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Global Issues: An Introduction, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-65564-1
304 pages
January 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Global Issues: An Introduction, 4th Edition (047065564X) cover image
Extensively revised and updated, the new Fourth Edition of Global Issues: An Introduction offers a unique approach to the most important environmental, economic, social, and political concerns of modern life.
  • Revised and updated to reflect the latest global developments
  • Examines the most important environmental, economic, social, and political concerns of modern life
  • The only book of its kind to use the concept of development to illustrate how different global issues are interrelated
  • Includes a new section on nuclear energy
  • Chapter boxes examine ways that individuals can have a positive impact on the issues examined within the text
  • Key features include a glossary of terms; guides to further reading, media, and Internet resources; and suggestions for discussing and studying the material
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List of Plates xi

List of Figures, Maps, and Tables xiii

Foreword xv

Notes xvii

Introduction: The Creation of Global Issues 1

1 Population 3

The Changing Population of the World 3

Causes of the Population Explosion 10

How Population Growth Affects Development 14

Too rapid 14

Too slow 16

An aging population and low birth rates 16

International conferences on population 18

How Development Affects Population Growth 20

Demographic transition 20

Factors lowering birth rates 22

Governmental Population Policies 25

Controlling growth 25

Promoting growth 30

The Future 32

The growth of the world’s population 32

The carrying capacity of the earth 33

Optimum size of the earth’s population 35

Population-related problems in our future 36

Conclusions 38

Notes 39

Further Reading 42

2 Wealth and Poverty 44

The Millennium Development Goals 49

Development Assistance and Foreign Aid 52

The Market Approach 55

The State Approach 58

The Civil Society Approach 61

Geography and Wealth, Geography and Poverty 64

Globalization 66

Positive aspects 67

Negative aspects 68

An evaluation 69

Conclusions 70

Notes 72

Further Reading 74

3 Food 76

World Food Production 76

How Many Are Hungry? 78

Causes of World Hunger 80

How Food Affects Development 82

How Development Affects Food 84

The production of food 84

The loss of food 87

The type of food 89

The Green Revolution 94

Fertilizers 95

Pesticides 96

Irrigation 96

The future 96

Governmental Food Policies 97

Future Food Supplies 100

Climate 100

Arable land 100

Energy costs 102

Alternative/sustainable/organic agriculture 102

Biotechnology 103

Fishing and aquaculture 105

Future food production 106

Conclusions 107

Notes 108

Further Reading 112

4 Energy 114

The Energy Crisis 114

Responses by Governments to the Energy Crisis 118

The United States 118

Western Europe 120

Japan 120

China 121

The Effect of the Energy Crisis on the Development Plans of Less Developed Nations 123

The Relationship between Energy Use and Development 124

A shift in types of energy 124

Increased use 125

The decoupling of energy consumption and economic growth 126

Climate Change 129

The evidence 129

Probable effects 132

Uncertainties 135

What is being done at present? 136

What more can be done? 137

The Energy Transition 139

Nonrenewable energy sources 139

Renewable energy sources 140

Conservation/energy effi ciency 147

Nuclear Power: A Case Study 149

The potential and the peril 150

The choice 152

Conclusions 155

Notes 156

Further Reading 161

5 The Environment 163

The Awakening 163

The Air 166

Smog 166

Airborne lead 170

Acid rain 171

Ozone depletion 173

Climate change (global warming) 175

The Water 175

The Land 178

Solid wastes 179

Toxic wastes 181

Governmental and industrial responses to the waste problem 182

Deforestation 183

The Workplace and the Home 186

Cancer 186

Pesticides 187

Chemicals 188

The Use of Minerals 189

Resource effi ciency 190

Recycling 191

Substitution 193

Reducing needs 193

Overdevelopment 193

The Extinction of Species 194

The Extinction of Cultures 197

Environmental Politics 200

Conclusions 201

Notes 202

Further Reading 209

6 Technology 211

Benefi ts of Technology 211

The Tragedy of the Commons and the Role of Technology – Short-Term Benefi ts Versus Long-Term Costs 213

Unanticipated Consequences of the Use of Technology 214

DDT 214

Factory farms 214

Inappropriate Uses of Technology 217

Limits to the "Technological Fix" 219

War 221

The Threat of Nuclear Weapons: A Case Study 223

The threat 224

New dangers 226

Conclusions 228

Notes 229

Further Reading 231

7 Alternative Futures 232

Current Outlook: Business as Usual 234

Collapse and Sustainable Development 235

Choices 238

Improve production 239

Reduce demand 239

Better management and governance 240

Conclusion 241

Notes 243

Further Reading 244

Appendix 1: Studying and Teaching Global Issues 247

Appendix 2: Relevant Videos 254

Appendix 3: Relevant Internet Websites 265

Glossary 272

Index 276

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John L. Seitz is Professor Emeritus of Government at Wofford College. He earned a BA and MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, and a PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin. He has extensive first-hand experience of South Korea, Iran, Brazil, Liberia, and Pakistan and previous editions of his book have been used around the world, including translations into Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese.

Kristen A. Hite leads the Climate Change Program at the Center for International Environmental Law and teaches at the University of Maryland. She earned a JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

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  • Revised and updated to reflect the latest global developments
  • Includes a new section on nuclear energy
  • See More
    • Revised and updated to reflect the latest global developments
    • Examines the most important environmental, economic, social, and political concerns of modern life
    • The only book of its kind to use the concept of development to illustrate how different global issues are interrelated
    • Includes a new section on nuclear energy
    • Chapter boxes examine ways that individuals can have a positive impact on the issues examined within the text
    • Key features include a glossary of terms; guides to further reading, media, and Internet resources; and suggestions for discussing and studying the material
    See More

    “This volume offers an introduction to the most important environmental, economic, social, and political concerns of modern life. The text is extensively illustrated with diagrams and photographs, it contains guides to further reading,media, and internet resources.”  (NeoPopRealism Journal, 2012)

     

    "The fourth edition of Global Issues, like those before it, sets the standard in the field, while also being eminently useful in a wide variety of courses. Professors Seitz and Hite write with clarity, leave no major issue untouched, and have mastered the key sources and perspectives surrounding each issue. I continue to teach, and I recommend this volume as the only book to use as an introduction to all major global issues."
    Edwin Clausen, Daemen College

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