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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 24 July 2013
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This review is from: Population 10 Billion (Paperback)
A well researched, fully referenced and very thoughtful book about how human numbers have changed in the past, how and why they are changing in different places now, and possible future scenarios. It steers a sensible path between denying problems ahead and predicting inevitable doom. This is not a quick read, nor should it be. It is a complex subject in which past predictions have often proved wrong. He presents a wealth of information, much of it should be common knowledge, but is not yet. There is not just one message in this book, but many. Well worth reading.
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Initial post: 30 May 2014 18:14:17 BDT
Unfortunately, the book is fatally flawed as it refers only to the problem of human overpopulation. His basic message is that 'It's ok, we CAN feed 10 billion people and then it'll tail off...' but fails to address what this would mean for the environment as a whole.

Earth is all that we - and the millions of species of plants and animals - have at present. Space is therefore limited. So to feed 10 billion, we face a future where all wild habitats become either farmlands or cities. Most animal and plant species are rendered extinct. There is no great outdoors anymore.

There are only crowds and crowds of people, competing for space. Noise, smells, discomfort, aggression...rats in a trap. Do you really want to live in a world where quantity means everything and quality of life nothing? Try reading J G Ballard's story 'Billennium' or Harry Harrison's novel "Make Room! Make Room!". They may be SF stories, but SF has an uncomfortable habit of coming true as technology rolls on.

Only consideration for quality of life against the mindless urge to procreate unchecked will save us now...or perhaps amass epidemic or some huge, unforeseen advance in technology. Otherwise, I'd suggest reading Emmott's '10 Billion' instead and avoiding this environment-denying tract from a writer who has no thought for the quality of life of people in the future. Who wants to live in an overcrowded world with no wild spaces?
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