|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
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About the Author
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
List of Acronyms 347
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
"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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Perfect for Communists and those rich enough to never have to worry about money.
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
This book along with Purposefully Made by I. Fountaine Allen are good for people who are trying to make it in this society