Countdown : Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth

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Every four days there are a million more people on the planet. More people and fewer resources. In this timely work, Alan Weisman examines how we can shrink our collective human footprint so that we don't stomp any more species - including our own - out of existence. The answer: reducing gradually and non-violently the number of humans on the planet whose activities, industries and lifestyles are damaging the Earth. Defining an optimum human population for the Earth is an explosive concept. Weisman, one of the most brilliant environmental writers, will travel the globe, from the settlements of Israel and the plains of Mexico to the bustling streets of Pakistan and the teeming cities of the UK. In his search for answers, he will speak to religious leaders, demographers, ecologists, economists, engineers and agriculturalists in what promises to be an international classic.

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  • Paperback | 528 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 40mm | 724g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Little, Brown
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • black and white, integrated throughout - approx. 15
  • 1408702665
  • 9781408702666
  • 309,239

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Weisman offers heart-rending portrayals of nations already suffering demographic collapse ... A realistic, vividly detailed exploration of the greatest problem facing our species. Kirkus (starred review) Provocative and sobering, this vividly reported book raises profound concerns about our future. Publishers Weekly (starred review) Unflinching and ready for anything, Weisman's Countdown tackles the biggest question facing not only us, but every other living thing on earth. How many people can there be on the earth? Written with extraordinary clarity, without all the arm-waving and doomsaying that seems to kill the conversation, his first-hand tour of the globe offers both worst case scenarios and the most hopeful futures we can imagine. Craig Childs, author of Apocalyptic Planet Countdown converts globetrotting research into flowing journalism, highlighting a simple truth: there are, quite plainly, too many of us. A world that understands Weisman's words will understand the pressing need for change. Bill Streever, author of Cold and Heat [Weisman] asks a really tough question: what will happen on the warming earth if our population continues to grow? ... Weisman boldly traveled to more than 20 diverse countries, from India to Italy to Japan, instigating remarkably candid conversations with religious leaders, scientists, and public-health experts. Spirited descriptions, a firm grasp of complex material and a bomb defuser's steady precision make for a riveting read ... Rigorous and provoking, Countdown will spur many a debate. Booklist, starred review

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About Alan Weisman

Alan Weisman is the author of several books, including The World Without Us, an international bestseller translated into thirty-four languages, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the Wenjin Book Prize of the National Library of China. His work has been selected for many anthologies, including The Best American Science Writing. An award-winning journalist, his reports have appeared in Harper's, the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Discover, Vanity Fair, Wilson Quarterly, Mother Jones and Orion, and on NPR. A former contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he is a senior producer for Homelands Productions. He lives in western Massachusetts.

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