William R. Catton, Jr., is professor of sociology at Washington State University and author of From Animistic to Naturalistic Sociology and more than seventy-five . William R. Catton Jnr. explained humanity’s overshoot situation in his book. Overshoot, The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change”. The front page. Overshoot has ratings and 30 reviews. Adam said: I’ve been Title: Overshoot Binding: Paperback Author: Catton, William R., JR. Publisher: Combined.

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Succession and Restoration A Dr.

William Catton: Overshoot and Bottleneck

A bit later, we developed a tragic addiction to fossil fuels, which led to the Industrial Revolution. Leaning on the same mindsets that freed some men from privations of hunger, humanity discovered and then came to vatton on sources of energy that are by their very nature temporary.

Want to Read saving…. I read Too Smart for Our Own Good a few years ago and that was almost reassuring, because I felt relieved that someone was at last looking seriously cattin the issues.

William Catton: Overshoot and Bottleneck

The front page includes the following definitions: Tapping solar directly to the extent needed to replace petroleum use would be comprable to the solar energy used by all living things. Life under Pressure Contrasts population pressure versus kvershoot density.

As the millennia passed, we learned how to increase carrying capacity by adopting ever-more-clever technology, like spears, bows and arrows, and fire — oershoot tools, more food. Catton noted that a worrisome reaction to this is to blame someone, to identify scapegoats, hate them, and kill them — but this is pointless. Science, Biology Sociology See all Subjects.

Those increases have come at the expense of other species, but they were for the most part stable. Faith versus Fact Fundamentalism is interpreted as a result of antagonism due to population pressure. By tapping into the reserves of fossil fuels that are leftovers from millions of years ago, the cattpn species temporarily increased the limits, the Masterful. One of these items ships sooner than the other. What they provide is phantom carrying capacity, a boost that can only be temporary.


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Every time such technology breakthrough occurred, human populations and average living standards rebounded from decline due to reaching capacity limit and sustained an upward momentum for a long time.

With the shift to agriculture, population grew 0. Doesn’t this violate the definition of carrying capacity? That was probably the product of a life spent in deep and patient study of the world around him, a world that yielded some its most hidden and important secrets to him. Paperbackpages.

Menu Resilience Building a world of resilient communities. Topsoil is created over geological time. The crazy cornucopian pipedream has become the primary worldview in most societies. Carter’s energy proposal was insightful but incomplete — there’s unfortunately no basis for believing overshoit can still increase people’s standard of living overall. From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience.

Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change

Here is an extended interview with Catton made by Timothy Scott Bennett and Sally Erickson, while they were working on their excellent documentary, What a Way to Go.

It is not a light read and definitely stops one from procreating, but it is a clear, needed ananlysis. It seems people are rather slow in “getting it”, but we could take the next step at least, and see where it goes. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. Mar 24, Richard Reese rated it it was amazing. As the rate of oil extraction declines in the coming decades, there will be many growling tummies.

That makes him a useful guide. This rational mindset made it easy to understand our predicament, and to envision intelligent responses, but probably not brilliant solutions. I especially recommend Prokopton’s review.


What Is Sustainable: Overshoot

For four centuries, much of the world experienced a ridiculously abnormal era of innovation, growth, and excess — the Age of Exuberance. But sweeping away the healthy wild vegetation, and repeatedly pulverizing the soil with plows and cultivators releases stored carbon, exposes the soil to wind and water erosion, and ravages the microbial soil ecosystem.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. We must rely on renewable resources consumed no faster than at sustained yield rates. Although the book hasn’t so far phrased it in this way, the picture it paints is of a zero sum game involving living creatures using technology to compete for resources, with all the ramifications that situation entails.

And almos Brilliant but devastating. That used to open new horizons. From a human timeframe, it is a nonrenewable resource. While some would critique his suggestion that past ‘Homo sapiens’ were different — somehow living and evolving in ecological balance, in a scientific sense his suggestions are accurate in that humankind’s ability to amplify individual impacts, damages, and wastes by technology has been combined with an ongoing and explosive growth in human numbers.

Facing the Future Wisely Yes, technology will help increase carrying capacity, but is it rational to believe that it will continue to do so indefnitely? This implies that there will be competition for any limited resources food, water, oil are given as examples.