THE AGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT BOOK
The Age of Sustainable Development explains the central concept for our age This book describes key challenges and solutions pathways for every part of the . Jeffrey D. Sachs has shown himself to be one of the world's most perceptive and original analysts of global development in his groundbreaking books, including. Editorial Reviews. Review. "An important, comprehensive and remarkably accessible book a The Age of Sustainable Development by [Sachs, Jeffrey D.] .
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Buy The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey D. Sachs, Ki-moon Ban ( ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free . The Age of Sustainable Development book. Read 50 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world's most perc. The Age of Sustainable Development. Jeffrey D. Sachs. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, this book is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on.
A holistic way forward toward global sustainable development, dealing with poverty, the environment, and social injustice. Sachs is one of the world's most perceptive A leading economist offers a brilliant analysis of the worldwide need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. Sustainable development is "the greatest, most complicated Jeffrey D.
Therefore Jeffrey Sachs refreshingly urges us to embrace complexity and shy away from ''one size fits all'' solutions that supposedly can be applied in all circumstances to all countries.
His criticism of such intellectually lazy solutions and the international organizations that have often proposed them is similar to Joseph Stiglitz' criticism of the IMF in ''Globalization and its discontents''. According to Sachs, sustainable development is both an analytical tool and a way to set goals for a better future. In his view, sustainable development has 4 objectives: The importance of economic growth, the first objective of sustainable development, for helping poor countries was already pointed out by Paul Collier in ''The Bottom Billion''.
Sachs also makes this point and points out that there are 2 types of economic growth: This is economic growth that ''comes from within''.
It is most often caused by technological and social innovations, and the countries that experience this kind of growth tend to be the technological leaders. This type of growth ''comes from the outside''. The essence of the strategy is to import technologies from abroad rather than to develop them at home'' pag Sachs describes endogenous growth using the theory of Kondratiev waves. Since Sachs seems to think that catch-up growth is more applicable to poor countries, his description of endogenous growth and the Kondratiev waves leaves the reader with many questions, mostly regarding how the Kondratiev waves work: Why do these waves last around 50 years?
What causes their decline? This is one example where Sachs' book is lacking details. In ''Postcapitalism'', Paul Mason gives a more detailed description of Kondratiev waves. More importantly, Sachs seems to prefer catch-up growth for developing countries and doesn't ask how endogenous growth could be promoted in these countries. Only considering catch-up growth for poor countries may be an unnecessary limitation of the available solutions.
An example of efforts to innovation in a country that is not a traditional technological leader is Start-up Chile http: Factors that facilitate catch-up growth: High farm yields can free up labour for work in industry and services. A disease-ridden environment can be an obstacle to economic growth, for instance because investors may be afraid workers will be sick often.
Economic growth requires good governance, solid and inclusive institutions. Chaos, violence, corruption can seriously limit the potential for growth. As said, Sachs recommends catch-up growth for poor countries. Before it is decided how catch-up growth can be implemented in these countries, it is important to make a country-specific diagnosis which Sachs calls a ''differential diagnosis''. Part of that diagnosis is an analysis of the causes of poverty.
For this analysis, Sachs proposes a poverty checklist pag Poverty trap: A country may be too poor to make the basic investments to get out of poverty and get on the ladder of economic growth. Bad economic policies: A country may have an honest government that unfortunately chooses wrong or inadequate policies, such as choosing central planning when a market economy would be better.
Financial insolvency: A history of overspending, over-borrowing and bankruptcy may limit a country in making the necessary investments for economic growth 4. Adverse geographical conditions include: Being land-locked, high in the mountains, having endemic disease burden, vulnerability to natural disasters.
Poor governance: Signs of poor governance are extreme corruption, inefficiency and incompetence. Cultural barriers: A frequent example is the discrimination against women and girls. Sachs recommends: A country's political and security relations with its neighbours, foes and allies. So Sachs gives several explanations for why a country may be poor, and building on that he warns against ''a misguided desire for overly simplistic explanations of complex economic dynamics''.
