most certainly continue to receive proportionatelyrnhigher benefits relative tornamounts paid in. If the influx of predominantlyrnunskilled immigrants continues,rnprivatization of Social Securityrnmight be more compatible with the nationalrninterest.rnThe report notes in passing several areasrnexcluded from analysis. Amongrnthese are the decision not to “considerrnthe possibility that immigrants imposernfiscal costs indirectly, by causing nativernworkers to become unemployed or torndrop into poverty due to reduced wages.”rnDonald Huddle and David Simcox sayrnthese costs amount to billions of dollars.rnThe report’s most glaring omission, however,rninvolves immigration’s impact uponrnthe environment. The authors appearrnto believe that, because these effectsrnare gradual and difficult to quantify, thernsubject is of negligible importance. Butrnthe magnitude and cost of environmentalrndamage caused by population growthrnare significant and can be apprehendedrnthrough such phenomena as greenhouserngas emissions.rnIn November 1997, President Clintonrnproposed that the United States reducernthese emissions by the year 2010 to 1990rnlevels. But few people —the Presidentrnincluded —make the connection betweenrnpopulation growth and the productionrnof CO and other gases. In fact,rnU.S. energy use increased by 25 percentrnfrom 1970 to 1990, and 93 percent ofrnthat increase is attributable to populationrngrowth. Between 1990 and 1996, U.S.rncarbon emissions produced by burningrnfossil fuels (part of the greenhouse gasrnmix) increased 8 percent, and they arernpredicted to increase by 13 percent forrnthe decade. Fred Meyerson has estimatedrnthat “over 70% of carbon emission increasesrnin this decade can . . . be attributedrnto population growth,” and this figurernmay be low, since Meyerson uses the upwardlyrnrevised population census numberrnfor 1990 and therefore may be underestimatingrnsubsequent growth.rnUsing the Census Bureau’s unadjustedrncount of roughly 249 million peoplernin 1990, the NRC report projects a U.S.rnpopulation of 277 million by the turn ofrnthe century and an increase of 30 millionrnpeople between 2000 and 2010 (assumingrnthat present immigration trends continue).rnWith 58 million more people inrnthe United States in 2010 than in 1990,rnand population growth recently accountingrnfor 70 to 90 percent of the growth inrncarbon emissions, how can Clinton orrnCore —or anyone —expect to reducerngreenhouse gas emissions without perrncapita reductions in energy use so severernas to create an economic calamity?rnThe United States, by continuing tornallow population growth at a rate fasterrnthan that experienced by any other industiializedrncountry, is pursuing a suicidalrncourse; population reduction wouldrnbetter suit the circumstances of loomingrnenvironmental constraints. The NRCrnreport, while falling short of this conclusion,rndoes consider matters of populationrncongestion, the redistribution of wealth,rnand the fiscal effects of immigration, allrnof which we must expect to producerngrowing national unease, perhaps in thernnear future.rnVirginia Deane Abemethy is a professorrnof psychiatry at the Vanderhilt UniversityrnSchool of Medicine and the author ofrnPopulation Politics: The Choices thatrnShape Our Future (Insight Books).rnShifting Sandsrnby Wayne AllensworthrnA Certain Justicernby P.D. JamesrnNew York; Alfred A. Knopfrn364 pp., $25.00rnThe grand theme of P.D. James’srnwork is man and his overwhelmingrnsense of rootlessness, anxiety, and guilt inrnthe knowledge of a crime unknown andrna punishment outwardly denied in thernpost-Christian era, though inwardly anticipated.rnEspecially in the last decadernor so, James has moved far beyond DamernAgatha Christie, delving deeply into thernpsychological and theological realm ofrnDostoyevsky.rnNo longer a mystery writer but a novelistrnwho so expertly employs the mysteryrngenre that we hardly notice the intricaciesrnof plot, the procedure of detection,rnand the uncovering of clues, James hasrnachieved in A Certain Justice the rewardsrnof more than 3 5 years of hard work.rnThe plot turns on the murder of arncriminal lawyer known for her coldbloodedrnapproach to her craft and herrnreputation for getting obviously guiltyrncriminals off the judicial hook. VenetiarnAldridge is the most fully developed versionrnof a character type James hasrnevolved over the years: a career womanrn(typically unmarried, in this case divorced)rnwho takes what purpose, passion,rnand meaning she is capable of feelingrnfrom her status as a leading member ofrnthe bar. Like Garry Ashe, the murdererrnshe is defending, Aldridge is incapable ofrnlove—a recurring theme throughout thernnovel, underscoring the sense of isolationrnthat many of the novel’s charactersrnfeel. Ashe, as Aldridge well knows, is arn”psychopath,” a convenient term devisedrnby our therapeutic societv’ to “explain,rncategorize and define in statute law” thernmystery of human evil. As Aldridge’srnmurder approaches, Ashe, freed by hisrncounsel’s lawyerly skills, takes up withrnher unloved —and unwanted —daughter,rnthus precipitating a second murderrnand the main action of the novel, whichrnis the search for Ashe.rnIt is evident from A Certain justice thatrnthe inhabitants of James’s postmodernrnworld are adrift as the stiuggle to becomerna “full human being” becomes increasinglyrnprecarious. Some of them grasp forrnmeaning in a career or hobby, whilernmost are lonely and isolated, recoiling inrnhorror from the ugly reality of their society.rn”What is happening to us, to ourrnworld?” gasps one character. Adam Dalgliesh,rnsometime poet, connoisseur ofrnchurch architecture, now chief of a ScotlandrnYard unit entiusted with the responsibilityrnfor particularly “sensitive” crimes,rnonce again serves as the novel’s center ofrngravity. Dalgliesh has come a long wayrnfrom solving genteel murders in countryrnmanors; the thoughtful, introspectivernson of a country parish priest, no strangerrnhimself to personal tragedy, has steadilyrnevolved through James’s most fully realizedrnmystery novels, A Taste for Deathrn(1986), Devices and Desires (1990), andrnOriginal Sin (1995). His able companionrnis Inspector Kate Miskin, the obversernof James’s career woman and an intelligentrnadmirer of her boss. It is Kate, finally,rnwith help from Father Presteign—thernonly character in the novel besides Dalglieshrncapable of maintaining a positionrnin the shifting postmodern sands—whornaffirms the possibility of justice and thernfreedom of the human will. “Even thernbad dreams,” Kate assures Octavia,rnVenetia’s unloved daughter, “fade inrntime.”rnWayne Allensworth writes fromrnPurcellville, Virginia.rn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn