Cover image for The state of humanity
Title:
The state of humanity
Author:
Simon, Julian Lincoln, 1932-1998.
Publication Information:
Oxford, UK ; Cambridge, Mass. : Blackwell in association with the Cato Institute, 1995.
Physical Description:
viii, 694 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Introduction / Simon -- Human mortality throughout history and prehistory / Preston -- The decline of childhood mortality / Hill -- Disease and health through the ages / Haines -- The contribution of improved nutrition to the decline of mortality rates in Europe and America / Fogel -- Trends in health of the US population: 1957-89 / Crimmins & Ingegneri -- Mortality and health in the former Soviet Union / Feshbach -- Worldwide historical trends in murder and suicide / Chesnais -- The history of accident rates in the United States / Holen -- World trends in smoking / Brandt -- Long-term trends in the consumption of alcoholic beverages / Roberts -- Trends in the agricultural labor force / Sullivan --

The standard of living through the ages / Burnette & Mokyr -- Long-term trends in the US standard of living / Lebergott -- Long-term trends in productivity / Atack -- The extent of slavery and freedom throughout the ages, in the world as a whole and in major subareas / Engerman -- Black Americans: income and standard of living from the days of slavery to the present / Higgs & Margo -- The long-term course of American inequality: 1647-1969 / Lindert & Williamson -- Trends in unemployment in the United States / Keyssar -- Trends in costs and quality of housing / Muth -- Trends in the quantities of education-USA and elsewhere / Simon & Boggs -- Trends in free time / Robinson -- Trends in poverty in the United States / Blank -- How "poor" are America's poor? / Rector --

Homelessness in America / Filer -- The recent US economy / Reynolds -- Long-term trends in energy prices / Hausman -- Trends in the price and supply of oil / Adelman -- The costs of nuclear power / Cohen -- Trends in availability of non-fuel minerals / Myers, Moore & Simon -- Trends in nonrenewable resources / Goeller -- Trends in availability and usage of outdoor recreation / Nelson -- Global forests revisited / Sedjo & Clawson -- Species loss revisited / Simon & Wildavsky --

Agricultural productivity before the green revolution / Grantham -- The world's rising food productivity / Avery -- Recent trends in food availability and nutritional well-being / Poleman -- Trends in grain stocks / Hudson -- Trends in food from the sea / Wise -- Trends in soil erosion and farmland quality / Gardner & Schulz -- Water, water everywhere but not a drop to sell / Anderson -- Trends in land use in the United States / Frey -- Long-run trends in environmental quality / Baumol & Oates -- Atmospheric pollution trends in the United Kingdom / Elsom -- Trends in air pollution in the United States / Ellsaesser -- Comparative trends in resource use and pollution in market and socialist economies / Bernstam --

Acid rain / Kulp -- Stratospheric ozone: science and policy / Singer -- The greenhouse effect and global change: review and reappraisal / Michaels -- Greenhouse scenarios to inform decision makers / Lave -- The hazards of nuclear power / Cohen -- Pesticides, cancer, and misconceptions / Ames -- The carcinogen or toxin of the week phenomenon: the facts behind the scares / Whelan -- American public opinion: environment and energy / Lunch & Rothman -- Public opinion about, and media coverage of, population growth / Simon -- Risk within reason / Zeckhauser & Viscusi --
ISBN:
9781557861191

9781557865854
Format :
Book

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Central Library HN17.5 .S74 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

This book provides a comprehensive and balanced assessment of the state of the Earth and its inhabitants at the close of the twentieth century. More than fifty scholars from all over the world present new, concise and accessible accounts of the present state of humanity and the prospects for its social and natural environment. The subjects range from deforestation, water pollution and ozone layer depletion to poverty, homelessness, mortality and murder. Each contributor considers the present situation, historical trends, likely future prospects, and the efficacy or otherwise of current activity and policy. The coverage is worldwide, with a particular emphasis on North America.

