'According to a horde of pessimistic prognosticators, a whole lot of us ought to be dead by now. English economist Thomas Malthus predicted the threat of mass starvation without stringent population controls back in the 18th century; Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich said the same in the 1960s. Brilliant men, both of them. Yet they somehow got it wrong. Humans havenâ€™t just survived; there are more of us than ever â€” roughly 7 billion. And most of us live far healthier, safer, more comfortable lives than any previous generation.
So what went wrong â€” or, rather, right? Why is the human race in much better shape than it was 200, 100, or 50 years ago? Robert Bryce reminds us of the answers in his sprightly new book and promises that even better times lie ahead.' - excerpt Hiawatha Bray in the Boston Globe