Ten Billion: Book summary and reviews of Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott

Ten Billion

By Stephen Emmott

Ten Billion
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2013,
    224 pages.

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Book Summary

Deforestation. Desertification. Species extinction. Global warming. Growing threats to food and water. The driving issues of our times are the result of one huge problem: Us.
 
Just over two hundred years ago, there were one billion humans on Earth. There are now over seven billion of us. And, sometime this century, the world population will reach at least ten billion.
 
As the population continues to grow, our problems will increase. And this means that every way we look at it, a planet of 10 billion people is likely to be a nightmare.

Stephen Emmott, a scientist whose lab is at the forefront of research into complex natural systems, sounds the alarm. Ten Billion is a snapshot of our planet, and our species, approaching a crisis, and a stark analysis of where this leaves us. Ten Billion is not another climate book. Ten Billion is a book about us.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A rallying call to arms... Succinct and righteously pessimistic ...[with] an indispensible message to galvanize a world in potential crisis." - Kirkus

"Emmott's facts are enough to shake steely optimists, though the book's Malthusian pathos could be a bit cloying even for like-minded pessimists." - Publishers Weekly

"Powerful... Compelling... The shift in thinking that will be needed if we are to prepare ourselves for living in a different world begins with reading Emmott's indispensable book." - The Guardian (UK)

"A stark, simple and short warning about the coming catastrophe, which [Emmott] feels is inevitable, resulting from human overpopulation and over-exploitation of the world's resources. ... A valuable contribution to rekindling a discussion on global population that has waxed and waned in the two centuries since Thomas Robert Malthus first brought the issue to public attention." - Financial Times (UK)

"It's freeing to face the facts as well as alarming. ... It informs, unsettles, provokes. Job done." - The Times (UK)

"A new kind of talk ... a daring one-man show in which Emmott desperately strives to pull together into one grand and devastating portrait the many ways we are impacting the planet." - New Scientist (UK)

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Stephen Emmott is head of Computational Science at Microsoft Research. He leads a broad scientific research program, at the center of which is an interdisciplinary team of new kinds of scientists, and a new kind of laboratory, in Cambridge, England, pioneering new approaches to tackle fundamental problems in science. His lab's research spans from molecular biology, immunology, and neuroscience, to plant biology, climatology, biogeochemistry, terrestrial and marine ecology, and conversation biology, as well as the new fields of programming life and artificial photosynthesis. Stephen is also Visiting Professor of Computational Science, University of Oxford; Visiting Professor of Biological Computation, University College London; and Distinguished Fellow of the UK National Endowment of Science, Technology and the Arts.

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