Which books do you prefer:eerie forecasts or chiller-spine ones?
OUR FIRST BOOK:
PEOPLEQUAKE by Fred Pierce
Wherever we look, population is driving the most toxic issues on the political agenda:
• Terrorists lurk in refugee camps across the Middle East.
• AIDS seeps from African townships.
• Migrants are flooding Europe, swamping public services – yet their labour keeps these same services from grinding to a halt.
But here is something you may not know. The population bomb is being diffused. Half the world's women are having two children or fewer. Within a generation, the world's population will be falling. And we will all be getting very old.
This groundbreaking book explores how we got here, and where we are going.
- Do we face an environmental apocalypse?
- Could we go out with an incontinent whimper?
- Or might the wrinklies, led by a new breed of tribal elders, create a better, happier future?
Brilliant, heretical, honest, Fred Pearce confronts our demographic demons.
For an INDEX: see 3 chapters on ecology
(to see negative review, click on this):
Part Six Reaching The Limits
Chapter 22: ‘The Tigers and the Bulge’ Across East Asia, between 1965 and 1990, the working-age population grew four times faster (p.230). This can be termed the ‘Youth Bulge’. Some environmentalists see a new nexus of disorder where youth bulges, worsening environmental problems and conflicts feed off each other.
‘The violent youth culture of the Gaza shanty towns may be indicative of the coming era’. The small Palestinian enclave trapped on a strip of desert between Israel and the ocean is today one of the most densely populated, environmentally damaged and violent places on the planet (p.237).Chapter 23: ‘Footprints on a Finite Planet’ recalls Paul Ehrlich estimate of the planet’s carrying capacity at about five billion people. In 2008, with 6.8 billion people on the planet we were consuming 30% more resources each year than the planet produces (p.239)
Chapter 27: ‘Silver Lining’ examines increasing longevity in wealthy countries with some people remaining active into the 80s. Many examples show this is not a problem in practice. An optimistic picture can be drawn.
His latest book: The land grabbers (2013)
in his new essay Fred PEARCE opens up vastly important new terrain few of us have even noticed. When the rich and powerful start buying up the planet’s fundamental resources—land and water—from the poor and vulnerable, we’d all better notice.”
—James Gustave Speth,
WRITE the 3 aspects you could relate to from the
figures in the statistics (click on link).
Graphical view at evolution of population by continent:
|source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013).|
World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision.projected populations based on
the medium-fertility variant.
OUR SECOND BOOK:
Book Review by Teresa Friedlander (click on blue link above)
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (webpage)
What would happen if human beings simply disappeared from planet earth? That is the question author Alan Weisman seeks to answer.
Rather than treat this as a parlor game, Mr. Weisman takes us through a careful examination of earth’s current state in terms of geology, anthropology, archaeology, physics, biology, and recorded histories. From there he removes the human race and predicts several series of events which might take place and follows the process through to its likely conclusion.
What would this planet look like after the dust settled?
Which plants and animals would survive the changes and thrive in the new environment?
The World Without Us (click on -multimedia) is thought-provoking and alarming piece of work, but at the same time, it is an appreciative inquiry into the forces of nature which we humans have only recently begun to respect.
interview Leonard Lopate -WNYC... here: