Global Population Growth and the Demise of Nature

Environmental Values 5 (4):285-301 (1996)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Global human population expansion is rooted in a remarkably successful evolutionary innovation. The neolithic transformation of the natural world gave rise to a symbiosis between humans and their domesticated plant and animal partners that will expand from a current 20 per cent to 60 percent of terrestrial biomass by the middle of the coming century. Such an increase must necessarily be accompanied by a concomitant decrease in wildlife biomass. We suggest that current trends in population growth are unlikely to abate for three reasons: first, there are intrinsic biological pressures to reproduce regardless of social engineering; second, the character of the domestic alliance makes it a formidable competitor to wildlife; and third, the timeframe before population doubling is, from a biological perspective, virtually instantaneous. This paper draws from a wide body of research in the biological and social sciences. We neither condone nor endorse this picture of inexorable population increase. Rather, we appeal for a change in the nature of the discussion of population among environmentalists, to focus on the question of how best to manage what wildlife will be left on the margins of a domesticated world.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,419

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Human population growth: Local dynamics-global effects.Frank Dochy - 1995 - Acta Biotheoretica 43 (3):241-247.
A Fundamental Principle Governing Populations.Marvin Chester - 2012 - Acta Biotheoretica 60 (3):289-302.
Limits to Growth?Derek Lovejoy - 1996 - Science and Society 60 (3):266 - 278.
The End of the Green Revolution.Scott D. Soby - 2013 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (3):537-546.
The galilean turn in population ecology.Mark Colyvan & Lev R. Ginzburg - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):401-414.
Population thinking as trope nominalism.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):91 - 109.
Is Coerced Fertility Reduction to Preserve Nature Justifiable?Frank W. Derringh - 2001 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 8 (1):21-30.


Added to PP

7 (#1,045,441)

6 months
1 (#452,962)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references