have been many
political storms, and several attempts to close it down, Porton has
survived them all - proof of the military’s enduring fascination
with poison gases, even in a country which now officially has no
"It was in January 1916 that the War Office compulsorily purchased
an initial 3,000 acres of downland between the tiny villages of
Porton and Idmiston, and began to clear a site for what was then
known as the War Department Experimental Ground."
Later in the chapter,
"This was a crucial admission. No matter how loudly the British, or
any other nation, renounced gas warfare in public, in secret they
felt bound to give their scientists a free hand to go on devising
the deadliest weapons they could, on the grounds that they had first
to be invented, before counter-measures could be prepared.
"Porton Down made use of this logic between 1919 and 1939 to carry
out a mass of offensive research, developing gas grenades and hand
contamination bombs; a toxic air smoke bomb charged with a new
arsenic code-named "DM" was tested; anti-tank weapons were produced;
and Porton developed an aircraft spray tank capable of dispersing
mustard gas from a height of 15,000 feet.
At the same time the
weapons of the First World War - the Livens projector, the mortar,
the chemical shell and even the cylinder - were all modified and
Several paragraphs later,
"Mustard gas, ’the King of Gases’,
employed the most human volunteers. Just one experiment in 1924
involved forty men."
In October 1929,
"two subjects received copious applications of
crude Mustard which practically covered the inner aspect of the
forearm. After wiping the liquid mustard off roughly with a small
tuft of grass the ointment (seven weeks old) was lightly rubbed with
the fingers over the area ..."
This is just a random selection of the sort of work which was done
Similar research was being carried out throughout the
world. Italy established a Servizio Chimico Militare in 1923 with an
extensive proving ground in the north of the country. The main
French chemical warfare installation was the Atelier de Pyrotechnic du Bouchet near Paris.
The Japanese Navy began work on chemical
weapons in 1923, and the Army followed suit in 1925. In Germany,
despite the fact that Haber’s Kaiser Wilhelm Institute had been
closed down in 1919, limited defensive work continued, later to form
the basis of Germany’s offensive effort. And in 1924, the
Military-Chemical Administration of the Red Army was established and
Russian chemical troops were stationed at each provincial army
Chemical weapons were not merely researched and developed - they
were used. At the beginning of 1919 the British employed the "M"
device (which produced clouds of arsenic smoke) at Archangel when
they intervened in the Russian Civil War, dropping the canisters
from aeroplanes into the dense forests. The anti-Bolshevik White
Army was equipped with British gas shells, and the Red army was also
alleged to have used chemicals.
Later in 1919, Foulkes was dispatched to India, and in August urged
the War Office to use chemicals against the Afghans and rebellious
tribesmen on the North-West Frontier:
"Ignorance, lack of
instruction and discipline and the absence of protection on the part
of Afghans and tribesmen will undoubtedly enhance the casualty
producing value of mustard gas in frontier fighting."
[Again, later in the chapter:]
"Finally, in May 1925, under the auspices of the League of Nations,
a conference on the international arms trade was convened in Geneva.
Led by the United States, the delegates agreed to try and tackle the
problem of poison gas, "with", as the Americans put it, "the hope of
reducing the barbarity of modern warfare."
After a month of
wrangling in legal and military committees - during which the Polish
delegation farsightedly suggested that they also ban the use of germ
weapons, then little more than a theory - the delegates came
together on 17th June to sign what remains to this day the strongest
legal constraint on chemical and biological warfare:
The undersigned Plenipotentiaries, in the name of their respective
Whereas the use of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of
all analogous liquids, materials or devices, has been justly
condemned by the general opinion of the civilized world
Whereas the prohibition of
such use has been declared in Treaties to which the majority
of Powers of the world are Parties
To the end that this prohibition
shall be universally accepted as a part of International
Law, binding alike the conscience and practice of nations
Declare: That the High Contracting Parties, so far as they are not
already Parties to Treaties prohibiting such use, accept this
prohibition, agree to extend this prohibition to the use of
bacteriological methods of warfare and agree to be bound as between
themselves according to the terms of this declaration..."
Thirty-eight powers signed the Geneva Protocol, among them the
United States, the British Empire, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and
Canada; the fledgling USSR did not attend.
"The signing of the Geneva Protocol of 1925" as one expert has put
it, "was the high-water mark of the hostility of public opinion
towards chemical warfare."
Unfortunately, the anti-gas lobby had
underestimated the strength of the interests ranged against them.
Merely signing the Protocol was not enough to make it binding -
individual governments had to ratify it. In many cases this meant a
time lag of at least a year, and it was in this period that the
supporters of chemical weapons struck back.
The United States Chemical Warfare Service [CWS] launched a highly
effective lobby. They enlisted the support of veterans’ associations
and of the American Chemical Society (whose Executive declared that
"the prohibition of chemical warfare meant the abandonment of humane
methods for the old horrors of battle"). As has often happened
since, the fight for chemical weapons was represented as a fight for
general military preparedness.
Senators joined the CWS campaign,
among them the Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs who
opened his attack on ratification in the Senate debate with a
reference to the 1922 Washington Treaty:
"I think it is fair to say
that in 1922 there was much of hysteria and much of misinformation
concerning chemical warfare."
Other Senators rose to speak
approvingly of resolutions which they had received attacking the
Geneva Protocol - from the Association of Military Surgeons, the
American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States,
the Reserve Officers Association of the United States and the
Military Order of the World War.
Under such heavy fire, the State
Department saw no alternative but to withdraw the Protocol, and
reintroduce it at a more favorable moment. It was not to be until
1970, forty-five years after the Geneva conference, that the
Protocol was again submitted to the Senate for ratification; it took
another five years for this to be achieved.
Japan followed America’s example and refused to ratify (they finally
did so in May 1970).
