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The Coming Population Crash: And Our Planet's Surprising Futureby Fred Pearce
Synopses & Reviews
Demography is destiny. It underlies many of the issues that shake the world, from war and economics to immigration. No wonder, then, that overpopulation fears flared regularly over the last century, which saw world population quadruple. Even today, baby booms in the developing world are regularly blamed for genocide and terrorism. And overpopulation is cited as the most important environmental issue.
Yet, surprisingly, it appears that the explosion is past its peak: half the world’s women are now having two children or fewer—in developing countries as well as in rich ones. If you are under forty-five, you will almost certainly live to see a world population that is declining for the first time since the Black Death, almost seven hundred years ago.
Chronicling first the troubling history of efforts to contain the demographic explosion, from the early environmental movement’s racism and involvement in eugenics, to coercive family-planning policies in China and India, Pearce charts the demographic path of our species over two hundred years. And then he dives into the environmental, social, and economic effects of our surprising demographic future: a shrinking, graying population; mass migrations; and, just maybe, a wiser world.
A leading environmental writer looks at the unexpected effects--and possible benefits--of a shrinking, graying population
Over the last century, the world's population quadrupled and fears of overpopulation flared, with baby booms blamed for genocide and terrorism, and overpopulation singled out as the primary factor driving global warming. Yet, surprisingly, it appears that the population explosion is past its peak--by mid-century, the world's population will be declining for the first time in over seven hundred years. In The ComingPopulation Crash, veteran environmental writer Fred Pearce reveals the dynamics behind this dramatic shift and describes the environmental, social, and economic effects of our surprising demographicfuture.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Fred Pearce is a former news editor at New Scientist. Currently its environmental and development consultant, he has also written for Audubon, Popular Science, Time, the Boston Globe, and Natural History, and writes a regular column for the Guardian. His books include When the Rivers Run Dry (Beacon / 8573-8 / $16.00 pb), With Speed and Violence (Beacon / 8577-6 / $15.00 pb), and Confessions of an Eco-Sinner (Beacon / 8595-0 / $16.00 pb). Pearce lives in England.
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