The Ehrlichs, articulate and respected advocates of global population control, present an unequivocal message: the world's growing population dwarfs the ecosystem's capacity to sustain life--either humanity will implement massive birth-control programs, or nature will intervene and greatly reduce the number of people through famines, plagues and ecodisasters. This important book (a sequel to Paul Ehrlich's 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb ) sounds an alarm we can ill afford to ignore. Proceeding country by country, the authors, Stanford environmental scientists, map the connections between overpopulation, exhaustion of soils and groundwater, global warming, pollution, depletion of resources, dwindling biodiversity and the widening gap between rich and poor nations. Recognizing that their cause will be an uphill battle, especially in the U.S., they outline steps the average person can take to support planned population shrinkage and a less ecologically wasteful lifestyle. Author tour. (Apr.)
It's been over 20 years since the publication of Ehrlich's warning volume The Population Bomb ( LJ 10/1/68). Here joined by Anne Ehrlich, he has written a book describing the detonation of and fallout from the overpopulation of the Earth. The dimensions of the problem--depletion of natural resources and the reduction in the Earth's biodiversity--are updated to include global warming, rain forest destruction, ozone depletion, and AIDS. After extensive presentation of each issue, written in lay language, the authors present their solutions: ``halt population growth . . . convert the economic system from one of growthism to one of sustainability . . . convert to more environmentally benign technologies.'' The authors clearly portray the magnitude of the problem and offer viable solutions. This is an important book, one deserving the attention of concerned citizens everywhere.-- Thomas J. Baldino, Juniata Coll., Huntingdon, Pa.
School Library Journal
YA-- An offering of practical solutions to individuals, families, nations, and international organizations for preserving the Earth. This is a thought-provoking book, demanding actions that could lead to a hopeful outcome for the Earth and its people. If citizens and public officials examine personal, national, and international lifestyles and provide grassroots leadership to confront population growth and the ensuing crisis, the Ehrlichs argue that there is cause for hope. Upbeat in approach, the book zeroes in on a high-priority concern in a conscientious and intelligent manner, rather than propagandizing or threatening through scare tactics, but the authors never sugar-coat their strong concern for the survival of an environmentally sound world able to sustain the human family and the entire ecosystem. This action-oriented book will provoke much discussion and will serve as an excellent resource for social-studies and ecology courses. --Mary T. Gerrity, Queen Anne School, Upper Marlboro, MD