In Europe, the various countries eyed one
another cautiously. France ratified first, in 1926. Two years later
in 1928, Italy followed suit and a fortnight after her, the Soviet
Union declared that she, too, considered herself bound by the
Protocol. Only after Germany ratified in 1929 did Britain feel able
at last to accept the Protocol: on 9 April 1930, five years after
the Conference, Britain at last fell into line.
Many of the states which ratified the Protocol - including France,
Great Britain and the USSR - did so only after adding two
that the agreement would not be
considered binding unless the country they were fighting had also
ratified the Protocol;
that if any other country attacked them
using chemical or biological weapons, they reserved the right to
reply in kind.
[Later in the chapter:]
This "defensive" work included "improvements to many First World War
weapons, including gas shells, mortar bombs, the Livens Projector
and toxic smoke generators" and the development of "apparatus for
mustard gas spray from aircraft, bombs of many types, airburst
mustard gas shells, gas grenades and weapons for attacking tanks."
The various inventions were tested in north Wales, Scotland, and in
installations scattered throughout the Empire, notably northern
India, Australia and the Middle East.
The commitment by most of the world’s governments never to initiate
the use of poison gas did not stop research: it simply made the
whole subject that much more sensitive, and thus more secret. In
1928, the Germans began to collaborate with the Russians in a series
of top secret tests called "Project Tomka" at a site in the Soviet
Union about twenty kilometers west of Volsk.
For the next five
years, around thirty German experts lived and worked alongside "a
rather larger number of Soviet staff," mainly engaged in testing
mustard gas. The security measures surrounding Project Tomka "were
such that any of its participants who spoke about it to outsiders
risked capital punishment."
In Japan, experimental production of mustard gas was begun in 1928
at the Tandanoumi Arsenal. Six years later the Japanese were
manufacturing a ton of Lewisite a week; by 1937 output had risen to
two tons per day.
Extensive testing - including trials in tropical
conditions on Formosa in 1930 - resulted in the development of a
fearsome array of gas weapons:
rockets able to deliver ten liters of
agent up to two miles
devices for emitting a "gas fog"
throwers modified to hurl jets of hydrogen cyanide
bombs which released streams of gas while gently floating to Earth
attached to parachutes
remotely-controlled contamination trailers
capable of laying mustard in strips seven meters wide
Dan", a hand-carried anti-tank weapon loaded with a kilogram of
"There is now little doubt that from 1937 onwards the
Japanese made extensive use of poison gas in their war against the
Chinese. In October 1937 China made a formal protest to the League
And, two paragraphs later,
"The Italians made use of chemicals in their invasion of Abyssinia
in much the same way. In 1935 and 1936, 700 tons of gas were shipped
out, most of it for use by the Italian air force. First came
torpedo-shaped mustard bombs."
In a later chapter from A Higher Form Of Killing, comes:
"The noise of fourteen thousand aeroplanes advancing in open order.
But in the Kurfurstendamm and the Eight Arrondissement, the
explosion of anthrax bombs is hardly louder than the popping of a
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932).
The history of chemical and biological warfare has thrown up some
strange stories, but few are as bizarre as those which surround a
small island off the northwest coast of Scotland.
It lies in its own
well-protected bay, close to the fishing village of Aultbea - an
outcrop of rock, well-covered with heather, three hundred feet high,
one and a half miles long and a mile wide.
"It takes about twenty minutes to reach by fishing boat from
As you draw closer it’s possible to make out the shapes of hundreds
of sea birds nesting on its craggy shore-line. Their calls are the
only sounds which break the silence. Once upon a time the island is
said to have supported eleven families. Today, the only sign of
human habitation is the ruin of a crofter’s cottage.
"This utterly abandoned island is
Gruinard. Thanks to a series of
secret wartime experiments - the full details of which are still
classified - no one is allowed to live, or even land here."
Again, later in the chapter,
"Anthrax had long been considered the
most practicable filling for a biological weapon. A decade earlier,
Aldous Huxley had predicted a war involving anthrax bombs. Even
before that, in 1925, Winston Churchill wrote of ’pestilences
methodically prepared and deliberately launched upon man and
Blight to destroy crops, Anthrax to slay horses and
cattle, Plague to poison not armies only but whole districts - such
are the lines alone which military science is remorselessly
From the same chapter,
"In July 1942 the Chinese allegations were passed on to
Churchill. Two days later he had them placed on the agenda of the
Pacific War Council.
"The growing alarm in London and Washington that the Japanese were
on the verge of initiating biological warfare gave an added urgency
to the first anthrax bomb tests on Gruinard that summer. Up to then
the Allied germ warfare effort had lagged significantly behind the
Japanese, but from 1942 onwards the Anglo-American biological
program began to vie with the Manhattan Project for top
The British biological warfare project was born on 12 February 1934
at a meeting of the Chiefs of Staff. For two years, a Disarmament
Conference in Geneva had been discussing means of finally ridding
the world of chemical weapons.
Germ warfare had also been included,
and in view of this, Sir Maurice Hankey told the Service Chiefs, he
"was wondering whether it might not be right to consider the
possibilities and potentialities of this form of war."
From the same chapter,
"In October the CID approved, and
became Chairman of the newly-created Microbiological Warfare
"In March 1937 the Committee submitted its first report,
specifically on plague, anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease. Though
they concluded that ’for the time being ... the practical
difficulties of introducing bacteria into this country on a large
scale were such as to render an attempt unlikely’, they urged that
stocks of serum be built up to meet any potential threat. From 1937
to 1940, Britain began to stockpile vaccines, fungicides and
insecticides against biological attack.
"In April 1938 the Committee produced a second report, and in June,
Hanley circulated ’Proposals for an Emergency Bacteriological
Service to operate in War’: the emphasis was on defense, the tone
Winston Churchill in a "Most Secret" minute to the Chiefs of Staff.
