This book revisits the findings of The Global 2000 Report to the President - commissioned by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 - and presents an up-to-date overview, informed by the earlier projections, of such critical topics as population, water, food, energy, climate change, deforestation, and biodiversity. It examines current environmental trends in order to consider the state of the global environment over the next 30 years and discusses what can be done now to achieve ecological security. The authors find that the world population will likely continue to level off, but the population decline in many industrialized countries will create new socioeconomic and political problems - including the "reverse demographic shock" of disproportionately large aging populations. Although world food production is likely to increase at a rate that keeps up with population growth, greater demand in China as well as distributional issues will keep significant numbers of people malnourished. In addition to these continuing scarcity issues, ecological insecurity may increase because of new threats that include global warning, loss of biodiversity, bioinvasion, and the rapid worldwide growth of new diseases. The book not only analyzes the nature of these impending problems but suggests ways to solve them.
This book does a first-rate job of bringing the arguments set out in The Limits to Growth up to date. But more important, it carefully lays out future trends that must be dealt with if an ecologically secure life is to be possible for our grandchildren. I recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about addressing now the critical problems that will shape the fortunes of future generations. --Paul R. Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University, author of One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future "This is a superb and balanced collection of essays on all aspects of the global resource crunch and what to do about it. Highly recommended for all those seeking intelligent analysis of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, and especially useful as a supplemental text for courses on world security, international relations, and environmental politics." --Michael Klare, Hampshire College, author of Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict "Too often we look at just a small, compartmentalized piece of the global environment. Pirages and Cousins have eschewed this approach and assembled under one cover a wide array of cross-cutting environmental issues that interrelate in obvious but also unforeseen ways. This holistic treatment brings into sharper focus the magnitude of the environmental challenges we face." --Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Director, Environmental Change and Security Project, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
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Dennis Pirages is Harrison Professor of International Environmental Politics at the University of Maryland. He is the author or editor of many books on political and environmental issues and contributed to The Global 2000 Report to the President. Ken Cousins is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland.