SFGate: A shocking look at our imperiled planet

Hieronymus Bosch’s ghastly depictions of hell meet their match in many of the real-life images collected in a sobering new book, “Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot.”

Published by San Francisco’s Goff Books in collaboration with the Population Media Center and the Population Institute, the book showcases more than 200 photographs — some displayed below — that are as bleak as they are beautiful, highlighting the alarming consequences of growth and consumption around the world.

The book’s photographs, writes William Ryerson in the introduction, are “emotionally jarring. The thoughts expressed herein are not reassuring; they are deeply provocative. But that is the nature of wake-up calls. The way that human numbers and behavior are transforming the Earth, undermining its ability to support the human family and the rest of life, is apparent for all to see. The reality of this urgent moment calls us to think, to care, and to act.”

“Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot” is the centerpiece of the Global Population Speak Out campaign. The book sells for $50, but free copies can be requested as part of the campaign.

A Global Population Speak Out panel discussion will be held at 7 p.m. March 27 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. Panelists will include Musimbi Kanyoro, executive director of the Global Fund for Women; Bill Ryerson, president and founder of PMC; and Dr. Martha Campbell, founder and president of Venture Strategies for Health and Development. Admission is free, but guests must email


Featured Books

Chile's Wilderness Jewel

Antonio Vizcaino

The Great Wetlands of Argentina

Juan Ramón Díaz Colodrero

Antonio Vizcaíno and Douglas Tompkins 

Antonio Vizcaíno

Antonio Vizcaino

with Douglas Tomkins and President Sebastian Pinera