Humans on Earth

From Origins to Possible Futures

  • Filipe Duarte Santos

Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Filipe Duarte Santos
    Pages 41-119
  3. Filipe Duarte Santos
    Pages 121-264
  4. Filipe Duarte Santos
    Pages 265-295
  5. Filipe Duarte Santos
    Pages 297-338
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 339-409

About this book


This is a wide-ranging and persuasive book written by an undisputed expert. Beginning with a broad history of the Universe, Earth, Life, and Man, it considers the origins and rise of science and technology, before moving on to discuss the present state of the world and its/our possible futures. Humans on Earth then addresses the main challenges for  social and economic development in the 21st century in the context of global  change. It presents a detailed but non-technical analysis of questions relating to climate change, our dependence on fossil fuels, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, and air, water, soil, and ocean pollution, as well as problems related to overpopulation, poverty, social and economic inequalities, and conflict potential. The three main, but largely mutually exclusive, discourses on human development and the environment are described and discussed. The main emphasis is on the risks and uncertainties of the short-term future – the next 50 to 100 years – with regard to environmental degradation and the sustainability of our growth paradigm.


 "... a sweeping, thoughtful view of the role of humans in shaping our modern world."
Paul Epstein, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School



Depletion of resources Environmental degradation Global change Impact of humans Saving the planet Science and technology Social and economic inequieties Sustainable development

Authors and affiliations

  • Filipe Duarte Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Fac. Ciêncas, Depto. FísicaUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

Bibliographic information