6 July 1944:
"... It may be several weeks or even months before I shall ask you
to drench Germany with poison gas, and if we do it, let us do it one
hundred percent. In the meanwhile, I want the matter studied in cold
blood by sensible people and not by the particular set of
psalm-singing uniformed defeatists which one runs across now here
Again from A Higher Form Of Killing,
"At the end of the war, the
British alone had manufactured 70 million gas masks, 40 million tins
of anti-gas ointment and stockpiled 40,000 tons of bleach for
decontamination; 10 million leaflets had been prepared for immediate
distribution in the event of a chemical attack, and by a
long-standing arrangement the BBC would have interrupted programs
with specially prepared gas warnings. Contingency planning ran down
to the smallest details."
Later in the same chapter,
"On Christmas Eye 1949, Moscow Radio
announced that twelve Japanese prisoners of war were to be charged
with waging biological warfare in China. The Russians claimed that
the Japanese had been producing vast quantities of bacteria, and had
planned to wage biological warfare against the Allies.
allegations became more specific the next week. Three days later
Moscow Radio claimed that Detachment 731 of the Kwantung Army had
used prisoners of war for horrific biological warfare experiments,
and then, the following day, that one of the prisoners had confessed
to his interrogators that the unit had been established on the
orders of the Emperor himself. On 29 December Pravda came to the
The United States was protecting other Japanese war
criminals, and engaging in biological warfare research herself."
"In the early days after the Second World War it was extremely
difficult for the British or Americans to check many of the
astonishing claims they came upon in the captured German files. They
concluded, however, that there was more than adequate evidence that
the Soviet Union had been, and was still, engaged in some form of
biological warfare research.
Although little was known of the nature
of contemporary work, it was thought that the Russians maintained
some six sites for biological warfare research, most of them in the
The British and Americans recognized that their intelligence was
inadequate. But the evidence was judged more than sufficient to
justify continuing similar work in the West. When they came to
assess the vulnerability of the United Kingdom to a potential germ
attack they discovered that London, containing over 12 percent of
the population, was only 500 miles from airbases in Soviet-occupied
When the Joint Technical Warfare committee assessed
how easy a retaliatory strike with biological weapons might be, they
realized that the civilian targets against which bacterial devices
would be most effective were dispersed across the huge expanse of
the Soviet Union. Even using British Empire airbases in Nicosia
(Cyprus) and Peshawar (India), there was only one Soviet city of
more than 100,000 population within 500 miles range, and only
thirty-five such centers of population within 1,000 miles range.
Clearly, at the very least, there should be a major research programme aimed at developing some defense. Intelligence, it was
freely admitted, was inadequate.
But no such reticence found its
ways into the stories which began appearing in the press, [a
RUSSIA REPORTED PRODUCING ’DISEASE AGENTS’ FOR WAR
In eight "military bacterial stations", one of them on a ghost ship
in the Arctic Ocean, the Soviet Union is mass-producing enormous
quantities of "disease agents" for aggressive use against the
soldiers and civilians of the free world.
In particular, the Red
Army is stockpiling two specific "biological weapons", with which it
expects to strike a strategic blow and win any future war
decisively, even before it gets started officially.
Jumping several paragraphs later,
"There seems little doubt that the
Soviet Union did conduct extensive research into germ warfare in the
late 1930s and early 1940s. It was felt legitimate to conclude that
such research was unlikely to have stopped at some arbitrary point
after the Second World War. But firm intelligence to suggest the
nature of the work was notably lacking.
"For most of the post-war years military microbiologists developed
’retaliatory’ germ weapons against threats they did not know to
exist, and then attempted to develop defenses not against the
weapons of a potential future enemy, but against the diseases they
themselves had refined."
Certainly during the 1950s, the Russians were expecting chemical and
biological weapons to be used against them by the West.
Marshall Zhukov told the Twentieth Party Congress:
"Future war, if
they unleash it, will be characterized by the massive use of
air-forces, various rocket weapons, and various means of mass
destruction, such as atomic, thermonuclear, chemical and
Zhukov did not say that the Soviet Union
planned to use these weapons herself. By 1960 the head of US Army
Research was telling a Congressional inquiry:
"We know that the
Soviets are putting a high priority on the development of lethal and
non-lethal weapons, and that this weapons stockpile consists of
about one-sixth chemical munitions."
If it was true that one sixth
of the total amount of weapons available to the Soviet Union was
made up of chemical shells and bombs, it represented an alarming
threat to the United States and her NATO allies.
Some years after
this estimate had concluded that the United States was "highly
vulnerable" to germ warfare attack. They pointed out that since the
end of the war very little new work had been done to produce a
biological bomb. It would, they believed, take "approximately one
year of intensive effort" before America could wage biological
True, there was no hard evidence that any potential enemy
had developed a biological weapon, but could the United States
afford to take the risk of not having her own, should one later be
The argument was persuasive. In October 1950 the Secretary for
Defense accepted a proposal to build a factory to manufacture
disease. Congress secretly voted ninety million dollars, to be spent
renovating a Second World War Arsenal near the small cotton town of
Pine Bluff, in the mid-west state of Arkansas.
The new biological
warfare plant had ten stories, three of them built underground. It
was equipped with ten fermentors for the mass production of bacteria
at short notice, although the plant was never used to capacity.
Local people in the town of Pine Bluff had some idea of the purpose
of the new army factory being built down the road, but in general
there was, as the Pentagon put it later "a reluctance to publicize
The first biological weapons were ready the following year, although
they were designed to attack not humans but plants. In 1950 Camp Detrick [Maryland] scientists had submitted a Top Secret report to
the Joint Chiefs of Staff on work they had carried out on a "pigeon
bomb". In an attempt to discover a technique of destroying an
enemy’s food supplies, the scientists had dusted the feathers of
homing pigeons with cereal rust spores, a disease which attacks
The researchers discovered that even after a one hundred mile
flight, enough spores remained on the birds’ feathers to infect oats
left in their cages. Then they had experimented in dropping pigeons
out of aircraft over the Virgin Islands. Finally, they dispensed
with live birds altogether and simply filled a "cluster bomb" with
contaminated turkey feathers. In each of these bizarre tests the men
from Camp Derrick concluded that enough of the disease survived the
journey to infect the target crop.
