The State of Humanity Paperback – Illustrated, January 9, 1996
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" This book provides a comprehensive and balanced assessment of the state of the Earth and its inhabitants at the close of the twentieth century." Population Index, Vol 62 No. 2
From the Inside Flap
The State of Humanity is a magnificent and eye-opening synthesis of cultural, social, economic and environmental perspectives. It will interest all those - including geographers, economists, sociologists and policy makers - concerned to understand some of the most pressing problems of our time.
- ASIN : 155786585X
- Publisher : Wiley-Blackwell; 1st edition (January 9, 1996)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 708 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781557865854
- ISBN-13 : 978-1557865854
- Item Weight : 2.71 pounds
- Dimensions : 7 x 1.54 x 9.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,932,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The state of humanity provides several discrete chapters that list statistics, trends, and quantifiable facts concerning the true state of the world today. True, you can use statistics to lie, if you're vague. Simon's book is far from vague, with shovel-fulls of information relating to several topics: acid-rain, global temperatures, infant mortality, suicide, standards of living, and on and on...
You don't have to live on the street or in the third world to do research, to find out that life is better everywhere than its ever been.
For example, if you believed Ehrlich and Ted Danson in the 1970's that the Earth was on the cusp of another ice age, only now to believe that the Earth is warming rapidly, your extreme beliefs, no doubt influenced by a media that has little regard for facts, could stand a dose of reality from the information in this book. Of course, Simon is not the only writer to debunk the eco-extremists. Dr. S. Fred Singer, inventor of the satellite ozone monitoring system, is among the large percentage of globabl scientists who concur that there is indeed nothing wrong with the ozone layer. How could they come to such a conclusion? Probably a consideration of the facts, ones such as those Simon has amassed.
Far from culling information only from the western world, the statistics in this book are often global. Of course, this is a book largely composed of statistics. Regardless of the accuracy of the information, quantitative analyses such as this are purely for reference.
I suggest Simon's book not as the end-all-be-all of rational debate, but merely as one source of information. Simon, and the information he has gathered, do not speak conclusively on any issue. What you will most probably gain from reading this book is an understanding of the kind of evidence and material that is not even considered by those who make opposing arguments. Opinions may vary, but ultimately facts lend themselves only to a finite number of interpretations.
Most cultural debates have their ebbs and flows; I am glad to see this segment of the argument being constructed with facts and rationality, however incomplete they may be.