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The Rapid Growth of Human Populations 1750-2000: Histories, Consequences, Issues, Nation by Nation Paperback – April 1, 2004

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0906522219 ISBN-10: 0906522218 Edition: illustrated edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[This] book will, I know, be invaluable in framing my arguments in the future." --Sir David Attenborough

About the Author

William Stanton has worked as a geologist for oil companies worldwide. He is a member of the Optimum Population Trust.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Multi-Science Publishing Co. Ltd.; illustrated edition edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0906522218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0906522219
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,079,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Nietzschean Lady on July 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Warning, this is a very disturbing book. If you are of the opinion that by the end of the 21st century there could be ten billion people living in good health, comfort, peace, and prosperity, then you are not ready to read this book. If you are a religious true believer who expects a deity to save all the faithful with miracles, don't bother reading anything other than your religious literature. If you are an economist who believes the magic of the free market will solve all problems, don't waste your valuable time here. On the other hand, if you understand geology, thermodynamics, and ecology you might be ready to hear Stanton's grim argument.

Suggested additional philosophical reading would include 'The Prince' by Machiavelli, 'Brave New World Revisited' by Huxley, and 'Beyond Good and Evil' by Nietzsche. Ecological readings should include 'Collapse' by Diamond, the series of 'Limits to Growth' books, and 'The Population Bomb' by Ehrlich. Finally, a good grounding in the phenomenon of 'Hubbert's Peak' aka 'peak oil' is essential. Several recent books have been published on the topic including 'Beyond Oil', 'Powerdown', 'Twilight in the Desert', 'Out of Gas', and 'The Oil Age is Over'.

Ok, if you can handle the truth, here it is. Before widespread fossil fuel use, human population was roughly 10% of the present level at maximum. The highest quality fossil fuels, oil and natural gas, are already nearing decline and production will be dramatically decreased by mid century. Coal could be used a few decades longer, but with devastating effects on climate and pollution. Barring a wholly unexpected miracle, development of alternative sources of energy, including nuclear, will only replace a fraction of the ten terawatts of energy humans use now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Staggs on February 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not for those interested in their "right" to make copies of themselves. In very clear language, the author puts forth 3 new concepts: Death Control (DC), Weak Restraints on Growth (WROG) and Violent Cutback Level (VCL). As the top of each page, the book posts a graph of a particular country or region and its population growth over time. In captions below each graph is a paragraph or two covering the salient points of a region's history, ref population.
The author makes several convincing arguments- monocultures can reach higher population densities than multicultures (NOT for the PC), genocide is the direct result of intercultural competion for critical resources, Demographic Transition Theory is a farce in practice and that Politically Correct (PC) taboos on discussing population control is willing "head-in-the-sand" behavior. Also interesting are the examples that Aggressive Breeding is currently intentionally being used as a tool of genocide.
Well worth the read, providing empirical data and cause/effect relationships that most people are too fearful to discuss.
Be aware that the most common comment made by breeders who see you reading this will be the recommendation that you kill yourself- so that they and their copies (children) can have more room for themselves- no kidding. Talk about Prima Facie evidence!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Reese (author of Sustainable or Bust) on May 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
It's heartbreaking being an older person during a population explosion, witnessing the effects of catastrophic progress, while remembering the lost goodness. William Stanton (1930-2010) grew up on a lovely English countryside. He became a geologist and wandered the world in search of metal-bearing ores. When he returned to Somerset in 1970, the healthy land of his childhood was in ecological ruins. England was suffering from a baby boom, growing by 300,000 each year. This inspired Stanton to embark on a voyage of learning, and in 2003 he published The Rapid Growth of Human Populations 1750-2000.

Explosive population growth was new to history, beginning roughly around 1750, driven by new advances in "death control." While birth rates remained very high, death rates were dramatically driven down by the introduction of sanitary sewers, municipal water, vaccines, and a sharp increase in the food supply, lubricated by the emergence of cheap and abundant fossil energy.

Prior to 1750, England was at carrying capacity, with five million people. The birth rate matched the death rate, and the lack of extra food made further growth impossible. Many lived on the edge of starvation, and were expected to die whenever harvests were below average, as they often were.

Then, extra food became available, first a trickle, and then a torrent. Colonial forests were being converted to cropland. European farmers began planting highly productive maize and potatoes from the New World. Soil fertility was sharply boosted by potent new fertilizers. New technology made farmers more productive. By decreasing the risks of starvation, the flood of additional food provided a huge advance in death control.
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