The Public Interest

The social roots of hunger and overpopulation

William Petersen

Summer 1982

FOR several generations those who argue about population and food have divided themselves between “optimists” and “pessimists.” In fact, most of them are better termed extremists. Too often enormously complex problems have been presented with a one-dimensional simplicity-the contrast between people and their sustenance, with both projected into the future more confidently than past experience warrants.

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