Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet

Front Cover
Allen Lane, 2008 - Economic policy - 386 pages
In this book Jeffrey Sachs, one of the world's leading economists and author of the bestselling The End of Poverty, analyses and addresses the great, and interconnected, global challenges of the twenty-first century. A series of cascading threats to global well-being - the most significant being environmental degradation and rapid population growth - bear down upon our increasingly crowded planet. All of them are solvable, Sachs argues, but potentially disastrous if left unattended.

Our task is to achieve truly sustainable development, by which he means finding a global course which enables the world to benefit from the spread of prosperity while ensuring that we don't destroy the eco-systems which keep us alive and our place in nature which helps sustain our values. How do we move forward together, benefiting from our increasing technological mastery, avoiding the terrible dangers of climate change, mass famines, violent conflicts, population explosions in some parts of the world and collapses in others, and world-wide pandemic diseases? How do we steer global politics when there are now so many who believe they are entitled to a hand on the wheel?

In answering these questions, Common Wealthexamines, digests and judges vast quantities of information from many different fields of study in each of the interconnected areas of politics, economics and ecology. Sachs shows that there are different ways of managing the world's technologies, resources and politics from those currently being followed, and that it should be possible to adopt policies which reflect long-term and co-operative thinking instead of, as currently, disregard for others and ever-increasing barriers to solving the problems which we collectively face. The very idea of nations that scramble for global power, natural resources and international markets is passe, and must be replaced by a new era of global co-operation around shared goals. Common Wealthis a book that appeals equally to both head and heart, and one which no globally thinking person can ignore.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ritaer - LibraryThing

Couldn't read it when I realized that he has the standard economist's answer to shortages of vital materials--we will find substitutes. Really? a substitute of water? for oil? Read full review

COMMON WEALTH: Economics for a Crowded Planet

User Review  - Kirkus

Economist Sachs (Earth Institute/Columbia Univ.; The End of Poverty, 2005, etc.) limns social, environmental and economic forces that are reshaping the planet—for better or worse remains to be seen ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Jeffrey Sachs is an economist and the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. One of the youngest economics professors in the history of Harvard University, Sachs became renowned his work throughout the developing world and on the challenges of economic development, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation and globalization. He has twice been named one of Time magazine's '100 Most Influential People in the World'. He has authored numerous books, including The End of Povertyand Common Wealth, both New York Timesbestsellers.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and the global best-selling author of The End of Poverty. He is also the BBC's Reith Lecturer for 2007 and is internationally renowned for his work as an economic advisor to governments around the world

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