The Age of Sustainable Development

The Age of Sustainable Development

Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world's most perceptive and original analysts of global development. In this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice:...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Age of Sustainable Development
Author:Jeffrey D. Sachs
Rating:

The Age of Sustainable Development Reviews

  • Santiago Ortiz

    This is an essential book for any citizen that wants to understand present and future challenges for humanity. We live in an extremely critical moment, whatever happens in the next 20 years, whatever we as a species decide to do, will probably decide our survival.

    This book should be obligatory for last year school students.

  • Andrew

    The Age of Sustainable Development, by Jeffery D. Sachs, is an ambitious book on the process of encouraging sustainable development as a tool to combat poverty, environmental degradation and rampant health issues, to name a few. This book encompasses many fields, including governance, health, development and environmental studies in Sachs quest to promote the field of sustainable development.

    For disclosures sake, Sachs is a key economic research analyst for current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-m

    The Age of Sustainable Development, by Jeffery D. Sachs, is an ambitious book on the process of encouraging sustainable development as a tool to combat poverty, environmental degradation and rampant health issues, to name a few. This book encompasses many fields, including governance, health, development and environmental studies in Sachs quest to promote the field of sustainable development.

    For disclosures sake, Sachs is a key economic research analyst for current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and sits on a number of boards dedicated to improving quality of health, and improving economic considerations worldwide. His interest in sustainable development ties in closely to the UN's Millennial Development Goals, and he proposes "Sustainable Development Goals" as a key alternative.

    Sustainable development in this book is a massive and complex web of different subjects (as can be seen from the tags I've placed on this book). It covers macro-economics in detail, touching on taxation rates, economic improvement for the third world, and the costs of energy sector development, to name a few. The book also covers health and wellness topics, such as access to drinking water, food, employment, education and healthcare, to name a few. The book also touches on governance issues, promoting transparency and public participation, but stopping short of criticizing authoritarianism as a system. Sachs basically says, "If it works, then it works."

    I really enjoyed this book. It is dense, to be sure, but highly readable, and full of interesting facts and figures, and a number of well thought out arguments on why sustainable development is important. Sachs takes an optimistic approach to environmentalism, which is very refreshing. He lays out many of the challenges we face as a global community in detail (graphic or otherwise) but offers potential solutions to each one. He stays away from the "Private/Public" debate on funding and proper taxation, and instead states that it doesn't matter, as long as funding exists for key infrastructure projects. I could go on an on. Really, this is an excellent and critical read on sustainable development as a way forward into the future. It is an important book, that gathers many of the key problems facing human civilization and offers solutions to them that are cost effective and realistic. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will proper sustainable development targets, but with people like Sachs at the helm, the future does begin to look a whole lot brighter.

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in sustainable development, environmentalism, and governance. It gathers key macro issues together and offers policy focused insights into how they issues can be solved. It is a wonderful, timely and powerful read, and you would be remiss to give it a pass.

  • Nathan

    The Age of Sustainable Development is the most comprehensive overview of humanity's greatest challenge - how mankind can exist in harmony with Earth's natural systems while solving the many severe problems facing humanity today, as defined by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Despite the immense challenge of achieving such goals in spite of a grossly unsustainable status quo, UN advisor and super-economist Jeffrey Sachs is dogmatically optimistic that humanity is capable of savi

    The Age of Sustainable Development is the most comprehensive overview of humanity's greatest challenge - how mankind can exist in harmony with Earth's natural systems while solving the many severe problems facing humanity today, as defined by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Despite the immense challenge of achieving such goals in spite of a grossly unsustainable status quo, UN advisor and super-economist Jeffrey Sachs is dogmatically optimistic that humanity is capable of saving our planet and ourselves if we collectively work towards doing so.

    This is the ultimate primer on Sustainable Development - Sachs explains the history of global development, the challenge of extreme poverty, planetary boundaries, food security, health issues, and so much more in neatly laid out sections with plenty of charts, photographs and real-life case studies that blend the economics and history with practical action and advice.

    As someone who has been heavily involved in addressing global health and development issues, Sachs offers tremendous insight into the successes and failures of various efforts to overcome developmental challenges. He is also utterly frank in humanity's devastation on the planetary systems, notably the rapid decline in global biodiversity, the realities of anthropogenic climate change, natural resource depletion, and more. It's a hard-hitting reality check on a plethora of challenges facing humanity which dispels many myths and misunderstandings surrounding these issues.

