Includes bibliographical references and index.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution. Before Humanity ; Before Antiquity ; Antiquity ; The Middle Ages ; From the Reformation to the Enlightenment -- The Nineteenth Century. Economic Growth ; Social Concerns ; Population Growth ; Habitat Loss ; Species Loss ; Air Pollution ; Climate Change ; Fresh Water Conservation ; Human Waste ; Municipal Waste ; Poisons ; Civil Society -- The First Half of the Twentieth Century. Before the First World War ; The Context after the First World War ; The Great Depression ; The Social Context ; Population Growth ; Habitat ; Species ; Fresh Water Management ; Air Pollution ; New and Old Pollutants ; Desertification -- Between the Second World War and 1970. Economic Growth ; Social Context ; Trade ; International Development ; Development and the Developing World ; Population Growth ; Habitat Loss ; Endangered Species ; Non-carbon-based Energy ; Air Pollution ; Climate Change and Ozone Considerations ; Fresh Water Conservation ; Ocean Pollution ; Waste Management ; New Pollutants ; The Communist Experience ; Civil Society -- From 1970 to 1990. Trade ; Debt ; Collapse ; Aid ; Transnational Corporations ; Sustainable Development ; Population Growth ; Habitat ; Species ; Air Pollution ; Ozone Depletion ; Climate Change ; Fresh Water Management ; Ocean Pollution ; Nuclear and Industrial Accidents ; Waste ; New Pollutants ; Civil Society -- The 1990s. The Economic and Social Side ; Debt ; Corruption ; Overseas Assistance ; Trade ; Transnational Corporations ; Sustainable Development ; Population Growth ; Habitat Loss ; Biodiversity Loss ; Fisheries ; Non-carbon-based Energy ; Climate Change ; Air Pollution ; Ocean Pollution ; Fresh Water Conservation ; Population Participation ; The Ethical Consumer -- The Twenty-first Century: The Economic and Social Context. Human Progress ; Goals for the Millennium and Sustainable Development ; Poverty ; Inequality ; Growth ; Trade ; Overseas Development Assistance ; Corruption ; Debt ; Transnational Corporations ; The Ethical Consumer -- The Twenty-first Century: Environment. Population Growth ; Famine ; Habitat Loss ; Biodiversity Loss ; Unsustainable Fisheries ; Climatic Change ; Alternative Energy ; Air Pollution ; Fresh Water Conservation ; Municipal Waste ; Human Waste ; Chemical Pollutants ; Public Participation -- Conclusion. The Economic and Social Sides of Sustainable Development ; The Environmental Side of Sustainable Development ; The Last Words.
For the last few thousand years, humanity has struggled to achieve sustainable development. Alexander Gillespie sees the problem as multi-faceted: a three legged stool of economic, social, and environmental conundrums have stalled the quest for the long term viability of both our species and the ecosystems in which we reside. Gillespie moves from the low life expectancy, excessive deforestation, and wetland drainage of the medieval period, through the species loss, coal burning, free trade, and poor waste management of the 17th and 18th centuries, and to the more recent concerns of climate change, unsustainable fisheries, and chemical pollutants. By delivering a comprehensive examination of human survival over the past millennium, Gillespie illustrates that the challenges we face are not new - that we now have the means to counter them, is.