Summary & Study Guide - Empty Planet by Lee Tang

The Shock of Global Population Decline

The must-read summary of “Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline,” by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson.

Summary & study guide - empty planet

The Global Population Will Soon Decline.

The must-read summary of “Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline,” by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson.

For many years, pundits and politicians have warned that the growing global population will soon overwhelm the earth's resources. Unless humankind defuses this population bomb, we will face a future of increasing poverty, food shortages, war, and environmental degradation.

But many demographers sound a different alarm. Rather than continuing to increase exponentially, the global population is headed for a steep decline—and in many countries, that decline has already begun.

Empty Planet explains why by the end of this century the problem won't be overpopulation but a rapidly shrinking global populace. It offers a vision of a future that we can no longer prevent—but one that we can shape if we choose. A smaller global population will bring with it many benefits, but enormous disruption lies ahead.

Read this book to find out the key to prospering in this new social, political, and economic landscape.

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Value-added from this guide:

Genre: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Demography

Secondary Genre: STUDY AIDS / Study Guides

Language: English

Keywords: population, immigration, fertility, urbanization, poverty, demographics, aging population

Word Count: 20,000

Sample text:

In the mid-1300s, a Black Death pandemic struck Europe and Asia, killing over 30 percent of Europe’s population. The Black Death was caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium transmitted by the bite of an infected flea from a rat. After exposure to the bacteria, people suffered abdominal pain, fever, headaches, bleeding, and blackening of the extremities. Eighty percent of the time the infected person died within a week of the first symptoms.

Some of the consequences of the Black Death were beneficial. The labor shortage weakened the bond between serfs and lords, increasing labor mobility and productivity. Europeans used to shun long sea voyages because of the high mortality rate. But now that mortality rates on land were also as high, the risk seemed worthwhile. The plague might have helped launch the European era of exploration and colonization. However, colonization led to more deaths in the New World, as Europeans introduced their diseases, especially smallpox, to the indigenous population who didn’t have immunity to those diseases. 

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