The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet

( 2 )

Overview

Climate change. Finite fossil fuels. Fresh water depletion. Rising commodity prices. Ocean acidification. Overpopulation. Deforestation. Feeding the world’s billions.

We’re beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet itself.

Yet, if we act, these problems are addressable. Throughout history we’ve overcome similar problems, but only when ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$22.28
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$29.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $8.95   
  • New (7) from $18.82   
  • Used (12) from $8.95   
The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$15.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$28.99 List Price

Overview

Climate change. Finite fossil fuels. Fresh water depletion. Rising commodity prices. Ocean acidification. Overpopulation. Deforestation. Feeding the world’s billions.

We’re beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet itself.

Yet, if we act, these problems are addressable. Throughout history we’ve overcome similar problems, but only when we’ve focused our energies on innovation. For the most valuable resource we have isn’t oil, water, gold, or land – it’s our stockpile of useful ideas, and our continually growing capacity to expand them.

In this remarkable book, Ramez Naam charts a course to supercharge innovation – by changing the rules of our economy – that can lead the whole world to greater wealth and human well-being, even as we dodge looming resource crunches and environmental disasters and reduce our impact on the planet.

“Most books about the future are written by blinkered Pollyannas or hand-wringing Cassandras. Ramez Naam—Egypt-born, Illinois-raised, a major contributor to the computer revolution—is neither. Having thought about science, technology and the environment for decades, he has become that rarest of creatures: a clear-eyed optimist. Concise, informed and passionately argued, The Infinite Resource both acknowledges the very real dangers that lie ahead for the human enterprise and the equally real possibility that we might not only survive but thrive.” —Charles Mann, New York Times bestselling author of 1491 and 1493

“An amazing book. Throughout history, the most important source of new wealth has been new ideas. Naam shows how we can tap into and steer that force to overcome our current problems and help create a world of abundance.” —Peter H. Diamandis, MD, chairman and CEO, X PRIZE Foundation; chairman, Singularity University; and author, Abundance—The Future Is Better Than You Think

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“By providing a detailed, statistically rich historical background on many of the detrimental practices and attitudes that have brought humanity to the nail-biting precipice that may await a century from now, Naam strengthens his soberly confident, if not cautiously optimistic, predictions for how humans can walk it back from the edge of disaster.”—Booklist

"Seattle-based writer and former Microsoft executive Ramez Naam argues that we can solve the natural-resource and environmental challenges that face us — and grow global prosperity — if we tap our most abundant resource: innovation." —Seattle Times

““I’m an optimist,” he writes more than once. Optimism about the power of ideas offers no guarantees, as Naam is well aware; he carefully avoids complacency. Something needs to be done to stimulate our ingenuity, Naam writes. Equal parts pragmatic and inspiring, his book offers a helpful guide for that purpose.”—The Intelligent Optimist

“Computer scientist/writer Naam has produced a compelling road map for meeting the dire environmental, energy, and food challenges facing human civilization. He argues persuasively, drawing from a wealth of research, that humanity has the potential to innovate itself out of those problems, as it has before.”—Choice

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611682557
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Pages: 364
  • Sales rank: 784,724
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

RAMEZ NAAM is a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. He is a former Microsoft executive, and former CEO of Apex Nanotechnologies, a nanotech startup. He is the author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (2005), for which he was awarded the 2005 H.G. Wells Award. He lives in Seattle.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface: A Tale of Two Planets
THE BEST OF TIMES
The Rise of Innovation
The Incredible Present
THE WORST OF TIMES
Running Out of Steam
Peak Everything?
Greenhouse Earth
End of the Party?
THE POWER OF IDEAS
The First Energy Technology
The Transformer
The Substitute
The Reducer
The Recycler
The Multiplier
UNLEASHING INNOVATION
Investing in Ideas
The Flaw in the Market
Market Solutions
The Unthinkable: Here There Be Dragons
The Unthinkable: Climate Engineering
Greener Than Green
The Decoupler
Of Mouths and Minds
Easy Way, Hard Way
Coda: Living in the Twenty-First Century
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 1 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 24, 2013

    *A full executive summary of this book will be available at newb

    *A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, April 30.

    We find ourselves at a crossroads, unsure of whether our impressive economic growth can continue, and equally unsure of whether our lavish lifestyle lives but on borrowed time (and resources).

    For writer Ramez Naam, though, we do have reason to be optimistic, and in his new book The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet Naam lays out the reasons for his optimism. To begin with, Naam argues that the natural resources on our planet are far from running out. He assures us that there is enough water and arable land on the earth's surface, minerals in the earth's crust, and energy from the sun to feed the demands of the planet's plateauing population for time out of mind (especially when we reuse and recycle these resources, which is what we are increasingly doing).

    The problem, at present, is our relative inefficiency in accessing the planet's resources. Even here, though, Naam argues, there is room for optimism. For our saving grace is our ability to innovate. It is our ability to innovate, Naam maintains, that is responsible for virtually all of our progress and economic growth to this point. It has brought us everything from the first stone tools and the ability to harness fire, to phones that fit in our pockets and allow us to access a world of information and all the world's people. Along the way (and more to the point), our ability to innovate has allowed us to access an ever greater percentage of the earth's resources (while at the same time decreasing the relative amount of resources that each of uses to achieve an increasingly affluent lifestyle).

    And the really wonderful thing about our ability to innovate is that, unlike natural resources, it does not shrink over time. Rather, it only expands. This is because innovation is built on ideas, and ideas themselves only grow and multiply. Ideas can even be shared without ever being diluted. Instead, the sharing of ideas often generates even more ideas. The power of ideas--and the innovation that goes along with it--truly is an infinite resource.

    With the right approach and policies, Naam argues, we can live in a world of plenty for all (and one that is clean to boot).

    This is a brilliant book. The writing is excellent, the logical flow is superb, the supporting evidence is well-chosen and extensive, and the argument is air tight. In a world that is dominated by fear-mongering on the one hand, and blind optimism on the other, Naam is a shining beacon of sober and rational thought. If you are looking for a big-picture view of the challenges we face and how best to meet them, this book is for you. A full executive summary of the book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, April 30; A podcast discussion of the book will be available shortly thereafter.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 1 of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)