Where We Stand: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet

By Seymour Garte | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Global Welfare and
the Human Population

It is much more difficult to characterize the living conditions of the entire human population than those of a particular country (such as the United States) because it is a historical truism that the world is very diverse and conditions always vary greatly in different regions. This is also true when discussing trends in the scope and direction of changes in the human condition.

Some changes tend to be more global than others, although it is safe to say that the global nature of events and changes in living conditions have increased in the modern age of rapid communication and transportation. Positive global changes wrought by the revolution in computer technology and communications are everywhere, but some global changes in the speed and ease of human movement have had negative consequences. An example is the rapid spread of new, formerly local diseases, as I discussed in chapter 2. Globalization led directly to the spread of AIDS, and fears have been legitimately raised that other, even more frightening diseases such as Ebola might begin to breach their previously narrow geographic boundaries.

The reality is that globalization (at least in this context) has been with us long before the modern age, as many plagues eventually found their way

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Where We Stand: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • List of Figures v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Part I - Where We Stand Now- Reasons for Optimism 25
  • Chapter 2 - Health 27
  • Chapter 3 - Environmental Quality 58
  • Chapter 4 - Toxic Substances 80
  • Chapter 5 - Ecology and Biodiversity 104
  • Chapter 6 - Global Welfare and the Human Population 120
  • Part II - Where We Have Been- Historical Lessons 143
  • Chapter 7 - Political Climate and Health 145
  • Chapter 8 - From Bad to Better 171
  • Chapter 9 - Case Histories—Lead, Ozone, Tobacco, Gmos 204
  • Part III - The Way Forward 239
  • Chapter 10 - Environmental Philosophies and World Views 241
  • Epilogue- The Future 265
  • Bibliography 273
  • Index 283
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