The State of Humanity is a magnificent and eye-opening synthesis of cultural, social, economic and environmental perspectives. It will interest all those - including geographers, economists, sociologists and policy makers - concerned to understand some of the most pressing problems of our time.


Author Notes

Julian Simon is Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland. He has published widely. His books include The Resourceful Earth (with Herman Kahn), The Economics of Population Growth, The Ultimate Resource, The Management of Advertising, Basic Research Methods in Social Science, and Applied Managerial Economics .


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Successor volume to The Resourceful Earth, ed. by J. Simon and H. Kahn (CH, Nov'84), this book is at once a tribute to human resourcefulness and a paean to the competitive enterprise system. It reviews past trends for a broad range of phenomena pertaining to human material well-being, e.g., health, longevity, and mortality; poverty, living standards, and work; natural resources; agriculture, food, land, and water; and pollution and the environment. These chapters support the volume's thesis as stated by Simon: "the material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today's Western living standards." Although projection of many of the trends is consistent with Simon's optimistic forecast, they are presented as definitive when they are, in fact, in dispute. Further, in several cases contributors provide evidence that appears to be contrary to Simon's forecast; this occurs, for example, in chapters dealing with health in the US and the former USSR; suicides; economic inequality, unemployment, and poverty among children in the US; and tropical deforestation. The preceding list supports an implicit qualification: the humanity of the book's title frequently is not global, but is American or developed humanity. These criticisms notwithstanding, the volume is useful as a counter to much "conventional wisdom" and contains a wealth of data that is often hard to come by. All levels. K. Hadden University of Connecticut


Choice Review

Successor volume to The Resourceful Earth, ed. by J. Simon and H. Kahn (CH, Nov'84), this book is at once a tribute to human resourcefulness and a paean to the competitive enterprise system. It reviews past trends for a broad range of phenomena pertaining to human material well-being, e.g., health, longevity, and mortality; poverty, living standards, and work; natural resources; agriculture, food, land, and water; and pollution and the environment. These chapters support the volume's thesis as stated by Simon: "the material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today's Western living standards." Although projection of many of the trends is consistent with Simon's optimistic forecast, they are presented as definitive when they are, in fact, in dispute. Further, in several cases contributors provide evidence that appears to be contrary to Simon's forecast; this occurs, for example, in chapters dealing with health in the US and the former USSR; suicides; economic inequality, unemployment, and poverty among children in the US; and tropical deforestation. The preceding list supports an implicit qualification: the humanity of the book's title frequently is not global, but is American or developed humanity. These criticisms notwithstanding, the volume is useful as a counter to much "conventional wisdom" and contains a wealth of data that is often hard to come by. All levels. K. Hadden University of Connecticut