In 1951 the first anti-crop bombs
were placed in production for the US Air Force.
The United States had established the first peace-time biological
weapon production line.
Fort Detrick scientists discovered a Trinidadian who had been
infected with yellow fever in 1954 and had later recovered.
took serum from the Trinidadian and injected it into monkeys. From
the monkeys they removed infected plasma, into which they dropped
mosquito larvae. The infected mosquitoes were then encouraged to
bite laboratory mice and pass on the disease. This ingenious
technique of public health research in reverse worked. The mice duly
contracted yellow fever.
Laboratories were built at Fort Detrick where colonies of the
aegypti mosquitoes were fed on a diet of syrup and blood. They laid
their eggs on moist paper towels. The eggs would later turn into
larvae, and eventually into a new generation of mosquitoes. The
Fort Detrick laboratories could produce half a million mosquitoes a
month, and by the late fifties a plan had been drawn up for a plant
to produce one hundred and thirty million mosquitoes a month.
the mosquitoes had been infected with yellow fever, the Chemical
Corps planned to fire them at an enemy from "cluster bombs" dropped
from aircraft and from the warhead of the "Sergeant" missile.
To test the feasibility of this extraordinary weapon, the army
needed to know whether the mosquitoes could be relied upon to bite
During 1956 they carried out a series of tests in which
uninfected female mosquitoes were released first into a residential
area of Savannah, Georgia, and then dropped from an aircraft over a
Florida bombing range.
"Within a day", according to a secret
Chemical Corps report, "the mosquitoes had spread a distance of
between one and two miles, and bitten many people".
The effects of
releasing infected mosquitoes can only be guessed at. Yellow fever,
as the Chemical Corps noted, is "a highly dangerous disease", at the
very least causing high temperatures, headache, and vomiting. In
about a third of the recorded cases at that time, yellow fever had
Nor were mosquitoes the only insects conscripted into the service of
the army. In 1956 the army began investigating the feasibility of
breeding fifty million fleas a week, presumably to spread plague.
the end of the fifties the Fort Detrick laboratories were said to
contain mosquitoes infected with yellow fever, malaria and dengue
(an acute viral disease also known as Breakbone Fever for which
there is no cure); fleas infected with plague; ticks contaminated
with tularemia; and flies infected with cholera, anthrax and
Further into the book A Higher Form Of Killing, we read:
"The Vietnam War might have represented the perfect field laboratory
for men like General Rothschild to test their theories about seeding
clouds with anthrax. But there was by now sufficient evidence of the
way in which American and South Vietnamese troops would also be
affected to rule it out. Instead the germ warfare laboratories
concentrated their efforts on the development of incapacitating
diseases which would bring an enemy down with sickness for days and
For some years the Fort Detrick laboratories had been working
on enterotoxins causing food poisoning, on the military theory, as
one proponent put it, that "a guy shitting away his stomach can’t
aim a rifle at you". By 1964, they believed a weapon based on the
theory was feasible. But by now, another disabling disease looked a
Several paragraphs later, we read:
"The results of the continuing research could be seen in the maps of
Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, part of which were marked "permanent
bio-contaminated area", after anthrax experiments in the
mid-sixties. In the Pacific more tests were carried out with "hot"
agents - the jargon for real biological weapons - on a number of
The results of the tests are still classified on
the grounds that they reveal weaknesses in American defenses. By
March 1967 Fort Detrick had developed a bacteriological warhead for
the Sergeant missile capable of delivering disease up to 100 miles
behind enemy lines.
The Defense Department had justified the accelerating rush into
biological weapons in the early sixties by saying that there was no
prospect of any treaty being arrived at which would be acceptable to
the United States. Since any argument to ban biological weapons was
unlikely, they argued, the United States was bound to continue her
"They were wrong. In 1968 the subject of chemical and biological
warfare came up for discussion at the standing Eighteen Nation
Disarmament Committee in Geneva. Previous attempts to get agreement
on an international treaty to ban the weapons had floundered,
because of an insistence that both chemical and biological weapons
be included in the same treaty.
Since gas weapons had already been
used in war, been proved effective, and were stockpiled on a large
scale, they would be much more difficult to outlaw than germ
weapons, which as far as could satisfactorily be proved had never
been used in war. The British proposed that the two subjects be
separated, and introduced a draft Biological Weapons Convention
which would commit all signatory states to renouncing the weapons
for all time.
There was heavy initial opposition from the Russians and their
eastern European allies, and little overt enthusiasm from
Washington. The British and Canadians, who had shared their germ
warfare expertise with the Americans, nevertheless argued to
President Nixon that an international treaty was now a real
possibility. What was needed, they said, was a gesture of goodwill.
Nixon was already under pressure on the subject of chemical and
biological weapons, and facing mounting domestic opposition.
November 1969 he issued a statement:
"Mankind", he said, "already
carries in its own hands too many of the seeds of its own
The United States was taking a step in the cause of
"The United States", he went on, "shall renounce the
use of lethal biological agents and weapons, and all other methods
of biological warfare."
It was a brave gesture, which proved the
spur for which the British had been hoping.
The laborious negotiations in the
Palais des Nations, Geneva,
received a considerable boost with Nixon’s announcement. Within two
years the Soviet Union had abandoned its opposition to a germ
warfare convention. On 4 April 1972 representatives of the two
countries signed an undertaking that they would "never in any
circumstances develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or
retain any biological weapons."
