Books  Sustainable Development  Politics, Policy & Planning  Environmental Policy 

Is the Planet Full?

  • Includes ten leading authors from ten different disciplines
  • Examines the intended and unintended consequences of population and economic growth
  • Long term and context-driven perspectives that subverts commonplace assumptions about population impacts on growth, consumption, and development
  • Provides new insights which aim to inform thinking and policy on critical population, economic, social, and environmental systems

By: Ian Goldin(Author)

245 pages, 21 illustrations, 10 tables

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Aug 2016 | #227290 | ISBN-13: 9780198784876
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £16.99 $22/€19 approx
Hardback | May 2014 | #210075 | ISBN-13: 9780199677771
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £31.99 $41/€35 approx

About this book

What are the impacts of population growth? Can our planet support the demands of the ten billion people anticipated to be the world's population by the middle of this century?

While it is common to hear about the problems of overpopulation, might there be unexplored benefits of increasing numbers of people in the world? How can we both consider and harness the potential benefits brought by a healthier, wealthier and larger population? May more people mean more scientists to discover how our world works, more inventors and thinkers to help solve the world's problems, more skilled people to put these ideas into practice?

In Is the Planet Full?, leading academics with a wide range of expertise in demography, philosophy, biology, climate science, economics and environmental sustainability explore the contexts, costs and benefits of a burgeoning population on our economic, social and environmental systems.

"Its [the book's] strengths lie in collecting together the diverse opinions of different thought leaders to provide a holistic interdisciplinary discourse around how we treat the planet and each other. A noteworthy overview of how we manage global issues, Is the Planet Full? is recommended for anyone interested in understanding what an increasing global population means to our present and future."
– Rebecca Jarvis, LSE blog, 01/05/2014


1: Ian Goldin: Introduction
2: Anthony B. Atkinson: Optimum Population, Welfare Economics, and Inequality
3: Toby Ord: Overpopulation or Underpopulation?
4: Sarah Harper: Demographic and Environmental Transitions
5: Ian Johnston: Towards a Contemporary Understanding of the Limits to Growth
6: H. Charles J. Godfray: How can 9-10 Billion People be Fed Sustainably and Equitably by 2050?
7: Mark New: Water Scarcity on a Blue Planet
8: Yadvinder Malhi: The Metabolism of a Human-Dominated Planet
9: Robyn Norton: Safe, Effective, and Affordable Health Care for a Bulging Population
10: Anthony Hartwell: Sourcing Mineral Resources: Problems and Solutions
11: Ian Goldin: Governance Matters Most

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Ian Goldin is the Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development at Oxford University. From 2001 to 2006 he was at the World Bank, first as Director of Policy and then as Vice President. Previously, he was advisor to President Mandela and Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa. He has been knighted by the French Government. Professor Goldin has published over fifty articles and eighteen books, including Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped our World and Will Define our Future (Princeton University Press, 2011), Globalization for Development: Meeting New Challenges (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Divided Nations: Why global governance is failing and what we can do about it (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Anthony B. Atkinson, University of Oxford
H. Charles J. Godfray, University of Oxford
Ian Goldin, University of Oxford
Sarah Harper, University of Oxford
Anthony Hartwell, University of Oxford
Ian Johnston, The Club of Rome
Yadvinder Malhi, University of Oxford
Mark New, University of Oxford
Robyn Norton, University of Sydney
Toby Ord, James Martin Fellow, University of Oxford

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