    I have but one question following the completion of The Age of Sustainable Development:

    Sachs seems to think so, claiming that continued (indefinite?) global economic growth can alleviate poverty and continuously improve well-being for both developed and developing nations, while simultaneously achieving environmental sustainability through efficient resource management, environmental regulation, and clean energy utilization (...while also adapting to and mitigating climate change through collective global efforts).

    While Sachs doesn't directly address the systematic un-sustainability of continuous economic growth, nor that of the global economic system, he does hint at it from time to time, notably one passage that suggests the real barrier to achieving environmental sustainability will require much more than regulatory tweaks, global cooperation and clean-energy-for-all:

    Herein lies this exceptional book's overlooked barrier to sustainable development - the current global economic system of "development" itself. If humankind is to actually coexist within our planet's natural systems without damaging them beyond repair, alternative forms of socioeconomic structuring and developmental strategies need be explored in tandem with the many lessons and solutions presented by Sachs.

    In short, The Age of Sustainable Development is THE classic text for an introduction to sustainable development and how to address the greatest problems of our time. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

  • Adriaan Jansen

    One of the strongest points of this great book is its panoramic overview and holistic approach to sustainable development. At the same time, this is also one of its main weaknesses: Trying to cover so much in just one book inevitably leads to lack of detail. The result: This book is a great but occasionally too basic introduction to sustainable development.

    But I am getting ahead of myself. First, some of what I think are the main points of the book.

    Our planet faces several existenti

    One of the strongest points of this great book is its panoramic overview and holistic approach to sustainable development. At the same time, this is also one of its main weaknesses: Trying to cover so much in just one book inevitably leads to lack of detail. The result: This book is a great but occasionally too basic introduction to sustainable development.

    But I am getting ahead of myself. First, some of what I think are the main points of the book.

    Our planet faces several existential threats that are often interconnected. Achieving sustainable development, and solving problems such as climate change, extreme poverty, loss of biodiversity and inequality, will require complicated solutions and hard decisions. Therefore Jeffrey Sachs refreshingly urges us to embrace complexity and shy away from ''one size fits all'' solutions that supposedly can be applied in all circumstances to all countries. His criticism of such intellectually lazy solutions and the international organizations that have often proposed them is similar to Joseph Stiglitz' criticism of the IMF in ''Globalization and its discontents''.

    According to Sachs, sustainable development is both an analytical tool and a way to set goals for a better future. In his view, sustainable development has 4 objectives:

    - Economic growth

    - Social Inclusion

    - Environmental protection

    - Good governance

    The last objective, good governance, is in fact a facilitator for the first three and applies not only to governments but also to businesses.

    The importance of economic growth, the first objective of sustainable development, for helping poor countries was already pointed out by Paul Collier in ''The Bottom Billion''. Sachs also makes this point and points out that there are 2 types of economic growth:

    - Endogenous growth: This is economic growth that ''comes from within''. It is most often caused by technological and social innovations, and the countries that experience this kind of growth tend to be the technological leaders.

    - Catch-up growth: This type of growth ''comes from the outside''. ''The technologies that fuel catch-up growth come from outside the economy engaged in rapid catching up. The essence of the strategy is to import technologies from abroad rather than to develop them at home'' (pag 80).

    Sachs describes endogenous growth using the theory of Kondratiev waves. Since Sachs seems to think that catch-up growth is more applicable to poor countries, his description of endogenous growth and the Kondratiev waves leaves the reader with many questions, mostly regarding how the Kondratiev waves work: Why do these waves last around 50 years? What causes their decline? This is one example where Sachs' book is lacking details. In ''Postcapitalism'', Paul Mason gives a more detailed description of Kondratiev waves.

    More importantly, Sachs seems to prefer catch-up growth for developing countries and doesn't ask how endogenous growth could be promoted in these countries. Only considering catch-up growth for poor countries may be an unnecessary limitation of the available solutions. An example of efforts to innovation in a country that is not a traditional technological leader is Start-up Chile (

    ).

    Factors that facilitate catch-up growth:

    - Proximity to a technological leader: E.g. the first countries to follow England's example in the early days of the Industrial Revolution were its European neighbours.

