The debate about global warming is over. There is no longer any question that human activity is causing the Earth's climate to heat up at an increasingly rapid rate, with consequences that we are now only beginning to understand. Meanwhile, human population growth is placing unsustainable demands on everything from animal habitats to water supplies. Faced with radically different assessments of the long-term dangers of our environmental crisis - from oil companies, scientists, business lobbies, and environmental groups - concerned citizens find it difficult to tell how dire the prognosis really is. Is life on Earth doomed, or is there still time to mitigate - even to reverse - the damage that has already been done? In "The Middle Path", noted geographer Eric Lambin provides a concise, readable summary of the present state of the environment and considers what must be done if environmental catastrophe is to be avoided. Finding merit in the arguments of both optimists and pessimists, Lambin argues that it is not too late to exploit the inherent tendency toward equilibrium of large-scale systems such as the Earth's environment.
By relying upon a combination of remedies as global as international cap-and-trade emission treaties and as local as municipal programs promoting the use of bicycles rather than cars, we may yet be able to rescue humanity from a fatal crisis of our own making. Based on rigorous scientific analysis and strikingly free of ideological prejudice, "The Middle Path" presents a fresh view of our troubled future, brilliantly balancing tough-minded realism with humanitarian ideals of cooperation and ingenuity.