PROCRASTINATING MAN - a review

PM 200x267 en ramme.jpg

There were excited reviews back in 1981:

“Let’s hope this small yet big book will gain entry into thousands of homes”

“An incredible number of facts”

Tom Mikkelsen: “Procrastinating Man”. 1st edition, Rhodos  1981
(In Danish)

Reviewed by doctor (M.D.) Jørn Thomsen in NATURENS VERDEN,
1981/p 444-445.

 “ Procrastinating Man”, by the as yet unknown author Tom Mikkelsen, is truly spiritual in nature. The book begins with a concise account of the earth’s evolution. An incredible number of facts.

The explosive growth in population is discussed in relation to global resources, i.e. the ability to feed this rapidly growing number of people. A number of examples are presented of all the acts of stupidity that are committed that jeopardise the possibilities of continued survival – but is there, in spite of everything, any reasonable chance of continued survival? The author responds: Of course there is! What is needed is the right will, agreement and cooperation. It is not possible to present a review of this book in just a few general sentences. What you really need is a more thorough review.

A poetic overture

After an almost poetic overture characterised by optimism and an indomitable faith in the benefits of working together, the author presents a clear account of the development of the earth in terms of geology, fauna and flora, but using a mass of scientific and technical expressions that seem rather difficult for the average reader, requiring frequent use of a dictionary of foreign words. On the whole this discursive, articulate presentation is enjoyable and inspiring, due to the author’s numerous brief personal and critical asides. This chapter covers the origins of life and evolution up to the Neanderthals and modern humans 

The basis of all life – water

The basis of all life – water – is the main topic of the next chapter. The water cycle is described – especially, how until this century water seemed to be plentiful and good in terms of quality; but then along comes Homo scientificus! In the course of about 100 years this ill-fated being has succeeded in polluting water to an almost catastrophic degree.

The book contains thought-provoking calculations regarding how long there will be enough water for the entire world’s population. The author also points out the striking difference in daily consumption in the develop­ed world and in developing countries. The difference between these two worlds is a thread running throughout the book; it clearly indicates the author’s social awareness.

This is one of the book’s typical examples: It would cost 30 billion dollars a year to provide all developing countries with a reasonable supply of water. Against this, the annual military expenditure across the globe is 450 billion dollars.

Several options are presented for increasing water production, and the chapter concludes with these sentences: Agriculture requires water. All water users must leave it in a good condition for other users!

Enough food for all

The next chapter is called: Enough food for all, and it begins with a statement from FAO in 1977, which says that existing quantities of food are enough for every individual in the world to have a reasonable protein-calorie diet every single day. That’s 4½ billion people.

He points out the irrationality of current food pro­duction, in which grain is used to produce animal protein, which is then consumed by the well-off. There is a review of the non-traditional methods for increasing yields, with heavy criticism of the numerous pesticides and herbicides that accumulate over time. We should instead use already existing methods of a more “natural” kind, such as species and type specific viruses, bacteria and insects.

Various types of irrigation systems are listed and assessed according to their effectiveness, e.g. there is a description of a new Israeli “drip irrigation sy­stem” that requires a mere fraction of the normal quantity of water, as there is almost no evaporation.

The author indicates new possibilities in the form of other plant varieties with high protein content, e.g. countless varieties of beans. Most protein calories are traditionally obtained from around 30 varieties, whereas in fact there are thousands to choose from. 

More care must be taken of the oceans, with efficient, organised fishing and the use of new fish species.

Energy supply

The fifth chapter covers energy supply. Fifty per cent of our energy currently comes from oil. This will in all probability run out within the next 20-30 years. Coal, which will last for about 200 years, is mentioned as an alternative. The disadvantages of coal are listed, but at the same time information is provided on the possibility of converting coal into “synfuel”, i.e. liquid hydrocarbons, for which there are already several production sites in e.g. South Africa. Further alternatives to oil are alcohol from maize, sugar cane and cassava, which can be added to petrol. This is done to an increasing extent in both South and North America. Also mentioned are natural gas, biogas, and water and wind energy. However, in Mikkelsen’s opinion, solar energy holds the biggest potential. It is politically neutral and easily accessible. For example, an area about one quarter the size of Egypt could supply a quantity of energy corresponding to total global energy consumption, in the form of solar energy alone!

He deals briefly with fission energy, enumerating all the disadvantages and time limitation of our uranium resources. Against this is the ultimate permanent energy source, fusion energy. However, the introduction of such a thing is still some way off in the future, due to the required technology not yet having been developed.

Here is Mikkelsen’s solution: Distribute the remaining oil/coal/gas reserves globally without taking any account of profit, and then work together towards solar energy and fusion power. Nice and quietly. So again, joint efforts, very simple.

We need to abandon the old arguments from ignorant politicians who lack vision, antisocial scientists and greedy speculators.

Fantasifirserne (the imagination eighties)

The sixth and final chapter is called fantasifirserne (the imagination eighties), in which Mikkelsen emphatically asserts that we now have a real chance to show that mankind IS the master of creation. He calls war an act of folly. Glorification of war derives from a small, closed band of demagogues = fools. He puts forward extremely relevant information on Reagan’s visions with regard to the increase in the USA’s military budget from 171 billion dollars this year, to be doubled in five years.

He postulates that the endless flood of abominations is created by highly qualified scientists and technicians. This is what they offer in exchange for a costly education at universities all over the world that could have been put to good social use. These peo­ple should be promoting the general welfare of mankind! But this miserable elite is supported by a dead calm sea of human passivity.

Mankind, the procrastinating man of today, is characterised by fright. There are no prospects of a reasonable future, and no one has any faith in global fellowship, which is understandable in the current circumstances.

The concept of unemployment seems completely ab­surd to the author’s mind, when one considers the global tasks facing us. He goes back to the options mentioned earlier in the book for survival and improving living conditions. But where will the money come from?

Elementary, my dear Watson: Those 450 billion dollars in the defence and military budgets!!

The author’s conclusion: Wake up!

You procrastinating man, wake up! Share responsibility for your planet’s future. Demand from the miserable elite: Imagination, vision, power, guts and courage – or demand their resignation.

Let’s hope this small yet big book will gain entry into thousands of homes. Bravo Mikkelsen – a powerful performance.

Procrastinating Man” will appear shortly in a revised edition as an e-book/PDF, which may be downloaded free of charge.  The new edition will be published in Danish and English by:

LIMULUS Publishing House

“Kellershus”

Brejning Strand 1 E

DK-7080 Børkop

Denmark

 

 

Head Office & Central Laboratory:
Scan Dia Labs ApS
KELLERSHUS
Brejning Strand 1 E
DK - 7080 Børkop
Denmark
Tel: (+45) 3963 4855
mail@scandialabs.com