    - Favourable agricultural conditions: High farm yields can free up labour for work in industry and services.

    - Energy resources: ''While it is possible to export goods and import primary energy in return (as South Korea and Japan do), it is generally very hard to get that process started in a place without any domestic low-cost sources of primary energy'' (pag 88).

    - A physical environment conducive to human health: A disease-ridden environment can be an obstacle to economic growth, for instance because investors may be afraid workers will be sick often.

    - Politics: Economic growth requires good governance, solid and inclusive institutions. Chaos, violence, corruption can seriously limit the potential for growth.

    As said, Sachs recommends catch-up growth for poor countries. Before it is decided how catch-up growth can be implemented in these countries, it is important to make a country-specific diagnosis (which Sachs calls a ''differential diagnosis''). Part of that diagnosis is an analysis of the causes of poverty. For this analysis, Sachs proposes a poverty checklist (pag 105-106):

    1. Poverty trap: A country may be too poor to make the basic investments to get out of poverty and get on the ladder of economic growth.

    2. Bad economic policies: A country may have an honest government that unfortunately chooses wrong or inadequate policies, such as choosing central planning when a market economy would be better.

    3. Financial insolvency: A history of overspending, over-borrowing and bankruptcy may limit a country in making the necessary investments for economic growth

    4. Geography: Adverse geographical conditions include: Being land-locked, high in the mountains, having endemic disease burden, vulnerability to natural disasters.

    5. Poor governance: Signs of poor governance are extreme corruption, inefficiency and incompetence.

    6. Cultural barriers: A frequent example is the discrimination against women and girls. Sachs recommends: ''For success in the twenty-first century, don't try to develop with only half of your citizenry, but take the lesson from a country that is mobilizing all of its citizens'' (pag 129) such as Rwanda, where women play an important part in politics.

    7. Geopolitics: A country's political and security relations with its neighbours, foes and allies.

    So Sachs gives several explanations for why a country may be poor, and building on that he warns against ''a misguided desire for overly simplistic explanations of complex economic dynamics''. He goes on to return the criticism he received from Acemoglu and Robinson in their book ''Why nations fail'': ''In many places one will read that economic growth depends on 'economic freedom', or on 'inclusive institutions', or on 'controlling corruption'. Factors like economic freedom, political institutions. and corruption may play a role, but they certainly do not play the only role, or even the main role, in many places and times of history. These individual factors taken alone neither explain the pattern of development across the globe and over time, nor do they help us predict future development'' (pag 102).

    Despite these remarks and his insistence that poverty may have many causes, Sachs' explanation of choice for lack of economic growth seems to be geography. Geographical disadvantages can come in many forms: ''Being land-locked makes economic growth more difficult'' (page 32), because international trade is significantly more difficult for land-locked countries. ''Geography shapes many things about an economy, including the productivity of farms, the burden of infectious disease, the cost of trade, and the access to energy resources'' (pag 34). ''Small island economies can be quite vulnerable. They are subject to extreme climate catastrophes and often relatively isolated with high shipping costs to major ports'' (pag 48). ''There are still a few places where modern economic growth has not yet reached. These are generally places facing great geographical difficulties'' (pag 99). In ''A further look at geography'' ( pag 109-120), Sachs goes into more detail to make his case for geographical conditions as paramount determinants of economic development.

    The next objective of sustainable development is social inclusion. This involves the distribution of wellbeing. Sachs notes 5 kinds of concerns about the distribution of wellbeing (pag 11-12):

    1. Extreme poverty: Are some people still exceedingly poor in the midst of plenty?

    2. Inequality: Are the gaps between the rich and the poor very wide?

    3. Social mobility: Can a poor person today hope to achieve economic success in the future?

    4. Discrimination: Are some individuals such as women, racial minorities, religious minorities, or indigenous populations disadvantaged by their identity within a group?

    5. Social cohesion: Is the society riven by distrust, animosity, cynicism, and the absence of a shared moral code?

    The importance of social inclusion is both obvious and empirically verifiable: ''More equal societies end up with greater intergenerational mobility'' (pag 271). Sachs points out that countries that are relatively equal in income distribution tend to have high social mobility (examples are Scandinavian countries), while ''the United States today, a country that once prided itself as the 'land of opportunity', but now is a society of high inequality and low social mobility'' (pag 267).

