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Review: National Priorities and the Physical Habitat: Focus of Continuing Controversy

Reviewed Works: Setting National Priorities: The 1979 Budget. by Joseph A. Pechman; Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity. by William Ophuls; Cleaning up America: An Insider's View of the Environmental Protection Agency. by John Quarles; The Global Predicament: Ecological Perspectives on World Order. by David W. Orr, Marvin S. Soroos
Review by: Harold Sprout , Margaret Sprout
World Politics
Vol. 31, No. 4 (Jul., 1979), pp. 600-615
DOI: 10.2307/2009912
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2009912
Page Count: 16
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National Priorities and the Physical Habitat: Focus of Continuing Controversy
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Note: This article is a review of another work, such as a book, film, musical composition, etc. The original work is not included in the purchase of this review.

Abstract

Ever since arresting the progressive deterioration of the physical habitat emerged as a live political issue in the United States in the early 1960s, it has been a subject of continuing disputation--both as to the urgency of repair and protection, and as to who should bear responsibility for deciding what and how much to undertake or to leave undone. Since all societies, especially industrial societies, are exposed to proliferating damage and hazards from diverse sources, environmental programs compete for support with a multiplicity of other claims on disposable resources. Since nearly everything that is done to maintain a decently livable physical habitat affects to some extent the distribution of income within and among nations, public authority has become increasingly the focus of environmental repair and protection, and the budgetary decisions of government the core of that focus--claims of some economists and other specialists to the contrary notwithstanding. The four books compared in this article consider these and related issues from various perspectives, both domestic and international.

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