The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World

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Everywhere you turn you see predictions of doom for the future. But what can be done? Two scientists of the past century saw the way the world was heading, and although theirs are not household names, they presented two very different, even competing, visions for the world.

William Vogt, the titular Prophet, foresaw humans degrading their environment to the point that it would no longer support even humans, let alone the fellow organisms that share this earth. His prescriptions formed the basis for the environmental and conservation movements, advocating holistic and community use and care for the earth. In contrast, Norman Borlaug was enamored with wonderful scientific advances from synthetic fertilizers to genetically modified food crops. His way of thinking is that of the Wizard–the belief that science gives the way to invent and innovate our way out of the current mess.

Author Charles Mann leads readers on a journey of concern through the elements of Water, Air, Earth, and Fire, explaining how in each element, the Wizard’s and the Prophet’s philosophies guide or shape individual, national, and global action. Which is better? There is no clear conclusion – except perhaps that of the biologist Lynn Margulis, who says that every species annihilates itself eventually, and ours is no exception.


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Author Charles Mann
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 640 pages
Publisher Vintage
Publish Date 16-Apr-2019
ISBN 9780345802842
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category Science & Nature
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