Table of Contents

1 Introduction
Part I Life, Death and Health
2 Human Mortality throughout History and PrehistorySamuel Preston
3 The Decline of Childhood MortalityKenneth Hill
4 Disease and Health Throughout the AgesMichael Haines
5 The Contribution of Improved Nutrition to the Decline in Mortality Rates in Europe and AmericaRobert W. Fogel
6 Trends in Health of the US Population 1957-1989Eileen M Crimmins and Dominique G. Ingegneri
7 Mortality and Health in the Soviet UnionMurray Feshbach
8 Worldwide Historical Trends in Murder and SuicideJean-Claude Chesnais
9 The History of Accident Rates in the United StatesArlene Holen
10 World Trends in SmokingAllan Brandt
11 Long Term Trends in the Consumption of Alcoholic BeveragesJames S. Roberts
Part II Standard of Living, Productivity and Poverty
12 Trends in the Agricultural Labor ForceRichard Sullivan
13 The Standard of Living throughout the AgesJoyce Burnett and Joel Mokyr
14 Long Trends in the US Standard of LivingStanley Lebergott
15 Long Trends in ProductivityJeremy Atack
16 The Extent of Slavery and Freedom throughout the Ages in the World as a Whole and in Major Sub-AreasStanley Engerman
17 Black Americans: Income and Standards of Living from the Days of Slavery to the PresentRobert Higgs and Robert A. Margo
18 The Long Term Course of American Inequality, 1647-1969Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson
19 Trends in Unemployment in the United StatesAlexander Keyssar
20 Trends in Costs and Quality of HousingRichard F. Muth
21 Trends in the Quantities of EducationJulian L. Simon
22 Trends in Free TimeJohn Robinson
23 Trends in Poverty in the United StatesRebecca M. Blank
24 How 'Poor' are America's Poor?Robert Rector
25 Homelessness in AmericaRandall K. Flier
26 The Recent US EconomyAlan Reynolds
Part III Natural Resources
27 Long Term Trends in Energy ProcessWilliam J. Hausman
28 Trends in the Price and Supply of OilMorris A. Adelman
29 The Costs of Nuclear PowerBernard Cohen
30 Trends in Availability of Non-Fuel MineralsJohn G. Myers and Stephen Moore
31 Trends in Non-Renewal ResourcesH. E. Goeller
32 Trends in Availability and Usage of Outdoor RecreationRobert H. Nelson
33 Global Forests RevisitedRoger A. Sedjo and Marion Clawson
34 Species Loss RevisitedJulian L. Simon and Aaron Wildavsky
Part IV Agriculture, Food Land and Water
35 Agricultural Productivity Before the Green RevolutionGeorge W. Grantham
36 Trends in Food ProductivityDennis T. Avery
37 Recent Trends in Food Availability and Nutritional Well BeingThomas T. Poleman
38 Trends in Grain StocksWilliam Hudson
39 Trends in Seafood ProductionJohn P. Wise
40 Trends in Soil Erosion and Farmland QualityBruce L. Gardner and Theodore W. Schultz
41 Water Water Everywhere, But not a Drop to DrinkTerry L. Anderson
42 Land Use Trends in the United StatesThomas Frey
Part V Pollution and the Environment
43 Long Run Trends in Environmental QualityWilliam J. Baumol and C. V. Starr and Wallace E. Oates
44 Atmospheric Pollution Trends in the United KingdomDerek M. Elsom
45 Trends in Air Pollution in the United StatesHugh W. Ellsaesser
46 Comparative Trends in Resource Use and Pollution in Market and Socialist EconomiesMikhail S. Bernstam
47 Acid RainJ. Laurence Kulp
48 Stratospheric Ozone: Science and PolicyS. Fred Singer
49 The Greenhouse Effect and Global ChangePatrick J. Michaels
50 Greenhouse Scenarios to Inform Decision MakersLester Lave
51 The Hazards of Nuclear PowerBernhard Cohen
52 Pesticides, Cancer and MisconceptionsBruce Ames
53 The Carcinogen or Toxin of the Week Phenomenon: The Facts Behind the ScaresElizabeth M. Whelan
Part VI Thinking About these Issues
54 American Public Opinion: Environment and EnergyWilliam M. Lunch and Stanley Rothman
55 Public Opinion About and Media Coverage of Population GrowthRita Simon
56 Risk within ReasonRichard J. Zeckhauser and W. K. Viscusi
57 Natural Ecology Today and in the FutureKenneth Mellanby
Conclusion: From the Past to the Future
58 What does the Future Hold?Julian L. Simon
Index
1 Introduction
