"Tor Hundloe presents us with two options: change the way we live, or find two more planets to support the world's burgeoning population. With the powerful energy of clever optimism he points the way for this Earth-only option to succeed" (Senator Bob Brown).
"We humans are capable of brilliant ideas and inventions, but we have yet to learn the lessons that will prove that we deserve our place on the planet as the thinking animal." (Backcover).
The Planet of the Thinking Animal looks to particular countries and groups of countries and examines their economic and environmental policies and activities. It reviews the direct measures employed by governments to deal with local and global sustainability issues, while briefly setting these approaches within a historical and cultural context.The book tours, in potted-history style, through an eclectic range of people, issues, events and eras. The ideas and opinions, sometimes controversial, are presented by the author in a manner that will hopefully get readers thinking and encourage them to read more widely on particular topics. Issues covered include: water use, sanitation, water shortages and distribution; overfishing, the tragedy of the commons' and the depletion of global fish stocks and its impact on poor countries; the end of the oil and coal age (including other energy sources - gas, nuclear) and new energy technologies; and tourism as a growth industry, its impact on the developing world, ecotourism, perceived risks facing the industry such as terrorism, global pandemics, and weather events. Geographical areas covered include: Fiji and South Pacific Islands; Oil-rich states - The United Arab Emirates; countries in transition - Russia and briefly Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovak Republic, Ukraine, China and Vietnam; Development in Asia - China, Thailand and Indonesia; Norway and, briefly, other Scandinavian countries; and Australia. The overall message from the author is that in order to overcome the environmental problems we face today and in the future, we must examine our present situation in relation to economics and society to identify what works and what doesn't.