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Too Smart for our Own Good: The Ecological Predicament of Humankind 1st Edition
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"[Dilworth's] economics discussions are on target. I congratulate him on his very comprehensive undertaking." Herman Daly, author of Steady-State Economics
"An impressive volume--comprehensive and scholarly. The book's central ideas are of critical importance for humankind." Tony (AJ) McMichael, author of Human Frontiers, Environments and Disease (Cambridge University Press, 2001).
"[Dilworth] writes extremely well, is widely read, and has a unique wealth of knowledge. This book is unique in its coverage and presentation; and the examples it provides are excellent." David Pimentel, Cornell University; editor of Food, Energy and Society
"... a very fine piece of work, and most welcome as we humans careen toward crisis and disaster. I hope the book gets widely discussed and perhaps even starts to change the extraordinarily ignorant, fantasy-driven media discussions of contemporary problems that seem to focus on aspects of ideology and belief to the neglect of the underlying processes that, I increasingly fear, are driving us to ruin. ... I like the book very much. It is a piece of first-rate scholarship written in a clear and engaging style. ... I would like to see this book widely read by a literate general audience. It could also serve as the basic text for upper division courses in human ecology in departments of anthropology, sociology, geography (and maybe even economics)." Allen W. Johnson, co-author of The Evolution of Human Societies
"Dilworth's book is an exceptionally 'good read' and is a synthesis of many important components (ecological, social, and technological) that are commonly treated in isolation from each other. Information is provided in a systematic and orderly way, and the flow from one idea to the next is almost seamless. The book also has a wealth of useful references. ... [It] is well written and should be important to anyone interested in the future of civilization and Homo sapiens. Such breadth and depth in a single book are rare." Environmental Conservation
"I would honestly have to say that this is one of the most important books I've ever read." Ronnie Wright, World Change Café (www.aclimateforchange.org)
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Top Customer Reviews
The importance the book gives to overpopulation is especially important to me, because in 1966 I began a career in what we could then call international "birth control" (now "family planning"). At that time, the world population was only a fraction over 3 billion (vs. 7 billion today). I abandoned the career after 10 years, because no nation was willing to try to stop its population growth. And ever since I have been looking for a book that explains humankind's recurrent problem of overpopulation, and why China appears still to be the only nation that is trying to stop its population growth as quickly as is humanely possible. After all these years, I have finally found the explanation I have been looking for. Dr. Dilworth has provided it in both a short and a long form.
The short form of the explanation is encapsulated in Dr. Dilworth's presentation of his elegantly simple but profound vicious circle principle. The long form consists of his multidisciplinary theory of the development of humankind, in which the principle is applied to the entire 200,000 years of Homo sapiens' existence. The book references work in such diverse fields as public health, geology, climatology, genetics, biology, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, evolution, economics, agronomy, engineering and the hard sciences.Read more ›
The key principle in the book, however, is Dilworth's vicious circle principle. According to it, the reason for the excessive growth of the human population, while the populations of other species tend to vacillate about a mean, lies ultimately in our ability to develop and apply new technology (thus making us "too smart for our own good").Read more ›
The presentation of the argument is encyclopedic and patient: opening with the definition of a few key principles of physics, biology, and chemistry, Dilworth next observes that an ecological perspective has recently become fashionable in archaeology and anthropology. The same approach has likewise been proposed in economics, but it has found little resonance there; accordingly, the historical introduction to this field is disappointingly brief.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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