Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Is the Planet Full?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ian Goldin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677771

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677771.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2020

The Metabolism of a Human-Dominated Planet

The Metabolism of a Human-Dominated Planet

(p.142) 8 The Metabolism of a Human-Dominated Planet
Is the Planet Full?

Yadvinder Malhi

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a systemic approach for explaining how much food and water are required to support particular forms of life. All biological organisms from bacteria upwards have a metabolism—the rate at which they process chemical energy for survival, growth, and reproduction. Humanity is unusual in having an extended ‘sociometabolism’ that processes energy far beyond direct biological requirements. This sociometabolism has grown through human history (with sharp transitions at the onset of agriculture and industrial activity) and is set to double in the foreseeable future. The challenge of our time is to create the innovations in technology and governance that can sustain both humanity and planet at a time when the sociometabolism of a single species is approaching and surpassing the natural metabolic activity of the biosphere.

Keywords:   metabolism, sociometabolism, environment, consumption, technology, governance, urban areas, history

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .