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Ten Billion by [Emmott, Stephen]
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Ten Billion Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This muscular but anxious broadside by Emmott, a Cambridge scientist, predicts a bleak future of critical shortages, droughts, starvation, and natural disasters once the Earth's population reaches the book's eponymous number. Whether it's water or food, population trends mean that present levels of consumption can't continue. The author is forceful, if frantic, in supplying the numbers. Forty percent of the planet is already devoted to agriculture, with governments and conglomerates in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia quickly gobbling up the remaining land. As the global population grows in number and wealth, the demand for food and resource-depleting consumer goods will rise. With a few hair-raising facts, Emmott deftly demonstrates that production is itself consumption: One liter of bottled water requires four liters to produce; a hamburger takes 800 gallons. Whereas technology helped forestall crises in the past, it now uses up the very resources it's designed to preserve. Water desalination, for instance, requires energy intensive and releases many pollutants. Nuclear power would offer short-term hope but remains unpopular. The author sees only "radical behavior change" as a viable solution but does not say how this would work. Emmott's facts are enough to shake steely optimists, though the book's Malthusian pathos could be a bit cloying even for like-minded pessimists. (Sept.)


“A rallying call to arms. . . . Succinct and righteously pessimistic. . . . [with] an indispensible message to galvanize a world in potential crisis.”
    —Kirkus Reviews

Praise from the U.K. for TEN BILLION

“The cumulative effect of [Emmott’s] uncluttered, unadorned prose, buttressed with graphs and illustrations, is significant. . . . A spine-chilling warning of the environmental disaster that awaits the Earth.”
    —The Daily Telegraph (4 stars)
“Powerful. . . . Compelling. . . . The shift in thinking that will be needed if we are to prepare ourselves for living in a different world begins with reading Emmott's indispensable book.”
    --The Guardian 
"A stark, simple and short warning about the coming catastrophe, which [Emmott] feels is inevitable, resulting from human overpopulation and over-exploitation of the world’s resources. . . . A valuable contribution to rekindling a discussion on global population that has waxed and waned in the two centuries since Thomas Robert Malthus first brought the issue to public attention."
      --Financial Times

Acclaim for the theater production of TEN BILLION, performed by Stephen Emmott at London's Royal Court Theatre:

"This an hour of Matrix moments, of reminders of what underlies our daily lives. It's freeing to face the facts as well as alarming. . . . It informs, unsettles, provokes. Job done." --The Times (London)

"Professor Emmott argues his case with an implacable logic. He is quiet, humane and deeply concerned and when he says . . . 'I think we're fucked,' you have to believe him." --The Guardian (London)

"A new kind of talk . . . a daring one-man show in which Emmott desperately strives to pull together into one grand and devastating portrait the many ways we are impacting the planet." --New Scientist

Product details

  • File Size: 5200 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (September 10, 2013)
  • Publication Date: September 10, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BVJG1Y8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,575 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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September 10, 2013
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