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More from less : the surprising story of how we learned to prosper using fewer resources-- and what happens next

by McAfee, Andrew,

Format: Print Book 2019
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From the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Second Machine Age , a compelling argument--masterfully researched and brilliantly articulated--that we have at last learned how to increase human prosperity while treading more lightly on our planet.

Throughout history, the only way for humanity to grow was by degrading the Earth: chopping down forests, fouling the air and water, and endlessly digging out resources. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the reigning argument has been that taking better care of the planet means radically changing course: reducing our consumption, tightening our belts, learning to share and reuse, restraining growth. Is that argument correct?

Absolutely not . In More from Less, McAfee argues that to solve our ecological problems we don't need to make radical changes. Instead, we need to do more of what we're already doing: growing technologically sophisticated market-based economies around the world.

How can he possibly make this claim? Because of the evidence. America--a large, high-tech country that accounts for about 25% of the global economy--is now generally using less of most resources year after year, even as its economy and population continue to grow. What's more, the US is polluting the air and water less, emitting fewer greenhouse gases, and replenishing endangered animal populations. And, as McAfee shows, America is not alone. Other countries are also transforming themselves in fundamental ways.

What has made this turnabout possible? One thing, primarily: the collaboration between technology and capitalism, although good governance and public awareness have also been critical. McAfee does warn of issues that haven't been solved, like global warming, overfishing, and communities left behind as capitalism and tech progress race forward. But overall, More from Less is a revelatory, paradigm-shifting account of how we've stumbled into an unexpectedly better balance with nature--one that holds out the promise of more abundant and greener centuries ahead.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "McAfee, co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, examines how four facets technological progress, capitalism, responsive government, and public awareness have collaboratively enhanced economic growth by consuming the planet's natural resources. Citing sources such as government reports, economic data, scientific publications, and world news coverage, McAfee illuminates the connections among these four facets and how they affect economic activity, social capital, sustainability, and humanity's overall state of well-being. His arguments are complex at times, as he covers varying interdisciplinary fields to suggest that humans have excelled in integrating technological progress with capitalism to fulfill human needs and wants, which has also directly impacted the environment. Readers interested in environmental sciences, economics, and political economy will find McAfee's work to be deeply engaging and useful in understanding the roles of capitalism and technology in shaping humanity's future.--Raymond Pun Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Contrary to the doomsayers, humanity can grow the economy while healing the environment, according to this hopeful exploration of sustainable development by MIT business research scientist McAfee (The Second Machine Age). He spotlights efficiency trends that have allowed America and other developed countries to reduce resource consumption even as their populations and economies soar: growing more food with less land, fertilizer, and water; making soft-drink cans with 85% less aluminum; constructing homes with less building material; replacing more than a dozen old-fashioned electronic gadgets with a single smartphone. McAfee attributes these successes to "the four horsemen of the optimist"--technological innovation, capitalist competition, public awareness, and judicious government regulation--which together have enabled most people in most places to lead longer, healthier, richer lives while saving such endangered species as the American bison. (He allows that much work is needed on climate change, protecting wild areas, and reducing pollution.) McAfee synthesizes a vast literature on economics and the environment into a lucid, robust defense of technological progress, including nuclear power and GMOs. This stimulating challenge to anticapitalist alarmists is full of fascinating information and provocative insights. (Oct.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Consumption (Economics) -- Environmental aspects.
Natural resources -- Environmental aspects.
Conservation of natural resources.
Technology -- Economic aspects.
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First Scribner hardcover edition.
Language English
Description xii, 337 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 281-327) and index.
ISBN 9781982103576
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