The Age of Sustainable Development

The Age of Sustainable Development

Book - 2015
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Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world's most perceptive and original analysts of global development. In this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development.

Sachs offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, this book is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on Sachs's twelve years as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, his thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, and his recent presentation of these ideas in a popular online course, The Age of Sustainable Development is a landmark publication and clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, 2015.
ISBN: 9780231173155
Branch Call Number: 338.927 SA14
Characteristics: xvi, 543 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm


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Jul 06, 2017

At first glance, this book is rather intimidating – a weighty tome of 511 pages (excluding notes and index) and lots of charts, graphs and maps. It is, however, well written and quite an easy read.

It is essentially a text book addressing pretty much all the world’s serious problems. It describes the basics of economics, social issues and ecological sustainability in easy-to-understand layman’s language. Any esoteric terms are immediately defined. The comment on the cover by Edward O. Wilson, “My candidate for most important book in current circulation”, is, I think, quite appropriate.

The book addresses basic economics, poverty, inequality within and between countries, planetary boundaries, social inclusion, gender inequality, education, health and disease, food security, resilient cities, climate change, biodiversity, and governance. It concludes with a description of the UN’s 10 Sustainable Development Goals.

I did have a few concerns about the content. One deficiency is that there is barely any analysis (other than a brief mention of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) of the role played by NGOs in solving global problems. These organizations now represent a huge segment of society and their role in achieving the development goals should have been addressed. I also question Sachs’s statement that we can continue to grow the economy. He fully recognizes that there are planetary limits but does not seem to think that they will place limits on the eventual size of the world economy. I question that. I would also have liked to see the discussion of agriculture include the harm done by giant agri-business corporations - e.g. in not allowing farmers to save seeds.

In spite of those concerns, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the issues affecting humanity moving to a globally sustainable future – economically, socially and ecologically. I also recommend it to anyone not currently interested. The future of civilization is at stake; if you are not now interested, you had better become interested and inform yourself and this book is an excellent way to achieve that.

May 24, 2015

Flawed premise destroyed by simple logic: capitalism is not sustainable. And Sachs was one of the // Chicago boys \\ Naomi Klein writes of and still unrepetent.


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Apr 13, 2017

Gracexjva thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over


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