SKU paperback Category

185 in stock


By David Jordan

ISBN: 9781847479259
Published: 2009
Pages: 287
Key Themes: global over-population, environment, research, human and environmental health, global political and environmental inter-relatedness


The human population has increased sixfold in little over 150 years and may already be well past its safe and sustainable level. Forests are rapidly disappearing and deserts are expanding. Much if the world’s agricultural land is degraded, water crisis and peak oil are looming and the planet is dangerously heating up. 70% of biologists believe that the sixth mass extinction is underway.

Meanwhile the world adds 78 million extra people every year – a population the size of Germany. 2.5 billion will be added by 2050. Every day 24,000 people die of hunger and its related diseases and 100,000 people are added to the world’s slum population.

The author draws on publications such as the Millennium Ecosystem Report, various UN reports and those of the IPCC, together with news articles from around the world to examine the health of the planet and what the future may hold.

About the Author

David Jordan is an honours graduate and public servant. He is an enthusiastic researcher of genetics, evolutionary biology and environmental issues with a particular interest in population and its impacts and consequences.

He has had one other book published to date: Clinical Depression: Unleashing the Terminator.

Book Extracts


In the last 150 years the human race has undergone a massive population explosion due to improvements in life expectancy, in medicine and in agriculture supported by cheap and abundant fossil fuels. However it has become a population overshoot with numbers exceeding the earth’s safe carrying capacity. The world population in 1804 was 1 billion. By 1900 it had reached 1.6 billion. By 2000 it was 6.1 billion. By 2007, 6.7 billion. The world’s population now grows by some 78 million every year. That’s like adding a country the size of Germany every year. The consequences are diminishing resources, the destruction of the natural environment, the sixth mass extinction in the planets history and global warming. Over the last 20 years the world population has increased by 34%. To sustain present consumption levels we would need a planet 25% larger. With the population soaring to a projected 9.2 billion by 2050 there is bound to be a crunch, most likely several crunches. By 2050 it is estimated that we will be consuming the resources of two planets and the implications for future generations are ominous. This essay explains when how and why this population explosion took place and examines some of the present and possible future consequences for people and the planet.


September 11 2001 was a terrible day. Not only did 3,000 people die in a terrorist attack in the USA, but around 24,000 people died of starvation and another 15,000 of either AIDS or water borne diseases. 82 species became extinct and 154,000 acres of rainforest were destroyed. But whilst 9/11 was a one off, these other events occur every single day. Terrorist recruitment and extremist groups thrive on poverty, deprivation, frustration and hopelessness. These are more likely in countries which have youth bulges as many countries now have. Youth bulges are to be found in 100 nations in the developing world. Between 1970 and 1999, 80% of all civil conflicts occurred in countries in which 60% or more of the population was under 30. Governments and businesses in countries with young populations have a difficult time providing so many youths with education and meaningful employment. The result can feed unrest and conflict.

• 20% of the world’s population control 80% of global wealth. The richest 500 people in the world control as much wealth as the poorest 3.25 billion. 12.3 million people are enslaved according to the International Labour Organisation.
• 99% of the world’s population growth is expected in the least developed countries and widespread famine, environmental destruction and social collapse are inevitable.

• 40% of the earth’s surface is given over to agriculture. This figure was 7% in 1700.

• World meat production is expected to double by 2050. Meat reduces the total numbers, which the world can support.

• According to the WHO 3.7 billion people are malnourished. Every day over 30,000 children die of hunger or easily preventable diseases before their 5th birthday.

• The ancient civilisation on Easter Island is thought to have collapsed because of overpopulation.

• The richest 1/5 of the world have 80% of it’s wealth whilst the poorest 1/5 have 1% of the worlds wealth.

• The pursuit of growth has led to demands which are overwhelming the planet’s resources and its ability to absorb waste.

• All nations in living memory, which rose from third world status, had family planning programmes during their ascendancy. No nation has ever moved to 1st world status without reducing its fertility below 2.3 children per woman. The link between population growth, wretchedness and war is clear and predictable.

• 4.8 billion people in the world are poor. For half the world’s population a toilet is an unknown luxury.

• All newborn babies have hazardous chemicals in their bodies.

• Between 1965 and 1999 there were 73 civil wars, mostly driven by greed to control resources such as oil, diamonds, copper, coco and even bananas.

• In Vietnam the economy has doubled in the last 10 years but its environment, one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, has rapidly deteriorated. Impoverished people are usually forced to destroy their environment to survive.

• In the Middle East 58% of the population are under 25 and 25% of young people are unemployed.

• Population momentum lasts 75 years.

• A woman in Sierra Leone or Afghanistan has a 1 in 6 lifetime chance of dying during childbirth or pregnancy. In Sweden it is 1 in 29,800. (British Medical Journal Sept 07)

• Two million people die every year because of air pollution.

• 38% of pregnancies are unplanned.

• The UN predicts 1.8 billion people will suffer water scarcity by 2025.

• The world presently adds a billion people every 13 years, without abortion this would be every 8 years.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.