The Coming Population Crash
and Our Planet's Surprising Future
By Fred Pearce
(Beacon Press, Paperback, 9780807001226)
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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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.
Fred Pearce is an award-winning former news editor at New Scientist. Currently its environmental and development consultant, he has also written for Audubon, Popular Science, Time, the Boston Globe, and Natural History, and writes a regular column for the Guardian. He has been honored as UK environmental journalist of the year, among his other awards. His many books include When the Rivers Run Dry, With Speed and Violence(Beacon / 8573-8 / $16.00 pb), and Confessions of an Eco-Sinner (Beacon / 8595-0 / $16.00 pb). Pearce 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
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org