Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet

by Jeffrey D. Sachs

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101202753
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/18/2008
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015. Sachs is also President and Co-Founder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty.

Table of Contents

Foreword Edward O. Wilson xi

Part 1 New Economics for the Twenty-first Century

1 Common Challenges, Common Wealth 3

2 Our Crowded Planet 17

Part 2 Environmental Sustainability

3 The Anthropocene 57

4 Global Solutions to Climate Change 83

5 Securing Our Water Needs 115

6 A Home for All Species 139

Part 3 The Demographic Challenge

7 Global Population Dynamics 159

8 Completing the Demographic Transition 183

Part 4 Prosperity for All

9 The Strategy of Economic Development 205

10 Ending Poverty Traps 227

11 Economic Security in a Changing World 255

Part 5 Global Problem Solving

12 Rethinking Foreign Policy 271

13 Achieving Global Goals 291

14 The Power of One 313

Acknowledgments 341

List of Acronyms 347

Notes 349

References 361

Index 371

What People are Saying About This

Common Wealth explains the most basic economic reckoning that the world faces. We can address poverty, climate change, and environmental destruction at a very modest cost today with huge benefits for shared and sustainable prosperity and peace in the future, or we can duck the issues today and risk a potentially costly reckoning in later years. Despite the rearguard opposition of some vested interests, policies to help the world's poor and the global environment are in fact the very best economic bargains on the planet.
Al Gore, Winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and Former Vice President of the United States

From the Publisher

"Lucid, quietly urgent, and relentlessly logical... this is Bigthink with a capital B."
-The New York Times Book Review

"Jeffrey Sachs never disappoints. . . . This book is an excellent resource for all those who want to understand what changes the twenty-first century may bring."
-Kofi Annan, winner of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize and former secretary-general of the United Nations

"Common Wealth explains the most basic economic reckoning that the world faces."
-Al Gore, winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and former vice president of the United States

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Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Willp More than 1 year ago
Jeffrey Sachs is special adviser on the UN's Millennium Development Goals to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. He urges that the principles of social justice should guide economic forces, not profit, and he argues that problems need diplomacy and development, not war, sanctions and threats. Development brings security, not vice versa. As he notes, "A world of untrammelled market forces and competing nation-states offer no automatic solutions." "Market forces by themselves do not optimally allocate society's resources." "Market forces alone will not overcome poverty traps." He shows in detail that market forces cannot deliver R&D or ensure the adoption of new technologies or control population growth or protect the environment or prevent species loss or get medicine to the poorest. The market pays no heed to future generations. As we can all now see, capitalism is self-reinforcing, not self-correcting. We have the technology, industry and resources to solve all our problems. As Sachs writes, "Earth has the energy, land, biodiversity, and water resources needed to feed humanity and support long-term economic prosperity for all. The problem is that markets might not lead to their wise and sustainable use." He urges countries to convert commons from open-access to community management, not privatise them. So within each country we need to develop and spread technologies suitable for that country, like carbon capture, drip irrigation, desalination, drought-resistant crops, high-yield wheat (which increased India's harvest from 11 million metric tons in 1960 to 55 million in 1990), vaccines for tropical diseases, and turning coal into petrol by Fischer-Tropsch liquefaction. Within each country, we should promote welfare. Social welfare states like Denmark and Finland do better than free market states like Britain and the USA. They have higher employment rates, higher GNPs per person and more equality. We can cut fertility rates, and therefore increase growth, by providing free access to health services, especially emergency obstetric care and family planning services, and by improving child survival rates. This is a humane and hopeful book. Sachs proves that we can raise incomes, end extreme poverty, stabilise the population, protect the environment and establish peace. Each needs public action, public funding, long-term thinking and planning, and we all have to take the responsibility.
quilted_kat on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Common Wealth makes for a very dense read. It is a very well researched collection of data and statistics detailing the fate of the planet as we go down the road of overpopulation, environmental degradation, and toxic foreign policy. The situation is not presented as a possible scenario, but as a certainty. It¿s not entirely bleak; Sachs does offer solutions to the problems that he details. But if the book reads as a listing of dry statistics that¿s simply because that¿s what it is. The overall tone of the book is pessimistic, as it is overwhelmingly unlikely that our governments will cooperate to take the necessary steps outlined to alleviate our global problems. Having said that, I still recommend it to anyone who is concerned about our survival as a species.
LynnB on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Jeffrey D. Sachs has written a book arguing for global action in response to global problems. He doesn't make dire predictions for the future, but talks about the implications of problems we are already experiencing. I think the likelihood of global action is low, but perhaps more ideas like Mr. Sachs' will help increase those odds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect for Communists and those rich enough to never have to worry about money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YourBrotherBob More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I was impressed with Sach's view of causality. Although I agreed with many of Sach's diagnoses, his solutions were sometime problematic for me as a Catholic, Pragmatist and Capitalist. It should be required reading for Social Studies credits in colleges
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book along with Purposefully Made by I. Fountaine Allen are good for people who are trying to make it in this society