Over eighty other countries followed
suit. The Biological Weapons Convention was a triumph, because
unlike many other arms control agreements which merely restricted
the development and deployment of new weapons, it removed one
category of armaments from the world arsenals altogether.
By the time agreement was finally signed, the research which had
begun with a small group of biologists pondering their contribution
to the war against Hitler had produced a host of diseases capable of
spreading sickness throughout the world. In addition to infections
which would destroy wheat and rice, anthrax, yellow fever,
tularemia, brucellosis, Q fever and Venezuelan equine
encephalomyelitis had all been "standardized" for use against man.
Plans had been laid for their use behind enemy lines in the event of
another war in Europe.
At Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas the machinery which for twenty
years had been mass-producing disease was used to turn the germs
into a harmless sludge, which was spread upon the ground as an army
public relations officer explained what a good fertilizer it would
And, on a small, bleak island off the Scottish coast the
warning signs were due to be repainted.
Despite the fact that such major powers as France and China have
still (by early 1982) not signed it, largely because they consider
the verification procedures to be inadequate, the 1972 Biological
Weapons Convention was a major achievement.
One of the provisions of
the treaty committed the eighty-seven signatory countries to
"continue negotiations on good faith" with a view to obtaining a
similar agreement to ban chemical weapons.
The United Nations
General Assembly optimistically dubbed the 1970s "The Disarmament
Decade". In the field of chemical warfare it might more properly
have been named "The Distrust Decade".
In January 1978, a correspondent with Reuters’ news agency reported
from NATO headquarters that "scientific experts" had informed him
that the Russians were developing "three horrific new diseases for
warfare …. Lassa fever, which according to the sources, kills 35 out
of every 100 people it strikes; Ebola fever, which kills 70 out of
every 100; and the deadly Marburg fever (Green Monkey Disease)".
Not surprisingly, the effect of these allegations was to throw
serious doubt on the value of attempting to negotiate a second
treaty with the Soviet Union to ban gas warfare.
Indeed, in the
summer of 1978 a story appeared suggesting that Nixon’s original
decision to stop developing new chemical and biological weapons had
been the result of work by Soviet spies.
"According to US
intelligence officials", said the NEW YORK TIMES, "the Soviet Union
attempted to influence then - President Richard Nixon in 1969 to halt
chemical and biological weapons development by transmitting
information through double agents working for the Federal Bureau of
The paper maintained that the director of the
J. Edgar Hoover, had conveyed the information to Nixon personally.
While none of Nixon’s White House staff was able to recall having
been given any information about chemical or biological weapons by
FBI agents, the NEW YORK TIMES report was sufficient nonetheless to
add to the growing disquiet over what the Russians might be up to.
Soon there was a positive cascade of stories about Soviet
preparations for germ warfare. A Polish army officer claimed to have
been told that KGB specialists in biological warfare had been posted
to Cuba. Then in October 1979 came perhaps the most sensational
allegation of all.
The fledgling British news magazine Now! splashed across its front
cover the headline "Exclusive. Russia’s secret germ warfare
disaster". It reported that,
"Hundreds of people are reported to have
died, and thousands to have suffered serious injury as a result of
an accident which took place this summer in a factory involved in
the production of bacteriological weapons in the Siberian city of
The Soviet authorities had attempted to hush up the
accident, said the magazine, but information had been obtained from
a "traveler who was in the city at the time". This "traveler"
claimed that bodies of the dead were delivered to their relatives in
Those few who had managed to glimpse the bodies had
described them as being "covered in brown patches".
In the latter half of the 1970s there emerged a group of military
theorists who believed the threat of Russian chemical warfare to be
one of the great unrecognized dangers facing the West. In
increasingly strident tones they began to argue in favor of chemical
rearmament within NATO. One of the more restrained analyses of the
Soviet threat was made by Professor John Erickson, an acknowledged
authority on the Soviet Army.
Erickson estimated that there were eighty thousand specialists
troops in the Red Army, commanded by Lieutenant General V.K. Pikalov,
whose battlefield job it was to decontaminate men, machines and
weaponry of chemicals.
There were a thousand ranges where Soviet
troops trained to fight on a contaminated battlefield. Soviet tanks
and armored cars were equipped with elaborate seals and
pressurization systems to keep out gas. Chemical training was taken
so seriously that Soviet soldiers, he discovered, had been burned by
real gas used in training.
Erickson noted that the Russians "constantly emphasize the likely
use by the enemy - presumably NATO - of chemical weapons", yet
as Erickson remarked, had only a small number of such weapons.
Furthermore, Russian training emphasized defense not only against
nerve gas, but also against blood and lung agents first developed
during the First World War, and now unimportant in the NATO
Erickson decided that,
"the attraction of the chemical
weapon would appear to be growing for the Soviet Command".
[And, continuing later on:]
The conviction was growing among the "hawks" in
NATO that the
decision to stop expanding the chemical arsenal had given a
dangerous hostage to fortune. In 1980 the British opened a purpose
designed 7,000 acre chemical warfare "Battle Run" training area in
the Wiltshire hills alongside Porton Down.
The US Army opened a
specialist chemical training school in Alabama. The US Chemical
Corps, reduced to 2,000 in the early 1970s, was built up to nearly
6,000 by 1981.
In 1979 NATO commanders played out of their biennial war games
simulating the outbreak of World War Three. Code-named "Wintex", the
exercise involved only the generals, civil servants and politicians
who would make the critical decisions about how the war should be
fought. In Operations Rooms in Europe and North America they acted
out how they would respond to an escalating international crisis
which finally pitted NATO and Warsaw Pact against each other in open
As hostilities intensified, someone in NATO headquarters fed
new information into the war plan being flashed to the decision
makers in their concrete bunkers: the Soviet army had launched an
attack with chemical weapons. What should be the NATO response?
choice alarmed everyone - both the small NATO members who disliked
gas but wanted to avoid nuclear war at all costs, and the NATO
nuclear powers, where many felt that the appropriate response was an
attack with battlefield nuclear weapons, which itself ran the danger
of inviting full scale Soviet nuclear counter-strike.
