A leading environmental writer looks at the unexpected effects—and possible benefits—of a shrinking, graying population
Over the last century, the world’s population quadrupled and fears of overpopulation flared, with baby booms blamed for genocide and terrorism, and overpopulation singled out as the primary factor driving global warming. Yet, surprisingly, it appears that the population explosion is past its peak—by mid-century, the world’s population will be declining for the first time in over seven hundred years. In The Coming Population Crash, veteran environmental writer Fred Pearce reveals the dynamics behind this dramatic shift and describes the environmental, social, and economic effects of our surprising demographic future.
About the Author
Fred Pearce is a former news editor at New Scientist. Currently that magazine's environment and development consultant, he has also written for Audubon, Popular Science, Time, the Boston Globe, and Natural History. His books include With Speed and Violence, When the Rivers Run Dry, Keepers of the Spring, Turning Up the Heat, and Deep Jungle. He lives in England.
“Well-written and important. . . . The book discusses the impact of the green revolution, massive migration, the Chinese one-child family programme, declining birth rates in the developing world, the rise of death rates in Russia, and more. Even those of us who have been in the population business for half a century can learn from its coverage of controversial topics. We hope [The Coming Population Crash] will convince many decision-makers, especially in the U.S., that they ignore population issues at their peril.”—Paul and Anne Ehrlich, New Scientist
“[Pearce] weaves the views of many of the world’s top demographers together with first-hand reporting from the slums of Mumbai and ghost towns of east Germany to bring to life what could easily have turned into a drab bit of statistical analysis. It doesn’t.”—Danny Fortson, Sunday Times (London)
“[A] fascinating analysis of how global population trends have shaped, and been shaped by, political and cultural shifts . . . Highly readable and marked by first-class reportage."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Fascinating [and] optimistic.” —Jon Stewart, The Daily Show