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Life Sciences - Ecology | Humans on Earth - From Origins to Possible Futures

Humans on Earth

From Origins to Possible Futures

With a Foreword by Paul Epstein

Santos, Filipe Duarte

2012, XVIII, 410 p.

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  • An impressive study of how we got here and what options the future holds Provides a comprehensive survey of the factors affecting earth's future A leading scientist offers persuasive discussion of mankind's role and responsibility for our planet

This is a wide-ranging and persuasive book written by an undisputed expert. Beginning with a broad history of the Universe, Earth, Life, and Man, it considers the origins and rise of science and technology, before moving on to discuss the present state of the world and its/our possible futures. Humans on Earth then addresses the main challenges for  social and economic development in the 21st century in the context of global  change. It presents a detailed but non-technical analysis of questions relating to climate change, our dependence on fossil fuels, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, and air, water, soil, and ocean pollution, as well as problems related to overpopulation, poverty, social and economic inequalities, and conflict potential. The three main, but largely mutually exclusive, discourses on human development and the environment are described and discussed. The main emphasis is on the risks and uncertainties of the short-term future – the next 50 to 100 years – with regard to environmental degradation and the sustainability of our growth paradigm.

 

 "... a sweeping, thoughtful view of the role of humans in shaping our modern world."
Paul Epstein, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School

 

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Depletion of resources - Environmental degradation - Global change - Impact of humans - Saving the planet - Science and technology - Social and economic inequieties - Sustainable development

Related subjects » Applications - Development Economics - Ecology - Energy Technology - Environmental Sciences - Life Sciences

Table of contents 

1. Science and Technology. From the Origins up to the Twenty-First Century.- 2. A Very Brief History of the Universe, Earth,  and Life.- 3. The Contemporary Situation.- 4. The Future.- 5. Human Development and Environmental Discourses.

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