NATO Supreme Commander, General Alexander Haig, soon to
become President Reagan’s Secretary of State, told reporters in 1978
that NATO’s ability to wage war with chemicals was "very weak".
"Sometime in the near future," he said, "this will have to be
reassessed". His successor as Supreme Commander went further.
ought to be able to respond with chemical weapons," he said, "and
they ought to know we have that capacity to respond."
after Nixon’s decision to suspend the manufacture of chemical
weapons, by the end of the so-called Disarmament Decade, the
advocates of chemical rearmament included some of the most senior
figures in the military establishment.
There was already a weapon developed to make up for the deficiencies
the generals saw all around them. The idea was simple, and, by the
1970s, some twenty years old.
[From A Higher Form Of Killing, in conclusion:]
Increasing cynicism about Soviet intentions had already led in the
late 1970s to a more aggressive stance. Remembering the opposition
to chemical weapons which had arisen during the late 1960s, and
recognizing that any new generation would need to be based in
Europe, the Pentagon began discussions with the British.
initial negotiations with the Callaghan government came to nothing,
discussions on the possible basing of chemical weapons in Britain
were resumed after the 1979 election brought Margaret Thatcher to
power. By the spring of 1980 the British Defense Secretary was
publicly ruminating about the size and power of the Soviet chemical
That summer the British held a series of meetings with
their American counterparts which resulted in British support for
Pentagon proposals to begin producing a new generation of gas
weapons. By December 1980 the British Defense Secretary had been
finally converted to the cause of chemical rearmament.
Even before the T2 allegations, the climate had changed so much that
in 1980 the Pentagon did not include proposals for a new binary gas
weapon plant in its request for funds for the coming year.
no need. When the budget proposal came before Congress for approval,
eager politicians endorsed a suggestion to write into the budget
plans to begin work on a new factory capable of turning out 20,000
rounds of 155 mm binary nerve agent shells every month. The entire
debate in both houses of Congress took less than three hours.
By the time the T2 allegations surfaced even Richard Nixon, the man
who seemed to have halted the chemical arms race in 1969, believed
that his efforts had been in vain and that the Russians had rearmed
while the United States stood still. In the past governments have
justified continuing gas and germ research by pointing to the
weapons they believe the enemy to possess. Plans for chemical
rearmament in the West are already well advanced.
negotiations suddenly bear fruit, the present climate of suspicion
may provide the perfect culture in which to breed a new generation
REPORT FROM IRON MOUNTAIN
Report From Iron Mountain On The Possibility And
Desirability Of Peace was published.
The report said, in part:
"As we have indicated, the preeminence of the concept of war as the
principal organizing force in most societies has been insufficiently
appreciated. This is also true of its extensive effects throughout
the many non-military activities of society.
These effects are less
apparent in complex industrial societies like our own than in
primitive cultures, the activities of which can be more easily and
Another possible surrogate for the control of potential enemies of
society is the reintroduction, in some form consistent with modern
technology and political processes, of slavery. Up to now, this has
been suggested only in fiction, notably in the works of Wells,
Huxley, Orwell, and others engaged in the imaginative anticipation
of the sociology of the future.
But the fantasies projected in Brave
New World and 1984 have seemed less and less implausible over the
years since their publication. The traditional association of
slavery with ancient pre-industrial cultures should not blind us to
its adaptability to advanced forms of social organization, nor
should its equally traditional incompatibility with Western moral
and economic values. It is entirely possible that the development of
a sophisticated form of slavery may be an absolute prerequisite for
social control in a world at peace.
As a practical matter,
conversion of the code of military discipline to a euphemized form
of enslavement would entail surprisingly little revision; the
logical first step would be the adoption of some form of "universal"
From the Iron Mountain report, under the heading of Ecological,
Considering the shortcomings of war as a mechanism of selective
population control, it might appear that devising substitutes for
this function should be comparatively simple. Schematically this is
so, but the problem of timing the transition to a new ecological
balancing device make the feasibility of substitution less certain.
It must be remembered that the limitation of war in this function is
entirely eugenic. War has not been genetically progressive. But as a
system of gross population control to preserve the species it cannot
fairly be faulted. And, as has been pointed out, the nature of war
is itself in transition.
Current trends in warfare - the increasing
strategic bombing of civilians and the greater military importance
now attached to the destruction of sources of supply (as opposed to
purely "military" bases and personnel) - strongly suggest that a
truly qualitative improvement is in the making. Assuming the war
system is to continue, it is more than probable that the
regressively selective quality of war will have been reversed, as
its victims become more genetically representative of their
There is no question but that a universal requirement that
procreation be limited to the products of artificial insemination
would provide a fully adequate substitute control for population
Such a reproductive system would, of course, have the added
advantage of being susceptible of direct eugenic management. Its
predictable further development - conception and embryonic growth
taking place wholly under laboratory conditions - would extend these
controls to the logical conclusion. The ecological function of war
under these circumstances would not only be superseded but surpassed
The indicated intermediate step - total control of conception with a
variant of the ubiquitous "pill" via water supplies or certain
essential foodstuffs, offset by a controlled "antidote" - is already
There would appear to be no foreseeable need to
revert to any of the outmoded practices referred to in the previous
section (infanticide, etc.) as there might have been if the
possibility of transition to peace had arisen two generations ago.
The real question here, therefore, does not concern the viability of
this war substitute, but the political problems involved in bringing
it about. It cannot be established while the war system is still in
effect. The reason for this is simple: excess population is war
material. As long as any society must contemplate even a remote
possibility of war, it must maintain a maximum supportable
population, even when so doing critically aggravates an economic
This is paradoxical, in view of war’s role in reducing
excess population, but it is readily understood. War controls the
general population level, but the ecological interest of any single
society lies in maintaining its hegemony vis-a-vis other societies.
