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Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot.
Goff. May 2015. 330p. ed. by Tom Butler. photos. ISBN 9781939621238. $50. SCI
Edited by Butler (Wildlands Philanthropy), this large-format book combines hundreds of dramatic full-page photographs with quotations and heartfelt essays to create a powerful impact. The main message is that our exploding population must be controlled and ultimately reduced. Planetary resources can’t sustain today’s seven billion striving humans, and we have crossed tipping points into disruptive climate change. Remaining wilderness and wildlife are being devastated by relentless human consumption. The essayists call for voluntary simplicity, freely available contraceptives, sex education, and the end of child marriage. The photographers depict people and their works from around the world in a mostly frightening light. The book’s final sections hold out some hope that we might renounce greed and establish a sustainable population without catastrophe. This title is part of Global Population Speak Out, an international awareness campaign, which includes a website and other social media. Four thousand copies are being sent to international opinion leaders and policymakers. VERDICT This accessible work ought to make readers uncomfortable: it tells us there are too many people now and that there are soon to be many more, and our collective activities, including industrial agriculture and feedlots, are degrading our only home.—David R. Conn, formerly with Surrey Libs., BC