The Human Ecology of Overshoot: Why a Major ‘Population Correction’ is Inevitable

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Using an evolutionary ecology perspective, William E. Rees argues that modern techno-industrial society is in a state of advanced ecological overshoot. Fossil fuels have enabled a massive expansion of humanity that constitutes the most globally significant ecological phenomena in 250 000 years of human evolutionary history. He concludes that humanity is exhibiting the dynamic of a one-off population boom-bust cycle and that the economy will inevitably contract, diminishing the human population.


William E. Rees

Publication Date

11 August 2023


The World (vol. 4)


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Resource Type

Academic Journal Article

Systems Addressed

Earth System

Resource Theme

Societal Collapse
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