    Also, people tend to be happier in more equal societies, and democracy tends to function better in countries with a solid middle class.

    The third objective of sustainable development is environmental protection. This brings us to one of the main questions posed in this book: ''How to reconcile the continued growth of the world economy and the sustainability of the Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity?'' (pag 195). The answer is given just a few pages later: ''In order to reconcile the growth that we would like to see with the ecological realities of the planet Earth, we are going to need the world economy to develop in a fundamentally different way in the future'' (pag 199).

    Sachs summarizes those ecological realities as nine planetary boundaries:

    - Climate change

    - Ocean acidification

    - Stratospheric ozone depletion

    - Biochemical flows: Nitrogen cycle and Phosphorus cycle

    - Global fresh water use

    - Change in land use

    - Biodiversity loss

    - Atmospheric aerosol loading

    - Chemical pollution

    Environmental sustainability is a very broad subject, and Sachs touches on many issues. I will focus on just 2 of those issues, which I think are among the most important: Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and population growth.

    GHG emissions, mostly CO2 and CH4, not only cause global warming, but also result in increased ocean acidification. One of the many insightful graphs in this book is 1.16 (pag 39), which shows the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere during the last 800.000 years. The graph shows that for this entire period, the CO2 concentration varied between 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm). However, since 1800, CO2 concentration has broken away from that 800.000 years old bandwidth, and now stands at 400 ppm. We are well on our way to in heat up our planet into unknown and unpredictable new climates.

    The solution is as easy as it is urgent: A drastic reduction of GHG emissions is required. Sachs points out that we have crossed the point where only reducing GHG emissions is enough: We now need a double approach to both mitigate climate change and adapt to it, because some adverse effects of climate change are now inevitable.

    Mitigation of climate change can be achieved most quickly by reducing CO2 emissions, the most important GHG. A good first draft for a mitigation strategy includes the following:

    - Energy efficiency: Achieve much greater output per unit of energy input. E.g. much can be saved in heating, cooling and ventilation of buildings.

    - Decarbonization: Reduce the CO2 emissions. This involves dramatically increasing the amount of electricity generated by zero-emission energy such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric.

    - Fuel switching: Change from direct use of fossil fuels to electricity based on clean primary-energy sources.

    Population growth will have a major impact on all our efforts to achieve sustainable development. Figure 6.11 (pag 209) shows the scary scenario of business as usual: At current fertility rates, the world population will have ballooned to almost 30 billion by 2100. Vital resources such as water will become scarcer as the effects of climate change take hold, and those scarce resources will have to be divided among more and more people: a recipe for disaster. Reducing fertility rates seems crucial for keeping sustainable development manageable.

    How can fertility rates be reduced? First, Sachs points out that prosperity tends to lead to lower fertility rates: ''richer households choose to have fewer children, so much so that populations are already stabilizing or even declining in some of the world's richest places'' (pag 183-184). Fertility rates are highest in poor regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Bringing prosperity would probably reduce fertility rates there also. In the meantime, Sachs proposes several ways to reduce fertility rates through voluntary means (pag 159):

    - Ensure that girls are enabled to stay in school at least through high school diploma level, in order to discourage child marriages.

    - Invest in child survival. Convince each family that it is safe to have fewer children.

    - Make family planning and contraceptives available and free.

    - Encourage women to participate in the labour force. ''When women are working outside the home, the fertility rates are much lower'' (pag 213).

    - Funnily enough: Television! ''When television broadcasting arrives in a poor area, fertility rates come down, often quickly'' (pag 214).

    In this book, sustainable development is often driven by regulations and incentives by national governments and international organizations like the United Nations. This sometimes excessive focus on governmental top-down approaches makes one wonder what the role is of free markets in sustainable development. In ''The price of civilization'', Sachs already showed he was in favour of social democracy and a mixed economy, with roles for both government and free markets. Here he proposes regulating markets, since completely unfettered free markets will be not be able to make sure that growth is sustainable, mainly for 2 reasons:

    - Externalities.

    - Lack of intergenerational responsibilities.