The obvious analogy can be seen in a free-enterprise economy.
Practices damaging to the society as a whole - both competitive and
monopolistic - are abetted by the conflicting economic motives of
individual capital interests.
The obvious precedent can be found in
the seemingly irrational political difficulties which have blocked
universal adoption of simple birth-control methods. Nations
desperately in need of increasing unfavorable production-consumption
ratios are nevertheless unwilling to gamble their possible military
requirements of twenty years hence for this purpose.
population control, as practiced in ancient Japan and in other
isolated societies, is out of the question in today’s world.
Since the eugenic solution cannot be achieved until the transition
to the peace system takes place, why not wait? One must qualify the
inclination to agree. As we noted earlier, a real possibility of an
unprecedented global crisis of insufficiency exists today, which the
war system may not be able to forestall. If this should come to pass
before an agreed-upon transition to peace were completed, the result
might be irrevocably disastrous. There is clearly no solution to
this dilemma; it is a risk which must be taken.
But it tends to
support the view that if a decision is made to eliminate the war
system, it were better done sooner than later.
THE CLUB OF ROME
The 1972 document entitled The Limits To Growth - A Report For The
Club Of Rome’s Project On The Predicament Of Mankind, says:
"The problems U Thant mentions - the arms race, environmental
deterioration, the population explosion and economic stagnation -
are often cited as the central, long-term problems of modern man.
Many people believe that the future course of human society, perhaps
even the survival of human society, depends on the speed and
effectiveness with which the world responds to these issues. And yet
only a small fraction of the world’s population is actively
concerned with understanding these problems or seeking their
The report goes on,
The following conclusions have emerged from our work so far.
by no means the first group to have stated them. For the past
several decades, people who have looked at the world with a global,
long-term perspective have reached similar conclusions.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of policy-makers seems to be
actively pursuing goals that are inconsistent with these results.
Our conclusions are:
If the present growth trends in world population,
industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource
depletion continue unchanged, the limit to growth on this planet
will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most
probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline
in both population and industrial capacity.
It is possible to alter these growth trends and to establish a
condition of ecological and economic stability that is sustainable
far into the future. The state of global equilibrium could be
designed so that the basic material needs of each person on Earth
are satisfied and each person has an equal opportunity to realize
his individual human potential.
If the world’s people decide to strive for this second outcome
rather than the first, the sooner they begin working to attain it,
the greater will be their chances of success.
These conclusions are so far-reaching and raise so many questions
for further study that we are quite frankly overwhelmed by the
enormity of the job that must be done.
We hope that this book will
serve to interest other people, in many fields of study and in many
countries of the world, to raise the space and time horizons of
their concerns and to join us in understanding and preparing for a
period of great transition - the transition from growth to global
The Report concludes with,
How do we, the sponsors of this project, evaluate the report?
cannot speak definitively for all our colleagues in The Club of
Rome, for there are differences of interest, emphasis, and judgment
But, despite the preliminary nature of the report, the
limits of some of its data, and the inherent complexity of the world
system it attempts to describe, we are convinced of the importance
of its main conclusions. We believe that it contains a message of
much deeper significance than a mere comparison of dimensions, a
message relevant to all aspects of the present human predicament.
Although we can here express only our preliminary views, recognizing
that they still require a great deal of reflection and ordering, we
are in agreement on the following points:
We are convinced that realization of the quantitative restraints
of the world environment and of the tragic consequences of an
overshoot is essential to the initiation of new forms of thinking
that will lead to a fundamental revision of human behavior and, by
implication, of the entire fabric of present-day society.
It is only now that, having begun to understand something of the
interactions between demographic growth and economic growth, and
having reached unprecedented levels in both, man is forced to take
account of the limited dimensions of his planet and the ceilings to
his presence and activity on it.
For the first time, it has become
vital to inquire into the cost of unrestricted material growth and
to consider alternatives to its continuation.
We are further convinced that demographic pressure in the world
has already attained such a high level, and is moreover so unequally
distributed, that this alone must compel mankind to seek a state of
equilibrium on our planet.
Under-populated areas still exist; but, considering the world as a
whole, the critical point in population growth is approaching, if it
has not already been reached. There is of course no unique optimum,
long-term population level; rather, there are a series of balances
between population levels, social and material standards, personal
freedom, and other elements making up the quality of life.
finite and diminishing stock of non-renewable resources and the
finite space of our globe, the principle must be generally accepted
that growing numbers of people will eventually imply a lower
standard of living and a more complex problematique.
On the other
hand, no fundamental human value would be endangered by a leveling
off of demographic growth.
We recognize that world equilibrium can become a reality only if
the lot of the so-called developing countries is substantially
improved, both in absolute terms and relative to the economically
developed nations, and we affirm that this improvement can be
achieved only through a global strategy.
Short of a world effort, today’s already explosive gaps and
inequalities will continue to grow larger. The outcome can only be
disaster, whether due to the selfishness of individual countries
that continue to act purely in their own interests, or to a power
struggle between the developing and developed nations.
system is simply not ample enough nor generous enough to accommodate
much longer such egocentric and conflictive behavior by its
inhabitants. The closer we come to the material limits to the
planet, the more difficult this problem will be to tackle.
We affirm that the global issue of development is, however, so
closely interlinked with other global issues that an overall
strategy must be evolved to attack all major problems, including in
particular those of man’s relationship with his environment.
With world population doubling time a little more than 30 years, and
decreasing, society will be hard put to meet the needs and
expectations of so many more people in so short a period. We are
likely to try to satisfy these demands by overexploiting our natural
environment and further impairing the life-supporting capacity of
Hence, on both sides of the man-environment equation, the
situation will tend to worsen dangerously. We cannot expect
technological solutions alone to get us out of this vicious circle.
