William R. Catton, Jr., is professor of sociology at Washington State University and author of From Animistic to Naturalistic Sociology and more than seventy-five . William R. Catton Jnr. explained humanity’s overshoot situation in his book. Overshoot, The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change”. The front page. Overshoot has ratings and 30 reviews. Adam said: I’ve been Title: Overshoot Binding: Paperback Author: Catton, William R., JR. Publisher: Combined.

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Thomas Robert Malthus and Darwin make the claims that populations grow more quickly than the rate needed for replacement of individuals that die, and thus will eventually exceed their carring capacities.

He contradicts those scientists, engineers, and technocrats who continue to write optimistically about energy alternatives. As the millennia passed, we learned how to increase carrying capacity by adopting ever-more-clever technology, like spears, bows and arrows, and fire — better tools, more food.

What Is Sustainable: Overshoot

The book concludes with a great point, which is that if we assume that overpopulation is not overshiot problem, we will make decisions that will cause it to become a much bigger problem when it does hit.

It was, in short, a government subsidy for stealing from the future. Topsoil is created over geological time. Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. Until then we have a system of perpetually multiplying investments targeted opportunity for removing bottlenecks.

History will tell if they already have. The Age of Exuberance was brought to an end by the oil shocks of the s. In addition, he has authored numerous scholarly articles, book chapters and book reviews.


I am also buying copies of Overshoot and giving them to people. When oil supplies become scarce and “tractor fuel becoms prohibitively expensive”, we won’t go back to using draft animals, as the cattn suggests — we’ll start using less powerful electric tractors. The truths that are revealed will change how you view the world and how far from sustainable we really are.

What kind of role are human beings going to play in their own impending crash? This rational mindset made it easy to understand our predicament, and to envision intelligent responses, but probably not brilliant solutions.

We have no limits. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was given the ability of prophecy with the added curse that nobody would listen to her. This was a blind leap into the unknown. Now that we’re beyond the point of diminishing returns, that, of course, just multiplies bottlenecks instead.

William Catton: Overshoot and Bottleneck

American sociologists Environmental sociologists Human ecologists American non-fiction environmental writers American social sciences writers Washington State University faculty University of Washington alumni Oberlin College alumni births deaths. That weak non-explicit claim is the basis for an argument that goes something like this:. The Ecological Ovedshoot of Revolutionary Change. Showing of 49 reviews. The last best hope for mankind is ecological modesty.

Highly recommend this for those in the light though it is written for those in the dark. Here is an extended interview with Catton made by Timothy Scott Bennett and Sally Erickson, while they were working on their excellent documentary, What a Ctaton to Go. Open Preview See a Problem? Columbus alerted Europeans to the existence of an unknown hemisphere, the Americas.

The cultural paradigm Catton refers to as Exuberance is so deeply entrenched in our culture that even now, 30 years after the release of the book, in an age glutted with environmental awareness and media, practically no one addresses the fundamental revelation Catton presents: China might end up being the last exception to that claim, and may well end up using up a good chunk of remaining fossil fuels in the process.


Yes, things are a bit rough now, but recovery is just around the corner, probably tomorrow. Doesn’t this violate the definition of carrying capacity?

The population of hunter-gatherers grew 0. Cornucopians hallucinate that withdrawals from finite nonrenewable savings are incomeand that wealth can be increased by withdrawing even more nonrenewable savings. The carrying capacity of two regions connected by trade is thus larger than the carrying capacity of the two taken individually without trade. Mar 22, Matthew Dahlhausen rated it it was ok Shelves: Books by William R. Changed human activities involve changes in man’s environment.

One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was when Catton described what it was like to live through the first oil shock The author seems to be coming from the point of view of trying at all costs to avoid people dying. No trivia or quizzes yet. That carrying capacity surplus is gone now, eroded both by population increase and immense technological enlargement of per capita resource appetites and environmental impacts.