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The best thing about this book is that it doesn't answer the question asked in its title. At least not directly. Joel Cohen understands that nobody really knows how many people can fit on our planet, thanks to constant technological advances in areas like crop yield. He is rightly skeptical of the Malthusian doomsayers who constantly predict catastrophe, but also shows that current rates of population growth cannot continue forever. A more extended discussion of politics might have helped--China's horrific one-child rule barely comes up--but for an honest treatment of human population dynamics, this is a very good source.
Biologist Cohen investigates the Earth's human carrying capacity.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Here is what I say in my own book (The Laws of Physics Are On My Side, 2013:57).
"For further definitions of carrying capacity, one can turn to Joel Cohen’s How Many... Read more
A very well researched work. It should be read by the leadership on the right and left. To say we are doomed is an understatement.Published on June 6, 2011 by Ken Counts
A lot of history of calculations for possible saturation point but not always the sustainable number. Has no actual conclusion or even a guess. Read morePublished on December 4, 2010 by jd soure
This is a highly technical and theoretical treatment with a heavy emphasis on quantitative analysis rather than social science or policy. Read morePublished on September 11, 2009 by James Bruner
""Surprisingly, in spite of the abundant data to the contrary, many people believe that human population grows exponentially. Read more