How Many People Can the Earth Support? / Edition 1

How Many People Can the Earth Support? / Edition 1

by Joel E. Cohen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0393314952

ISBN-13: 2900393314952

Pub. Date: 09/28/1996

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

Past attempts to answer this question have ranged widely from less than 1 billion to more than 1,000 billion—one sign that there is no single right answer. More than half of the estimates, however, fall within a much narrower range: between 4 billion and 16 billion. In any case, with the world population now at 5.7 billion, and increasing by approximately 90…  See more details below

Overview

Past attempts to answer this question have ranged widely from less than 1 billion to more than 1,000 billion—one sign that there is no single right answer. More than half of the estimates, however, fall within a much narrower range: between 4 billion and 16 billion. In any case, with the world population now at 5.7 billion, and increasing by approximately 90 million per year, we have entered a zone where limits on the human carrying capacity of the Earth have been anticipated, and may well be encountered. In this analysis of one of the most crucial questions of our time, a leading scholar in the field reviews the history of world population growth and gives a refreshingly frank appraisal of what little can be known about its future. In the process, he offers the most comprehensive account yet available of how various people have tried to estimate the planet's human carrying capacity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900393314952
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
534

Table of Contents

Pt. 1Introduction3
1Between Choices and Constraints5
Pt. 2Past Human Population Growth23
2Four Evolutions in Population Growth25
3People Control the Growth of Nonhuman Populations32
4People Control the Growth of Human Populations46
5Human Population History in Numbers and Graphs76
6The Uniqueness of the Present Relative to the Past97
Pt. 3Future Human Population Growth107
7Projection Methods: The Hazy Crystal Ball109
8Mathematical cartoons of human population size and carrying capacity
Notes447
Bibliography481
Acknowledgments505
Index507

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