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

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

by Walter K Dodds
     
 

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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

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.

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231513043
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
06/19/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
4 MB

What People are saying about this

David Orr
Humanity's Footprint stands out because of its clarity, authenticity, and honesty. Dodds tackles issues with refreshing and impressive courage.

David Pimentel
The message contained in Humanity's Footprint is desperately needed. Very few books concerned with the environment are written and documented by a scientist who has a distinguished career in the investigation of natural ecosystems. There are not many books with as sufficient a breadth as Walter Dodds's book.

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.

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