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All Ebook Formats $39.99 ISBN: 9781610911412 Published October 2009
Hardcover $60.00 ISBN: 9781597266611 Published October 2009
Paperback $40.00 ISBN: 9781597266628 Published October 2009


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A Pivotal Moment

Population, Justice, and the Environmental Challenge

A Pivotal Moment
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Laurie Mazur

432 pages | photos, figures, notes, index | 6 x 9

Through a series of essays by leading demographers, environmentalists and reproductive health advocates, A Pivotal Moment offers a new perspective on the complex connection between population dynamics and environmental quality. It presents the latest research on the relationship between population growth and climate change, ecosystem health and other environmental issues. It surveys the new demographic landscape—in which population growth rates have fallen, but human numbers continue to increase. It looks back at the lessons learned from half a century of population policy—and forward to propose twenty-first century population policies that are sustainable and just.


A Pivotal Moment puts forth the concept of “population justice,” which is inspired by reproductive justice and environmental justice movements. Population justice holds that inequality is a root cause of both rapid population growth and environmental degradation.  As the authors in this volume explain, to slow population growth and build a sustainable future, women and men need access to voluntary family planning and other reproductive health services. They need education and employment opportunities, especially for women. Population justice means tackling the deep inequities—both gender and economic—that are associated with rapid population growth and unsustainable resource consumption. Where family planning is available, where couples are confident their children will survive, where girls go to school, where young men and women have economic opportunity—there couples will have healthier and smaller families.
"Here's the book on population we've been waiting for—not a nativist screed that lays the blame for our environmental woes on overbreeding others, but a clearheaded and smart look at the ways that justice, anti-materialism, and women's rights can help limit both our numbers and their impact."
Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy

"This book, with chapters by world-renowned experts, should be recommended reading for national and global leaders who seek to meet the environmental and economic development challenges of the 21st century. It provides a compelling, evidence-based case to support renewed attention to reproductive health and rights as a critical part of the solution to build a better and more sustainable future for all."
Geeta Rao Gupta, president, International Center for Research on Women

"Finally, a book that maps the complex connections among climate change, resource depletion, globalization, inequity and overconsumption, then focuses in on the ways that population growth exacerbates all of them, but also results from them. No simple-minded solutions are offered in this revelatory work; but an effective formula for reducing population impacts by strengthening women's rights, roles and economic opportunities. This book should be mandatory reading not only in academia, but for all public policy advocates seeking sustainable pathways for the future."
Jerry Mander, founder and distinguished fellow, International Forum on Globalization

"A Pivotal Moment demonstrates the possibility of building a sustainable, more equitable future... People count and numbers matter—and this book is a classic call to action we cannot afford to ignore if we care about the well being of current and future generations."
Dr. Gill Greer, director-general, International Planned Parenthood Federation

PART I. The Numbers
Chapter 1. Human Population Grows Up \ Joel E. Cohen
Chapter 2. The Largest Generation Comes of Age \ Martha Fransworth Riche
Chapter 3. People on the Move: Population, Migration, and the Environment \ Susan Gibbs
Chapter 4. The Urban Millennium \ United Nations Population Fund
PART II. The Impact
Chapter 5. Climate Change and Population Growth \ Brian C. O'Neill
Chapter 6. Fair Weather, Lasting World \ Robert Engelman
Chaper 7. Adapting to Climate Change: The Role of Reproductive Health \ Malea Hoepf Young, Elizabeth L. Malone, Elizabeth Leahy Madsen, and Amy Coen
Chapter 8. Population Growth, Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-Being \ Lynne Gaffikin
Chapter 9. Numbers Matter: Human Population as a Dynamic Factor in Environmental Degradation \ John Harte
Chapter 10. Environmental Justice in an Urbanizing World \ Gordon McGranahan
Chapter 11. The New Economics of Population Change \ Rachel Nugent
Chapter 12. Food: Will There Be Enough? \ Lester R. Brown
Chapter 13. Understanding the Global Food Crisis: Malthusian Nightmare or Free-Trade Fiasco? \ Walden Bello
Chapter 14. How Much Is Left? An Overview of the Water Crisis \ Eleanor Sterling and Erin Vintinner
Chapter 15. The Biggest Footprint: Population and Consumption in the United States \ Vicky Markham
Chapter 16. Population Growth, Reproductive Health, and the Future of Africa \ Dr. Fred T. Sai
Chapter 17. Cancún: Paradise Lost \ Adriana Varillas
Chapter 18. The Flip Side: How the Environment Impacts Our Reproductive Health \ Charlotte Brody and Julia Varshavsky
PART III. Looking Back, Moving Forward
Chapgter 19. Cairo: The Unfinished Revolution \ Carmen Baroso and Steven W. Sinding
Chapter 20. The New Population Challenge \ Judith Bruce and John Bongaarts
Chapter 21. Rethinking U.S. Population Policy \ Suzanne Petroni
Chapter 22. Going to Extremes: Population Politics and Reproductive Rights in Peru \ Susana Chávez Alvarado and Jacqueline Nolley Echegaray
Chapter 23. Mobilizing Constituencies to Achieve Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All \ Adrienne Germain
Chapter 24. Women at the Center \ Ellen Chesler
Chapter 25. Taking Stock: Linking Population, Health, and the Environment \ Roger-Mark DeSouza
Chapter 26. From Crisis to Sustainability \ James Gustav Speth
PART IV. Thoughts for the Journey
Chapter 27. Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights \ Jacqueline Nolley Echegaray and Shira Saperstein
Chapter 28. Over-Breeders and the Population Bomb: The Reemergence of Nativism and Population  Control in Anti-Immigration Policies \ Priscilla Huang
Chapter 29. Christian Perspectives on Population Issues \ Rev. Dr. James B. Martin-Schramm
Chapter 30. Ecomorality: Toward an Ethic of Sustainability \ Ursula Goodenough
Chapter 31. Reconciling Differences: Population, Reproductive Rights, and the Environment \ Frances Kissling
Afterword: Work for Justice! \ Laurie Mazur and Shira Saperstein
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