Thomas Homer-Dixon

7 results found for: Population


September 1st, 2006 —

Review of Colin Kahl, States, Scarcity, and Civil Strife in the Developing World, (Princeton University Press, 2006)

What is the relationship between environmental stress—especially shortages and degradation of cropland, forest stocks, and supplies of fresh water—and civil violence in developing countries, including insurgency, ethnic strife, and revolution? For more than 15 years, this question has been the focus of vigorous scholarly research across a broad range of disciplines, from political science and geography to sociology and development economics. The debate has been heated, often muddled, and all too frequently just an opportunity to advocate various ideological agendas. Colin Kahl has entered this debate with force, clarity, and insight. His new book will likely become the standard reference work on the subject and will set a benchmark for good scholarship in this rapidly developing field.

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January 1st, 2004 —

Of Human Fallout – The popluation bomb has exploded in the undeveloped world, and its politcal and economic shock waves are rushing for our shores.

Remember the population bomb? This profound concern over exponential growth of the world’s population provided ample fodder for academic dispute and dinner conversation during the 1960s and 1970s. Commentators like Stanford University’s Paul Ehrlich warned we would soon see famine, eco-catastrophe, and war as poor nations failed to cope with their surging birth rates. Yet these worries were swept from the popular imagination in the 1990s, when a less gloomy view prevailed: Yes, world population had grown dramatically, but birth rates were dropping practically everywhere. Many conservative commentators declared that the human population explosion was over. The real problem had become the impending global “birth dearth” or “population implosion.”

In reality, both sides in this decades-old debate have missed the crucial issue, which is not population growth or population numbers in themselves. The crucial issue is the huge difference in growth rates between the world’s rich and poor regions.

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December 4th, 2002 —

Synchronous Failure: the Real Danger of the 21st Century

Humankind, I argue, is on the cusp of a planetary emergency. We face an ever-greater risk of a synchronous failure of our social, economic and biophysical systems, arising from simultaneious, interacting stresses acting powerfully at multiple levels of these global systems.

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March 6th, 2002 —

Why Population Growth Still Matters

The human population explosion is far from over, and its dire effects will be with us for many decades yet. “As many people will be added in the next 50 years as were added in the past 40 years,” the U.N. writes, “and the increase will be concentrated in the world’s poorest countries, which are already straining to provide basic social services to their people.”

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September 26th, 2001 —

Why Root Causes Are Important

The receptivity of young men to terror’s radical message is enormously increased by this legacy of conflict, dislocation, and — yes — poverty in the region. From the refugee camps in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province to the squalid streets of Gaza, we have ignored — for far too long — festering wounds of discontent.

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May 1st, 1998 —

Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: The Case of South Africa

Journal of Peace Research, May 1998. co-authored with Valerie Percival The causal relationship between environmental scarcities – the scarcity of renewable resources – and the outbreak of violent conflict is complex. Environmental scarcity emerges within a political, social, economic, and ecological context and interacts with many of these contextual factors to contribute to violence. To [...]

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September 1st, 1996 —

Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: The Case of Rwanda

Journal of Environment and Development 5, September, 1996. co-authored with Valerie Percival On April 6,1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane exploded in the skies above the Kigali region of Rwanda. Violence gripped the country. Between April and August of 1994, as many as 1 million people were killed and more than 2 million people became refugees. [...]

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