This book: Overshoot – The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change by William R. Catton, Jr tries to explore the way experience teaches us that our tremendous demand for natural resources, energy, as well as the consumer items must have limits. This book contributes significantly in the ecological appreciation translation into terms that directly relate to the future of our society. The author is cautious in his choice of words which serve for making the future’s challenge clear to any individual who reads the book.
There are several criteria to support this argument. The first criterion is the effort of advertising the conservation in the demands’ face for dwindling energy reserves by the oil and utility companies. Some biologists have warned us for years of the direct correlation between the population growth and scarcity. Needless to say, an appalling future that rides the global technology and population growth’s tidal wave is seen by these scientists (Grace 2).
Also, the author uses the criterion of unflinching but a calm realist to argue his points. There is a suggestion by Catton that this wave cannot be stopped. The inability to stop this wave results from the fact that people have already overshot the capacity of the Earth for supporting a huge load. The author contradicts the some of the engineers, technocrats, and the scientists who continuously write optimistic things about the alternatives of energy.
Furthermore, Catton asserts that the panaceas of technology that those who would have harvested from farm, seas, and winds are ignoring some fundamental premise. This fundamental premise regards the fact that the ecological principals are applicable to all living things. From these principles, people learn that the growth of population cannot continue indefinitely and the expansion of the economy is not irreversible. The sagging dream of America will soon entirely shatter if people disregard such facts.
Presentation and Value
Without a doubt, this book is stated merely as one of the best. It talks of some of the most pressing issues facing the current world. Precisely, the book explores the way species of human has through the effort of technology and industry resulted in the possible destruction and extinction of life. For a relative layperson, this subject matter can appear serious. However, the author, William R. Catton succeeds to make the subject matter easily understandable.
Any person who reads the book with an open mind would conclude that individuals are in big trouble. In particular, no one is to blame for getting people into trouble. However, all the people appear to have played a significant role in the current unfolding issues. Catton argues that everyone can work towards ending the problem. Balance should be stored. Moreover, efforts should be focused on non-anger activities.
Catton argues well the portrayal of scientists and the scientific accuracy. For example, he notes that the wave cannot be stopped because the capacity of the earth to support the enormous load has already been overshot. Moreover, he suggests that the scientists should optimistically continue writing about the alternatives of energy.
The fundamental premise is ignored by the technological panaceas that those who harvest from farms among others propose. In short, the author tries to contradict the scientist’s accuracy made by several technocrats and engineers. In his argument, the only way to end the complete sagging of the dream of America is to take such facts seriously. They should not be disregarded (Grace 5).
I realized that failure to regard specific facts would make the dream of the sagging America to shatter completely. This message is quite educative. It provides some solutions that are helpful in saving America. For sure, I like the book because it makes me feel more informed than before. The book of William Catton, Overshoot explains some of the processes that most of the modern societies use to achieve overshoot. In this case, the book describes that it is possible to obtain overshoot a process that explains the population more than the habitat’s carrying capacity. Additionally, the book has made me feel the way individuals have failed the world. For example, there are issues relating to the foresight’s embarrassing failures making our big brains blush and wince, and the long human saga.
Obviously, this book, Overshoot educated me on matters that relate to the ecological/ environmental issues. The author provides the readers with a full overview of the ecological reality. After reading this book, I can now feel retrieved knowing that there is someone who looks at the global issues. On several occasions, individuals have tried raising awareness about problems facing the world since long time ago.
Noticeably, the use of fossil fuels has made it possible for a man to exceed the Earth’s carrying capacity considerably, but the population crash is inevitable since they are finite (Grace 7). William Catton argues that the modern man no longer belongs to the Homo Sapiens species. Instead, they belong to a more aptly species known as Homo Colossus. This argument gives a straightforward impression regarding the world’s carrying capacity such as exhaustion would soon be reached by the natural resources.
Catton, William R. Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change. Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1982.
Grace, William. “Simulating Sustainability: A Resources Perspective.” Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, 2015, pp. 2-7. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/19390459.2015.1050202.