    The externalities are on a global scale: ''High-income countries tend to have the largest GHG emissions per capita, while poor countries are often great victims of human-induced climate change without themselves having contributed much to the crisis'' (pag 394). One way to solve the issue of externalities is to make the polluters pay. ''CO2 imposes high costs on society (including future generations), but those who emit the CO2 do not pay for the social costs that they impose'' (pag 435). The most straightforward solution would be imposing a carbon tax. Other solutions include a permit system and feed-in tariffs. However, Sachs clearly prefers the carbon tax option.

    That top-down, government oriented approach does raise another question: Who will pay for it all? Massive investments will be needed to stop the vicious circle of disease and poverty. Sachs' most frequent solution is Official Development Assistance (ODA), basically financial aid and donations by developed countries. Will these countries always be willing to pay? Especially times of crises crisis, this is doubtful. Starting on page 301, Sachs offers 10 recommended steps to health for all. In most cases, these recommendations involve throwing money at the problem. Part of the solutions may require specifying where that money will come from. This is usually lacking in Sachs analysis.

    This book gives an impressive overview of was sustainable development is and what it can achieve. Sachs' focus on decent analysis, his embrace of complexity, acceptance of multiple causes of difficult issues and rejection of one-size fits all solutions are refreshing. His optimism is powerful (though occasionally over the top, for instance when he says on page 139 that there are a few remaining pockets of poverty, and on the same page indicates that 1.2 billion people live on US $ 1.25 per day. I would say 1.2 billion people are not a few remaining pockets of poverty).

    With its wide scope and holistic approach, this book is a great introduction to sustainable development. At the same time, this also the book's weakness: Covering so many topics in one book results in a sometimes too basic introduction. The result is that although it is wonderful to read through this holistic approach, on many occasions I couldn't help but notice that most of what I was reading was not surprising new knowledge to me.

    One thing I thought was lacking. The book ends with a description of the sustainable development goals (SDG). Also here there is a strong focus on a top-down approach. What I thought was missing was some suggestions what the average reader of this book, who has an ordinary day job, can do to contribute to the SDGs.

    Despite these small criticisms, the book is well worth the read.

    And perhaps on the last pages, quoting JFK, Sachs does give a suggestion of what you and I can do: Start by asking 'Why not'?

    ''This is an extraordinary country. George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life: Other people, he said ''see things and... say 'Why?'...But I dream things that never were – and I say: 'Why not?'. It is that quality of the Irish – that remarkable combination of hope, confidence and imagination – that is needed more than ever today. The problems of the world can not possibly be solved by sceptics and cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.''

    John Kennedy, mid 1963

  • Vicky

    This book is so informative, easy to digest and has an awesome amount of graphical content in it to supplement the reading. Definitely recommend reading. I would also highly recommend taking the supplemental online course (offered on coursera). There’s a great website and app interface, and the course is run by Jeffrey Sachs himself!!

  • Marlene  H

    If you want a thorough introduction to the causes of world poverty and underdevelopment this is it, More surprisingly perhaps, it is also the place to find an optimistic view of how that poverty can be overcome in a way that enables further economic progress for everyone, Progress achieved in a way that respects planetary boundaries and starts to reverse the climate damage we have already instigated.

    It's not rocket science. It's pretty straightforward. We know how to do it. With peo

    If you want a thorough introduction to the causes of world poverty and underdevelopment this is it, More surprisingly perhaps, it is also the place to find an optimistic view of how that poverty can be overcome in a way that enables further economic progress for everyone, Progress achieved in a way that respects planetary boundaries and starts to reverse the climate damage we have already instigated.

    It's not rocket science. It's pretty straightforward. We know how to do it. With people like Prof Sachs working under the auspices of the UN, maybe we might even manage it. Fingers crossed.

  • Pat Rolston

    Outstanding information and very readable format encompassing a very wide breadth of information and disciplines. This comprehensive review of the planets health as a function of metrics that essentially capture all phases of one's quality of life from education to deforestation, biodiversity, and social mobility as examples. The author is an outstanding writer supported by superior graphics illustrating each subject area with the result being an entertaining education regarding absolutely criti

    Outstanding information and very readable format encompassing a very wide breadth of information and disciplines. This comprehensive review of the planets health as a function of metrics that essentially capture all phases of one's quality of life from education to deforestation, biodiversity, and social mobility as examples. The author is an outstanding writer supported by superior graphics illustrating each subject area with the result being an entertaining education regarding absolutely critical subjects impacting our lives. You can debate the solutions proposed, but the evidence supporting the reality we face as a species is incontrovertible.