Part I Life, Death and Health
2 Human Mortality throughout History and PrehistorySamuel Preston
3 The Decline of Childhood MortalityKenneth Hill
4 Disease and Health Throughout the AgesMichael Haines
5 The Contribution of Improved Nutrition to the Decline in Mortality Rates in Europe and AmericaRobert W. Fogel
6 Trends in Health of the US Population 1957-1989Eileen M Crimmins and Dominique G. Ingegneri
7 Mortality and Health in the Soviet UnionMurray Feshbach
8 Worldwide Historical Trends in Murder and SuicideJean-Claude Chesnais
9 The History of Accident Rates in the United StatesArlene Holen
10 World Trends in SmokingAllan Brandt
11 Long Term Trends in the Consumption of Alcoholic BeveragesJames S. Roberts
Part II Standard of Living, Productivity and Poverty
12 Trends in the Agricultural Labor ForceRichard Sullivan
13 The Standard of Living throughout the AgesJoyce Burnett and Joel Mokyr
14 Long Trends in the US Standard of LivingStanley Lebergott
15 Long Trends in ProductivityJeremy Atack
16 The Extent of Slavery and Freedom throughout the Ages in the World as a Whole and in Major Sub-AreasStanley Engerman
17 Black Americans: Income and Standards of Living from the Days of Slavery to the PresentRobert Higgs and Robert A. Margo
18 The Long Term Course of American Inequality, 1647-1969Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson
19 Trends in Unemployment in the United StatesAlexander Keyssar
20 Trends in Costs and Quality of HousingRichard F. Muth
21 Trends in the Quantities of EducationJulian L. Simon
22 Trends in Free TimeJohn Robinson
23 Trends in Poverty in the United StatesRebecca M. Blank
24 How 'Poor' are America's Poor?Robert Rector
25 Homelessness in AmericaRandall K. Flier
26 The Recent US EconomyAlan Reynolds
Part III Natural Resources
27 Long Term Trends in Energy ProcessWilliam J. Hausman
28 Trends in the Price and Supply of OilMorris A. Adelman
29 The Costs of Nuclear PowerBernard Cohen
30 Trends in Availability of Non-Fuel MineralsJohn G. Myers and Stephen Moore
31 Trends in Non-Renewal ResourcesH. E. Goeller
32 Trends in Availability and Usage of Outdoor RecreationRobert H. Nelson
33 Global Forests RevisitedRoger A. Sedjo and Marion Clawson
34 Species Loss RevisitedJulian L. Simon and Aaron Wildavsky
Part IV Agriculture, Food Land and Water
35 Agricultural Productivity Before the Green RevolutionGeorge W. Grantham
36 Trends in Food ProductivityDennis T. Avery
37 Recent Trends in Food Availability and Nutritional Well BeingThomas T. Poleman
38 Trends in Grain StocksWilliam Hudson
39 Trends in Seafood ProductionJohn P. Wise
40 Trends in Soil Erosion and Farmland QualityBruce L. Gardner and Theodore W. Schultz
41 Water Water Everywhere, But not a Drop to DrinkTerry L. Anderson
42 Land Use Trends in the United StatesThomas Frey
Part V Pollution and the Environment
43 Long Run Trends in Environmental QualityWilliam J. Baumol and C. V. Starr and Wallace E. Oates
44 Atmospheric Pollution Trends in the United KingdomDerek M. Elsom
45 Trends in Air Pollution in the United StatesHugh W. Ellsaesser
46 Comparative Trends in Resource Use and Pollution in Market and Socialist EconomiesMikhail S. Bernstam
47 Acid RainJ. Laurence Kulp
48 Stratospheric Ozone: Science and PolicyS. Fred Singer
49 The Greenhouse Effect and Global ChangePatrick J. Michaels
50 Greenhouse Scenarios to Inform Decision MakersLester Lave
51 The Hazards of Nuclear PowerBernhard Cohen
52 Pesticides, Cancer and MisconceptionsBruce Ames
53 The Carcinogen or Toxin of the Week Phenomenon: The Facts Behind the ScaresElizabeth M. Whelan
Part VI Thinking About these Issues
54 American Public Opinion: Environment and EnergyWilliam M. Lunch and Stanley Rothman
55 Public Opinion About and Media Coverage of Population GrowthRita Simon
56 Risk within ReasonRichard J. Zeckhauser and W. K. Viscusi
57 Natural Ecology Today and in the FutureKenneth Mellanby
Conclusion: From the Past to the Future
58 What does the Future Hold?Julian L. Simon
Index

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