Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change
William R. Catton
First published in 1980, “Overshoot” is really all one needs in analysing humanity’s current predicament. We are likened to a few pond-dwelling detritivores presented with last fall’s bonanza of fallen leaves. As the pond fills with detritivores, the leaves’ nutrients are consumed at an increasing rate and soon a collapse of the now-starving population ensues.
Terms such as “Phantom Carrying Capacity”, “Ghost Acreage” and “Exuberance” are introduced and discussed. The book ends on a profoundly disquieting note with “Human self-restraint, practiced both individually and especially collectively, is our indispensable hope.”
Every person interested in humanity’s future should be familiar with this landmark book which is readable and clear.