  • hpmasih

    I met the author today.

    this book address the global and humanitarian issues of today's world and showing pass ways and diagnoses of problems, this book whiteout simplification and correctly embracing complexity of the world, is also optimistic about the future and have hope in fate of humanity.

    but I met him today at a full Q&A after his lecture and I dare say, he was rather worried about the future and claimed age of Trumps might mislead us our roadmaps and goals of s

    I met the author today.

    this book address the global and humanitarian issues of today's world and showing pass ways and diagnoses of problems, this book whiteout simplification and correctly embracing complexity of the world, is also optimistic about the future and have hope in fate of humanity.

    but I met him today at a full Q&A after his lecture and I dare say, he was rather worried about the future and claimed age of Trumps might mislead us our roadmaps and goals of sustainable development such as end of absolute poverty, agricultural revolution and so forth.

    regardless he is a very interesting character still tries to find new ways and ideas to help people, educate the society considering his busy life at the university and UN.

  • John Doyle

    Sustainable development refers to efforts to set and achieve global mutually reinforcing goals in the areas of economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. The UN has emerged as the primary forum for setting such goals and coordinating action among governments, private foundations, and global businesses to make concrete progress. Real progress has been made in the eight areas prioritized as Millennium Development Goals: (1) Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, (2) A

    Sustainable development refers to efforts to set and achieve global mutually reinforcing goals in the areas of economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. The UN has emerged as the primary forum for setting such goals and coordinating action among governments, private foundations, and global businesses to make concrete progress. Real progress has been made in the eight areas prioritized as Millennium Development Goals: (1) Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, (2) Achieve universal primary education, (3) Promote gender equality and empower women, (4) Reduce child mortality, (5) Improve maternal health, (6) Combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases, (7) Ensure environmental sustainability, and (8) Establish a global partnership for development. However, the overriding message of this book is that "business as usual" is unsustainable and that interrelated problems of climate change, ecological devastation, and overpopulation will be our undoing. For me, the messages resonate but the book itself was anecdotal and political about topics that are best understood via science and data.

  • Vance

    Jeffrey Sachs basically expands on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by explaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address what he calls extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice worldwide.

    He provides valuable information throughout the book and some insightful solutions to address these issues, such as adaptation by communities to prepare for current and future social, economic, and environmental issues. However, as was the case with the MDG

    Jeffrey Sachs basically expands on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by explaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address what he calls extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice worldwide.

    He provides valuable information throughout the book and some insightful solutions to address these issues, such as adaptation by communities to prepare for current and future social, economic, and environmental issues. However, as was the case with the MDGs, much of the focus is on governments solving these problems because there is an assumption that the free market fails to internalize the social cost, fails from asymmetric information, and fails from other reasons leading to the necessity of government intervention. Meanwhile, Sachs doesn't consider the poor choices made by government (public choice) and potential opportunity costs that are often substantially worse than outcomes in the private market.

    There are key issues addressed in this book and some good ideas included in the SDGs, but it is too close to central planning for my taste and unlikely to resolve the major issues of our times as we live in a dynamic world where policymakers are often, if not always, behind the curve. However, works such as this might help us get closer to better understanding big social and economic issues and find ways to address them.

    Overall, the book is rather repetitive and the recommended actions are based on many assumptions that aren't necessarily supported by data or research. In addition, the public policy choices are based on the precautionary principle that can be very costly.

    For example, there is much discussion about getting the world off of fossil fuels (i.e. oil, natural gas, coal, etc.) as a source of energy but there is little to no discussion about the benefits of greening the earth and substantial improvements in well-being from fossil fuels and more greenhouse gases. So, if the world is to get off of fossil fuels and the potential gains from doing so, we must consider the large losses in economic activity and human improvement that would have happened over time. This is a common mistake in much of the environmental research as they focus on the social cost of carbon that's dependent on the discount rate and ridiculous assumptions in large-scale models but dismiss the social benefit of carbon.

    I learned much from this book, which is why I gave it 3 stars, but I think there is still much that we need to learn about these issues before making radical global public policy choices. Check it out for yourself.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.