Humanity's Footprint Momentum, Impact, and Our Global Environment

ISBN-10: 0231139675
ISBN-13: 9780231139670
Edition: 2008
Authors: Walter K. Dodds
List price: $32.00 Buy it from $3.62
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Description: For the first time in history, humans have exceeded the sustaining capacity of Earth's global ecosystems. Our expanding footprint has tremendous momentum. The insidious explosion of human impact today is creating a shockwave that will threaten  More...

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Book details

List price: $32.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 2/6/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

For the first time in history, humans have exceeded the sustaining capacity of Earth's global ecosystems. Our expanding footprint has tremendous momentum. The insidious explosion of human impact today is creating a shockwave that will threaten global ecosystems and their ability to support us for decades-possibly centuries. Walter Dodds's Humanity's Footprintdescribes in clear, nontechnical terms the root causes and global environmental effects of certain human behaviors and the steps necessary to curb these practices. He begins by documenting trends in population growth, resource use (economic activity, energy and water consumption, cultivation of croplands), and global environmental impacts (greenhouse effects, ozone depletion, water pollution, species extinctions and introductions) over the last two centuries. Along with well-known examples of impact, like the greenhouse effect, Dodds addresses less familiar developments, such as the spread of antibiotic resistant genes in bacteria and the concentration of pesticides in the Arctic and other remote ecosystems. He identifies fundamental human activities that make an indelible mark on the environment, such as unchecked reproduction and the pursuit of comfort, convenience, and wealth, and draws on recent social science and game theory research to explain why people are conditioned to use more than their share. Dodds warns that as resources grow scarce, humans will escalate their use of what remains instead of managing their consumption. Humanity's Footprintpaints a sobering scenario, but Dodds is optimistic that humans will be able to mobilize in the face of these societal threats. This is a planetary self-help book. The hurdles people must overcome are described accurately, as are the actions humanity must take to overcome them.

Walter K. Dodds is a professor of biology at Kansas State University and the author of Freshwater Ecology: Concepts and Environmental Applications. He researches water quality and aquatic biodiversity, is an investigator at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and leads the Kansas Ecological Forecasting Initiative.

Preface
Acknowledgments
Collision Course: An Expanding Appetite for Resources Coupled with Population Growth on a Finite Planet
The Insidious Explosion: Global Trends in Population Growth and Resource Use Expand Our Footprint
Shock Wave from the Insidious Explosion: Momentum of Human Effects on Our Planet
Weeds and Shrinking Violets: Pests on the Move and the Ecological Holocaust
Survival on a Finite Earth: The Ultimate Game, or Why Human Nature Destines Us to Use More Than Our Share
Why Humans Foul the Nest: Cultural and Genetic Roots Run Deep
Searching for Answers: Can We Achieve Sustainability, or Are We Screwed?
No More Business as Usual: Transcendence, Enlightenment, Rationalization, Hope, and Action
Consilience: Socioenvironmental Restoration and Sustainable Inhabitation of Earth
Data Sources Used to Make Graphs
Reading the Graphs in This Book
Putting Global Environmental Impact into a Quantitative Framework That Links Impact and Behavior
Some Organizations Involved with Global Environmental Issues
Notes
Index

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