Other Books and Items

Full House: Reassessing the Earth's Population Carrying Capacity

by Lester R. Brown and Hal Kane

Constraints imposed by the Earth's natural systems, the environmental degradation of land and water resources, and the diminishing backlog of yield-raising agricultural technologies are slowing the growth in world food production, raising questions about the Earth's population carrying capacity. At the same time, record additions to population are projected. The question now is: how many people can the Earth feed? And at what level of consumption?

The bottom line, according to authors Lester Brown and Hal Kane, is that the world's farmers can no longer be counted on to feed adequately the projected additions to our numbers. Achieving a humane balance between food and people now depends more on family planners than on farmers.

Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity

by Sandra Postel

As we approach the 21st century, we are entering a new era—an era of water scarcity. We have taken for granted seemingly endless supplies of water flowing from reservoirs, wells, and diversion projects; access to water has been key to food security, industrialization, and the growth of cities.

In Last Oasis, author Sandra Postel explains that decades of profligacy and mismanagement of the world's water resources have produced signs of shortages and environmental destruction. She writes with authority and clarity of the limits—ecological, economic, and political—of this vital natural resource. She explores the potential for conflict over water between nations, and between urban and rural residents. And she offers a sensible way out of such struggles.

How Much Is Enough? The Consumer Society and the Future of the Earth

 

by Alan Thein Durning

The wildfire advance of the consumer lifestyle around the globe marks the most rapid and fundamental change in day-to-day existence the human species has ever experienced. Over a few short generations, we in the affluent fifth of humanity have become car drivers, television watchers, mall shoppers, and throwaway buyers.

The tragic irony is that while the consumer society has been stunningly effective in harming the environment, it has failed to provide us with a sense of fulfillment. Consumerism has hoodwinked us into gorging on material things because we suffer from social, psychological, and spiritual hungers. Yet the opposite extreme, "poverty," may be even worse for the human spirit and devastates the environment too, as hungry peasants put forests to the torch and steep slopes to the plow.

Saving the Planet: How to Shape an Environmentally Sustainable Global Economy

by Lester R. Brown, Christopher Flavin, and Sandra Postel

Two decades after the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, the world faces a choice between reforming its economic and political systems or risking a future of irreversible ecological decline, according to Saving The Planet. "The challenge is to go beyond responding to disasters, to shaping environmentally healthy societies," say the book's authors, Lester Brown, Christopher Flavin, and Sandra Postel.