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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1990

Timothy C. Weiskel and Richard A. Gray

The ecological decline of ancient Near Eastern civilizations and the violent and explosive characteristics of post‐Columbian colonial ecologies might well remain…

Abstract

The ecological decline of ancient Near Eastern civilizations and the violent and explosive characteristics of post‐Columbian colonial ecologies might well remain comfortably remote from us in our twentieth century world were it not for the disturbing parallels that such case histories seem to evoke as we consider our contemporary global circumstance. Just as in ancient times and in the age of colonial expansion, it is in the “remote environments,” usually quite distant from the centers of power, that the crucial indicators of environmental catastrophe first become apparent within the system as a whole. These regions are frequently characterized by weak economies and highly vulnerable ecosystems in our time, just as they were in the past. Accordingly, the environmental circumstances in these regions constitute for the modern world a kind of monitoring device that can provide early warnings of ecological instabilities in the global ecosystem.

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Reference Services Review, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Lester R. Brown

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Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1995

Josef Schmid

As a result of two closely related problems, namely the population problem in almost all parts of the world and the serious effects on the environment, thinking relating…

Abstract

As a result of two closely related problems, namely the population problem in almost all parts of the world and the serious effects on the environment, thinking relating to development has taken a new direction. Development is more and more closely linked to the question of population and the form of production which to a great extent affects technology and resources.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 15 no. 8/9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Lester R. Brown, Michael Renner and Brian Halweil

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Environmental Management and Health, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1981

John Haag

Few thoughtful men or women will deny, as we enter the last two decades of the twentieth century, that ours is truly an Age of Anxiety. Even in an America still uniquely…

Abstract

Few thoughtful men or women will deny, as we enter the last two decades of the twentieth century, that ours is truly an Age of Anxiety. Even in an America still uniquely stable and prosperous relative to much of the rest of the world, the general mood is no longer an optimistic one. For many of us the future appears clouded at best, perhaps laden with catastrophes. Clearly all of us are witnesses to, and in some cases participants in, a great turning point in human affairs. We thus find ourselves living in the end of one epoch while at the same time the rough outlines of a new civilisation come into view. Such momentous transformations of the social structure, economy and political landscape are invariably accompanied by, and often preceded by, major shifts of intellectual commitment. In other words, as our world has changed drastically in the twentieth century, basic patterns of thought and philosophical orientation have either reflected, or in some cases even helped to initiate, these changes. In the brief space allotted to us, we will attempt to present a sketch of the most important of these shifts in thought, always keeping in mind that because of the fact that we find ourselves in media res, these observations can be little more than fragmentary perceptions of a reality that has itself not yet been finalised.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 8 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1999

Daniel Caffey and Walter Block

This paper argues that the belief that the rapid growth of the human population will inevitably lead to a major ecological disaster is neither intuitively nor empirically…

Abstract

This paper argues that the belief that the rapid growth of the human population will inevitably lead to a major ecological disaster is neither intuitively nor empirically tenable. A significant portion of the world's pollution comes not from overpopulated poorer nations, but from Western nations with very low population growth rates. On the other hand, most of this damage is the result of misguided government policies, and not Western overconsumption. Overpopulation is not likely to be a problem environmentally because Malthusian predictions are often made based on the assumption that current rates of resource use and population growth rates will remain the same. Such assumptions ignore the critical role that adaptability has played in allowing humans to avert Malthusian crises. Substitution of products, innovative production methods, and technological changes all ensure in the long run, very few of the facts that predictions are based on will remain fixed.

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Humanomics, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

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International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1977

Geoffrey N. Calvert

The coming world struggle for food will be closely interwoven with inflation, with naked political power, with oil, with horrifying, excruciating choices for America, with…

Abstract

The coming world struggle for food will be closely interwoven with inflation, with naked political power, with oil, with horrifying, excruciating choices for America, with basic challenges for science, with changing weather systems, and with desperately needed capital formation. Its outcome is not clear, yet the future economic and political power of North America, and, in the longer run, the survival of mankind, are tied up in it. At its root is population growth.

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Planning Review, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0094-064X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1990

Timothy C. Weiskel and Richard A. Gray

Current news on environmental problems frequently emphasizes the totally unprecedented nature of the ecological crises that beset us in this nation and the Western world…

Abstract

Current news on environmental problems frequently emphasizes the totally unprecedented nature of the ecological crises that beset us in this nation and the Western world as a whole. We are told, for example, that the summer of 1988 constituted “the hottest summer on record” in North America. Similarly we hear mat Boston Harbor has never in its history been so polluted, and in European waters seal populations died of an epidemic in 1988 on a scale never before witnessed by man. By stressing this “never before” aspect of events, it is sometimes argued mat the experience of the past is largely irrelevant for policy planners. Since our circumstances are new, so the argument runs, past experience leaves us with little or no instruction for the formulation of a practical public policy for the environment.

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Reference Services Review, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Brian Joseph

Part I: Introduction This seems an interesting and exciting time to be thinking about and discussing the role and impact of science. The good luck is mine because when I…

Abstract

Part I: Introduction This seems an interesting and exciting time to be thinking about and discussing the role and impact of science. The good luck is mine because when I agreed to contribute this small paper, I had no idea that current events would conspire in the way they have.

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Humanomics, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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