Humanity's Footprint: Momentum, Impact, and Our Global Environment / Edition 1

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Overview

For the first time in history, humans have exceeded the sustaining capacity of Earth's global ecosystems. Our expanding footprint has tremendous momentum, and the insidious explosion of human impact creates a shockwave that threatens ecosystems worldwide for decades-possibly centuries.

Walter K. Dodds depicts in clear, nontechnical terms the root causes and global environmental effects of human behavior. He describes trends in population growth, resource use, and global environmental impacts of the past two centuries, such as greenhouse effects, ozone depletion, water pollution, and species extinctions and introductions. Dodds also addresses less familiar developments, such as the spread of antibiotic resistant genes in bacteria and the concentration of pesticides in the Arctic and other remote ecosystems. He identifies fundamental human activities that have irreversible effects on the environment and draws on recent social science and game theory results to explain why people use more than their share. Past behavior indicates that as resources grow scarce, humans will escalate their use of what remains instead of managing their consumption. Humanity's Footprint paints a lively but ultimately sobering picture of our environmental predicament. Dodds calls for a consilient approach to socioenvironmental restoration that draws on new thinking from across disciplines to develop sustainable solutions to global environmental problems.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
A useful volume in the ongoing dialogue about humankind's impact on ecosystems and worldwide environmental problems... Recommended.
Choice

A useful volume in the ongoing dialogue about humankind's impact on ecosystems and worldwide environmental problems... Recommended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231139670
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 1/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter K. Dodds is a professor of biology at Kansas State University and the author of Freshwater Ecology: Concepts and Environmental Applications. He researches water quality and aquatic biodiversity, is an investigator at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and leads the Kansas Ecological Forecasting Initiative.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments1. Collision Course: An Expanding Appetite for Resources Coupled with Population Growth on a Finite Planet2. The Insidious Explosion: Global Trends in Population Growth and Resource Use Expand Our Footprint3. Shock Wave from the Insidious Explosion: Momentum of the Human Footprint on Our Planet4. Weeds and Shrinking Violets: Pests on the Move and the Ecological Holocaust5. Survival on a Finite Earth: The Ultimate Game, or Why Human Nature Destines Us to Use More Than Our Share6. Why Humans Foul the Nest: Cultural and Genetic Roots Run Deep7. Searching for Answers: Can We Achieve Sustainability, or Are We Screwed? 8. No More Business as Usual: Transcendence, Enlightenment, Rationalization, Hope, and Action9. Consilience: Socioenvironmental Restoration and Sustainable Inhabitation of EarthAppendix 1. Data Sources Used to Make GraphsAppendix 2. Reading the Graphs in This BookAppendix 3. Putting Global Environmental Impact into a Quantitative Framework That Links Impact and BehaviorAppendix 4. Some Charitable Organizations Involved with Global Environmental IssuesNotesIndex

Columbia University Press

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Thorough reality check on the effects of and solutions to global warming

    Most of the natural systems that humans rely on for survival are in jeopardy. The earth¿s resources are irrefutably finite. Science predicts dire consequences if humankind fails to initiate strategies to stem population growth and rampant consumption. Author Walter K. Dodds presents a worldwide perspective on global warming, including fascinating statistics about human resource use and its implications for the future. He examines the most potentially threatening effects of human behavior. To shed some new light, he offers solution-oriented insights from game theory, which studies the conditions under which people who are naturally pursuing their own self-interests will cooperate for the greater good. getAbstract recommends this guide to global warming issues.

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