The strategy for dealing with the two key issues of development and
environment must be conceived as a joint one
We recognize that the complex world problematique is to a great
extent composed of elements that cannot be expressed in measurable
terms. Nevertheless, we believe that the predominantly quantitative
approach used in this report is an indispensable tool for
understanding the operation of the problematique. And we hope that
such knowledge can lead to a mastery of its elements.
Although all major world issues are fundamentally linked, no method
has yet been discovered to tackle the whole effectively. The
approach we have adopted can be extremely useful in reformulating
our thinking about the entire human predicament.
It permits us to
define the balances that must exist within human society, and
between human society and its habitat, and to perceive the
consequences that may ensue when such balances are disrupted.
We are unanimously convinced that rapid, radical redressment of
the present unbalanced and dangerously deteriorating world situation
is the primary task facing humanity.
Our present situation is so complex and is so much a reflection of
man’s multiple activities, however, that no combination of purely
technical, economic, or legal measures and devices can bring
substantial improvement. Entirely new approaches are required to
redirect society toward goals of equilibrium rather than growth.
Such a reorganization will involve a supreme effort of
understanding, imagination, and political and moral resolve.
believe that the effort is feasible and we hope that this
publication will help to mobilize forces to make it possible.
This supreme effort is a challenge for our generation. It cannot
be passed on to the next. The effort must be resolutely undertaken
without delay, and significant redirection must be achieved during
Although the effort may initially focus on the implications of
growth, particularly of population growth, the totality of the world
problematique will soon have to be addressed. We believe in fact
that the need will quickly become evident for social innovation to
match technical change, for radical reform of institutions and
political processes at all levels the highest, that of world polity.
We are confident that our generation will accept this challenge if
we understand the tragic consequences that inaction may bring.
We have no doubt that if mankind is to embark on a new course,
concerted international measures and joint long-term planning will
be necessary on a scale and scope without precedent.
Such an effort calls for joint endeavor by all peoples, whatever
their culture, economic system, or level of development. But the
major responsibility must rest with the more developed nations, not
because they have more vision or humanity, but because, having
propagated the growth syndrome, they are still at the fountainhead
of the progress that sustains it.
As greater insights into the
condition and workings of the world system are developed, these
nations will come to realize that, in a world that fundamentally
needs stability, their high plateaus of development can be justified
or tolerated only if they serve not as springboards to reach even
higher, but as staging areas from which to organize more equitable
distribution of wealth and income worldwide.
We unequivocally support the contention that a brake imposed on
world demographic and economic growth spirals must not lead to a
freezing of the status quo of economic development of the world’s
If such a proposal were advanced by the rich nations, it would be
taken as a final act of neocolonialism. The achievement of a
harmonious state of global economic, socio, and ecological
equilibrium must be a joint venture based on joint conviction, with
benefits for all.
The greatest leadership will be demanded from the
economically developed countries, for the first step toward such a
goal would be for them to encourage a deceleration in the growth of
their own material output while, at the same time, assisting the
developing nations in their efforts to advance their economics more
We affirm finally that any deliberate attempt to reach a
rational and enduring state of equilibrium by planned measures,
rather than by chance or catastrophe, must ultimately be founded on
a basic change of values and goals at individual, national, and
This change is perhaps already in the air, however faintly. But our
tradition, education, current activities, and interests will make
the transformation embattled and slow.
Only real comprehension of
the human condition at this turning point in history can provide
sufficient motivation for people to accept the individual sacrifices
and the changes in political and economic power structures required
to reach an equilibrium state.
The question remains of course whether the world situation is in
fact as serious as this book, and our comments, would indicate.
firmly believe that the warnings this book contains are amply
justified, and that the aims and actions of our present civilization
can only aggravate the problems of tomorrow. But we would be only
too happy if our tentative assessments should prove too gloomy.
In any event, our posture is one of very grave concern, but not of
despair. The report describes an alternative to unchecked and
disastrous growth and puts forward some thoughts on the policy
changes that could produce a stable equilibrium for mankind. The
report indicates that it may be within our reach to provide
reasonably large populations with a good material life plus
opportunities for limitless individual and social development. We
are in substantial agreement with that view, although we are
realistic enough not to be carried away by purely scientific or
The concept of a society in a steady state of economic and
ecological equilibrium may appear easy to grasp, although the
reality is so distant from our experience as to require a Copernican
revolution of the mind. Translating the idea into deed, though, is a
task filled with overwhelming difficulties and complexities.
talk seriously about where to start only when the message of The
Limits to Growth, and its sense of extreme urgency, are accepted by
a large body of scientific, political, and popular opinion in many
countries. The transition in any case is likely to be painful, and
it will make extreme demands on human ingenuity and determination.
As we have mentioned, only the conviction that there is no other
avenue to survival can liberate the moral, intellectual, and
creative forces required to initiate this unprecedented human
But we wish to underscore the challenge rather than the difficulty
of mapping out the road to a stable state society. We believe that
an unexpectedly large number of men and women of all ages and
conditions will readily respond to the challenge and will be eager
to discuss not if but we can create this new future.
The Club of Rome plans to support such activity in many ways. The
substantive research begun at MIT on world dynamics will be
continued both at MIT and through studies conducted in Europe,
Canada, Latin America, the Soviet Union, and Japan.
intellectual enlightenment is without effect if it is not also
political, The Club of Rome also will encourage the creation of a
world forum where statesmen, policy-makers, and scientists can
discuss the dangers and hopes for the future global system without
the constraints of formal intergovernmental negotiation.
The last thought we wish to offer is that man must explore himself -
his goals and values - as much as the world he seeks to change. The
dedication to both tasks must be unending. The crux of the matter is
not only whether the human species will survive, but even more
whether it can survive without falling into a state of worthless
The Executive Committee Of
The Club Of Rome:
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