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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

1. Human Population Grows Up
2. The Largest Generation Comes of Age
3. People on the Move: Population, Migration, and the Environment
4. The Urban Millennium
5. Climate Change and Population Growth
6. Fair Weather, Lasting World
7. Adapting to Climate Change: The Role of Reproductive Health
8. Population Growth, Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-Being
9. Numbers Matter: Human Population as a Dynamic Factor in Environmental Degradation
10. Environmental Justice in an Urbanizing World
11. The New Economics of Population Change
12. Food: Will There Be Enough?
13. Understanding the Global Food Crisis: Malthusian Nightmare or Free-Trade Fiasco?
14. How Much Is Left? An Overview of the Water Crisis
15. The Biggest Footprint: Population and Consumption in the United States
16. Population Growth, Reproductive Health, and the Future of Africa
17. Cancún: Paradise Lost
18. The Flip Side: How the Environment Impacts Our Reproductive Health
19. Cairo: The Unfinished Revolution
20. The New Population Challenge
21. Rethinking U.S. Population Policy
22. Going to Extremes: Population Politics and Reproductive Rights in Peru
23. Mobilizing Constituencies to Achieve Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All
24. Women at the Center
25. Taking Stock: Linking Population, Health, and the Environment
26. From Crisis to Sustainability
27. Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights
28. Over-Breeders and the Population Bomb: The Reemergence of Nativism and Population  Control in Anti-Immigration Policies
29. Christian Perspectives on Population Issues
30. Ecomorality: Toward an Ethic of Sustainability
31. Reconciling Differences: Population, Reproductive Rights, and the Environment
Afterword: Work for Justice!
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