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Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet by [Rob Hengeveld]

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Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“This is a fresh new way of looking at our core problems on the planet—a different lens to try to understand why we’re having such problems and how we might find better paths.”

-- Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“Rob Hengeveld provides a broad history of humanity's impacts on Earth's life support systems, leading to today’s pivotal and dangerous moment.  Wasted World is a sobering read that provides us with an understanding of how this urgent situation came to be.  It is possible to pull Earth back from the brink—if we act on Hengeveld’s message.”
-- Gretchen Daily, Stanford University

“In this detailed study, biogeographer Hengeveld (affiliated with the Centre for Ecosystem Studies of Alterra, Wageningen, the Netherlands) tackles the dilemma of reconciling the way we live with the future effect our habits will have on the planet. Tracing our origins from the first reproducing cells to today’s massive global economy, Hengeveld describes how all life depends on energy to thrive.”

Publishers Weekly

“In profiling the massive buildup of global waste and its consequent threat to the environment, Hengeveld doesn’t mince words here in arguing that the primary culprit behind this crisis is overpopulation. Beginning with an overview of the energy-consumption cycles observed in most natural organisms, where waste products are usually recycled back into the earth, Hengeveld catalogs the obvious evidence that humankind has long passed the point of environmental equilibrium. His core chapters on exhausting and wasting resources highlight the damage done by deforesting, overexploiting fossil fuels, and tainting our freshwater supplies while demonstrating how all of these problems have been triggered by runaway societal expansion.”


“Ecologist Rob Hengeveld’s Wasted World is a monumental cri de Coeur. . . . In Wasted World, Hengeveld’s intellectual compass is firmly aligned with the powerful decades-old environmental rhetoric of thinkers such as environmentalist Donella Meadows (co-author of The Limits to Growth; Universe Books, 1972) and population biologist Paul Ehrlich. Hengeveld argues that we are depleting resources and polluting the environment faster than human survival can bear — literally ‘wasting’ the planet.To his credit, Hengeveld squanders no space on using resources more efficiently in support of economic growth. He homes in on how the human population already exceeds Earth's capacity.”


“The historical coverage is . . . impressive in helping to expose how centuries of human development have landed us here, with society on the brink of collapse.  Given the book’s title, one would be forgiven for thinking that this work is just about waste: it is, but it is more besides. Rob Hengeveld successfully reveals how population size, resource exploitation and the threat of system collapse are all interrelated issues that humanity must face up to if it is to avert collapse and have a future on planet Earth.”
Times Higher Education --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Rob Hengeveld is affiliated with the Centre for Ecosystem Studies of Alterra, Wageningen, the Netherlands, and was an honorary professor in the Department of Animal Ecology at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Publisher : The University of Chicago Press (March 1, 2012)
  • Publication date : March 1, 2012
  • Language : English
  • File size : 703 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 356 pages
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

Customer reviews

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Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2012
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Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2016
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2015

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Guttersnipe Das
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for Human Survival.
Reviewed in Japan on June 1, 2012
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