Book review - Life on the
Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation
Part 1 - Driving Animal Life On Planet Earth
The brilliant Harvard University biologist, Edward O. Wilson, addressed
human overpopulation with this statement, “It’s not the Nature of human
beings to be cattle in glorified feedlots. Every person deserves
the option to travel easily in and out of the complex and primal world
that gave us birth. We need freedom to roam across land owned by
no one but protected by all, whose unchanging horizon is the same that
bounded the world of our millennial ancestors. Only in what remains of
Eden, teeming with life-forms independent of us, is it possible to experience
the kind of wonder that shaped the human psyche at its birth.”
Unfortunately, as humanity piles itself up at 80 million net gain
annually, 1 billion added every 12 years and on its way from 7.1 billion
in 2013 to over 10.1 billion by 2050—all life on Earth faces a portentous
In the face of that future, Colorado State University philosophy
Professor Philip Cafaro and Professor Eileen Crist of Virginia
Tech, authored: Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation.
While many Americans watch the political unrest of countries in
Africa such as Egypt, Syria and Libya, few connect the dots as to endless
human population growth, food shortages, water depletion and energy exhaustion.
At an unsustainable 80 million today in Egypt, demographers project
that country to exceed 138 million within 38 years. Their only form
of birth control remains to dig yet another canal off the Nile River and
fill it with mud dwellings, no sewer, little food and accelerating poverty.
While Africa houses nearly 1 billion in 2013, that ancient land expects
to grow to 1.8 billion by 2050 and on to 3.1 billion by the end of this
The question begs an answer: where will the wild things go for food,
water and raising of their offspring? How will they survive the
human horde scavenging the land for food? Answer: they won’t!
Today, over 2.5 to 3.0 billion people live on $2.00 per day. Over
2.5 billion lack toilets and running water. Yet, humanity plunges
into accelerating fecundity with intrepid stupidity.
As of 2013, according to United Kingdom Oxford’s Norman Myers life-long
studies on human encroachment on animal habitat around the world, extinction
rates run from 80 to 100 creatures DAILY around the planet. Those
numbers cannot help but accelerate with the added 3.1 billion added humans
within 38 years.
“Upwards of two hundred species…mostly of the large, slow-breeding
variety…are becoming extinct here every day because more and more of the
earth's carrying capacity is systematically being converted into human
carrying capacity. These species are being burnt out, starved out, and
squeezed out of existence. Thanks to technologies that most people, I'm
afraid, think of as technologies of peace. I hope it will not be too long
before the technologies that support our population explosion begin to
be perceived as no less hazardous to the future of life on this planet
than the endless production of radioactive wastes.” Daniel Quinn
In this book, Cafaro and Crist feature over a dozen of the finest
environmental minds on the planet. These “Galileo’s of the 21stcentury”
bring you the stark realities that humanity faces.
Can our species change course? It will take a “consciousness
shift” through books like this one that educate Americans, Canadians,
Europeans, Australians, Chinese, Indians, South Americans and Africans.
Once educated, a profound “critical mass shift” must take the knowledge
into action. That allows a “tipping point” where humanity stabilizes,
then reduces its numbers gracefully via birth control and family planning
all over the planet.
If we humans refuse to move on the knowledge within this book and
many other emerging books like it, Mother Nature will bring her weight
onto the environmental ball field. As we have seen with Hurricanes
Katrina and Sandy, she grows merciless. And, she always bats last.
This book must be read by every citizen and passed on to the leaders
of all countries in order to create the new paradigm where humanity lives,
works and stabilizes its numbers into a sustainable balance with all life
"The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence,
sustainability is but a fragile theoretical construct. To say, as
many do, that the difficulties of nations are not due to people, but to
poor ideology and land-use management is sophistic.” Harvard scholar
and biologist E.O. Wilson
Part 2: Does the rest of life on Earth matter? Impacts of destructive
population momentum, why the silence on population? The great backtrack.
Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation
Authors: Philip Cafaro, Eileen Crist
Publisher: The University of Georgia Press, www.ugapress.org
Price $24.95 www.amazon.com
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the
Arctic to the South Pole - as well as eight times across the USA, coast
to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle,
Norway to Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America.
He presents "The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can
do about it" to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges.
He speaks all over the United States on his latest book: How to
Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World. Copies
at 1 888 280 7715. Programs click: http://www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com