A Swedish doctoral thesis on the “acceleration of human enterprise” written by Dana Cordell offers an awesome glimpse into the history of human economic development and its effects on the world.
(UPDATE: Professor Cordell notes that the charts come from this paper: Steffen, W., Sanderson, A., Tyson, P. D., Jäger, J., Matson, P. A., Moore, B., Oldﬁeld, F., Richardson, K., Schellnhuber, H. J., Turner, B. L. & Wasson, R. J. (2004), Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet Under Pressure, Executive Summary, IGBP Secretariat, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm.)
The vast majority of wealth, tourism, fertiliser use, etc. all took place in the past 50 years — and human enterprise is still increasing.
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