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Planetary Overload

Planetary Overload
Global Environmental Change and the Health of the Human Species

AUD$67.95 inc GST

  • Date Published: January 1994
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521457590

AUD$ 67.95 inc GST

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About the Authors
  • The human species faces many threats to its health - perhaps to its survival. Taking an interesting perspective, Planetary Overload forcefully points out the consequences to human health of ongoing degradation of Earth's ecosystems. In a broad-based, accessible analysis, A. J. McMichael examines ecological disruptions - land degradation, ozone depletion, temperature increases, and loss of genetic diversity through the extinction of species, among others - and compellingly demonstrates their potentially disastrous results, including food shortages, new and intensified disease patterns, rising seas, mass refugee problems, and cancers, blindness, and immune suppression from increased ultraviolet radiation. While other books on the subject analyse only the environmental impact of these problems, McMichael relates each of these insidious processes back to its ultimate impact on human health. He thoroughly considers these problems within a broad evolutionary, biological, social, and economic context, and also explores the underlying problems contributing to environmental breakdown, especially the relations between the world's rich and poor. This book will be of interest to environmentalists, public health professionals, policy makers, environmental studies and human ecology scholars, and anyone wishing a lucid, rational assessment of today's pressing ecological concerns.

    • Addresses major concerns of topical interest: global warming, ozone depletion and skin cancer, pollution, soil fertility, biodiversity
    • An objective and balanced account by a well-known authority
    • Wide-ranging in its coverage, thought-provoking in content
    • Considers the human health consequences of global environmental problems
    • A. J. McMichael is the chair of the Australian Government's Environmental Health Committee and the co-author of The LS Factor: Lifestyle and Health (Penguin, 1987)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a remarkably comprehensive book on the threats to man of environmental change … A book to read now, for the 21st century.' David Sharp, The Lancet

    '… everyone who is concerned about leaving a negative legacy to future generations should read this book.' Ecology

    'This is a book relating in a lucid and convincing way how the fabric of life-supporting mechanisms of our planet is starting to unravel. Teacher or student, scientist or nonscientist, health or environmental scientist - all can learn from Planetary Overload about the issues that face our species and its institutions.' American Journal of Epidemiology

    'Planetary Overload is a thought-provoking, excellent addition to the literature on global environmental health issues for medical and public health students as well as for practising environmental and health professionals.' Medicine & Global Survival

    'Planetary Overload is skilfully written: an accomplished, eclectic book which draws fruitfully on historical, biological, ecological and epidemiological knowledge. This is certainly a challenging and erudite book and very worth reading.' Epidemiology Unit

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1994
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521457590
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 151 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.605kg
    • contains: 23 b/w illus. 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. First things
    2. The ecological framework
    3. The health of populations
    4. System overload: ancient and modern
    5. Population increase, poverty and health
    6. Greenhouse warming and climate change
    7. The thinning ozone layer
    8. Soil and water: loaves and fishes
    9. Biodiversity: forests, food and pharmaceuticals
    10. The growth of cities
    11. Impediments I: conceptual blocks
    12. Impediments II: relationships
    13. The way ahead

  • Author

    Anthony J. McMichael, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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