How Many People Can the Earth Support?

Overview

A compelling new analysis of world population issues and what the numbers tell us. . . .
With the world population now at 5.7 billion, and increasing by about 90 million per year, we have clearly entered a zone where we can see, and may well encounter, limits on the human carrying capacity of the Earth. In this penetrating analysis of one of the most crucial questions of our time, a leading scholar in the field reviews the history of world ...

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Overview

A compelling new analysis of world population issues and what the numbers tell us. . . .
With the world population now at 5.7 billion, and increasing by about 90 million per year, we have clearly entered a zone where we can see, and may well encounter, limits on the human carrying capacity of the Earth. In this penetrating 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 appraises what can be known about its future.

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Editorial Reviews

Edward O. Wilson
“The definitive work on the global population problem. Cohen, one of the foremost theoretical biologists in the world, has brought extraordinary analytic powers and humanitarian learning to the topic, and those who care about the human future will do well to read his conclusions.”
William D. Nordhaus
“It would be hard to conceive of a better book for those interested in a scholarly and nonideological review and analysis of population issues. . . . Fascinating and lucid. . . . A gem of a book.”
Thomas E. Lovejoy
“A probing, scholarly analysis of the population issue in all its complexity. . . . An enduring resource book.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Biologist Cohen investigates the Earth's human carrying capacity. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393314953
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Pages: 534
  • Sales rank: 1,039,475
  • Lexile: 1540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel E. Cohen is head of the Laboratory of Populations at the Rockefeller University. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Introduction 3
1 Between Choices and Constraints 5
Pt. 2 Past Human Population Growth 23
2 Four Evolutions in Population Growth 25
3 People Control the Growth of Nonhuman Populations 32
4 People Control the Growth of Human Populations 46
5 Human Population History in Numbers and Graphs 76
6 The Uniqueness of the Present Relative to the Past 97
Pt. 3 Future Human Population Growth 107
7 Projection Methods: The Hazy Crystal Ball 109
8 Mathematical cartoons of human population size and carrying capacity
Notes 447
Bibliography 481
Acknowledgments 505
Index 507
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