One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future / Edition 1

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Overview

Named a Notable Book for 2005 by the American Library Association, One with Nineveh is a fresh synthesis of the major issues of our time, now brought up to date with an afterword for the paperback edition. Through lucid explanations, telling anecdotes, and incisive analysis, the book spotlights the three elephants in our global living room-rising consumption, still-growing world population, and unchecked political and economic inequity-that together are increasingly shaping today's politics and humankind's future. One with Nineveh brilliantly puts today's political and environmental debates in a larger context and offers some bold proposals for improving our future prospect.

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Editorial Reviews

Nichols Fox
The title, One with Nineveh, taken from "Recessional," Rudyard Kipling's 1897 poem about arrogance and pride bringing about the collapse of a seemingly invulnerable Mesopotamian civilization, is timely. The Ehrlichs point to a number of strong and apparently invincible civilizations that vanished or significantly declined because of environmental miscalculations, arrogance, denial or wishful thinking. The obvious inference is made.
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The Ehrlichs' provocative and eminently readable look at current environmental trends takes its title from Rudyard Kipling's poem "Recessional," which contrasts the pomp of the 19th-century British empire to the faded glory of Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian empire. The Ehrlichs (Betrayal of Science and Reason), both members of Stanford's department of biological sciences, look at the global problems of overpopulation, overconsumption, and political and economic inequity that threaten to make the world into a new fallen Nineveh. Each of the book's nine chapters analyzes one area in detail (using current research in ecology, demographics, migration, economics, biodiversity, ethics, climate, politics and globalization) and then suggests measures "that might allow humanity in general, and the world's sole remaining superpower in particular, to alter course and work towards achieving a sustainable world." The prognosis is sometimes depressing: about three-fifths of all important oceanic fish stock has been seriously depleted since 1994; today's global population of six billion is about three times what Ehrlich considers to be the "optimal" number for the world; profligate consumption threatens to use up nonrenewable natural resources such as oil while governments inhibit the development of renewable sources such as solar power. The current Bush administration is the target of cogent criticism about how it has aided a culture "dominated by short-term greed," but Europe and various Third World countries receive their share of criticism as well. A concluding section embraces the philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr. to argue that idealism and individual action can still save the world from massive environmental disaster. Although wide-reaching in range, this is a direct and levelheaded presentation that should get, and deserves, wide readership. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597260312
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul R. Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies and Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. The author of The Population Bomb, Human Natures, and many other books, Ehrlich is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the Crafoord Prize (an explicit substitute for the Nobel Prize in fields of science in which the latter is not given).

Anne E. Ehrlich is affiliated with Stanford's Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Conservation Biology. She has served on the board of the Sierra Club and other conservation organizations, has coauthored ten books with her husband, and is a recipient of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : hostages to hubris 3
Ch. 1 The human predicament 17
Ch. 2 The costs of success 45
Ch. 3 The tide of population 76
Ch. 4 The consumption factor 112
Ch. 5 Technology matters 138
Ch. 6 Billions, birthrates, and policies 181
Ch. 7 Consuming less 206
Ch. 8 A culture out of step 237
Ch. 9 Human behavior at the millennium 264
Ch. 10 Sustainable governance in America 288
Ch. 11 Healing a world of wounds 318
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