He goes on to return the criticism he received from Acemoglu and Robinson in their book ''Why nations fail'': Factors like economic freedom, political institutions. These individual factors taken alone neither explain the pattern of development across the globe and over time, nor do they help us predict future development'' pag Despite these remarks and his insistence that poverty may have many causes, Sachs' explanation of choice for lack of economic growth seems to be geography.
Geographical disadvantages can come in many forms: They are subject to extreme climate catastrophes and often relatively isolated with high shipping costs to major ports'' pag These are generally places facing great geographical difficulties'' pag In ''A further look at geography'' pag , Sachs goes into more detail to make his case for geographical conditions as paramount determinants of economic development.
The next objective of sustainable development is social inclusion. This involves the distribution of wellbeing. Sachs notes 5 kinds of concerns about the distribution of wellbeing pag Extreme poverty: Are some people still exceedingly poor in the midst of plenty?
Are the gaps between the rich and the poor very wide?
Social mobility: Can a poor person today hope to achieve economic success in the future? Are some individuals such as women, racial minorities, religious minorities, or indigenous populations disadvantaged by their identity within a group? Social cohesion: Is the society riven by distrust, animosity, cynicism, and the absence of a shared moral code?
The importance of social inclusion is both obvious and empirically verifiable: Sachs points out that countries that are relatively equal in income distribution tend to have high social mobility examples are Scandinavian countries , while ''the United States today, a country that once prided itself as the 'land of opportunity', but now is a society of high inequality and low social mobility'' pag Also, people tend to be happier in more equal societies, and democracy tends to function better in countries with a solid middle class.
The third objective of sustainable development is environmental protection. This brings us to one of the main questions posed in this book: The answer is given just a few pages later: Sachs summarizes those ecological realities as nine planetary boundaries: Nitrogen cycle and Phosphorus cycle - Global fresh water use - Change in land use - Biodiversity loss - Atmospheric aerosol loading - Chemical pollution Environmental sustainability is a very broad subject, and Sachs touches on many issues.
I will focus on just 2 of those issues, which I think are among the most important: One of the many insightful graphs in this book is 1. The graph shows that for this entire period, the CO2 concentration varied between and parts per million ppm. However, since , CO2 concentration has broken away from that We are well on our way to in heat up our planet into unknown and unpredictable new climates.
The solution is as easy as it is urgent: A drastic reduction of GHG emissions is required. Sachs points out that we have crossed the point where only reducing GHG emissions is enough: We now need a double approach to both mitigate climate change and adapt to it, because some adverse effects of climate change are now inevitable. Mitigation of climate change can be achieved most quickly by reducing CO2 emissions, the most important GHG.
A good first draft for a mitigation strategy includes the following: Achieve much greater output per unit of energy input. Reduce the CO2 emissions. This involves dramatically increasing the amount of electricity generated by zero-emission energy such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric. Change from direct use of fossil fuels to electricity based on clean primary-energy sources.
Population growth will have a major impact on all our efforts to achieve sustainable development. Figure 6. At current fertility rates, the world population will have ballooned to almost 30 billion by Vital resources such as water will become scarcer as the effects of climate change take hold, and those scarce resources will have to be divided among more and more people: Reducing fertility rates seems crucial for keeping sustainable development manageable.
The Age of Sustainable Development
How can fertility rates be reduced? First, Sachs points out that prosperity tends to lead to lower fertility rates: Fertility rates are highest in poor regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Bringing prosperity would probably reduce fertility rates there also. In the meantime, Sachs proposes several ways to reduce fertility rates through voluntary means pag Convince each family that it is safe to have fewer children.
In this book, sustainable development is often driven by regulations and incentives by national governments and international organizations like the United Nations.
The Age of Sustainable Development — Jeffrey Sachs
This sometimes excessive focus on governmental top-down approaches makes one wonder what the role is of free markets in sustainable development. In ''The price of civilization'', Sachs already showed he was in favour of social democracy and a mixed economy, with roles for both government and free markets. Here he proposes regulating markets, since completely unfettered free markets will be not be able to make sure that growth is sustainable, mainly for 2 reasons: The externalities are on a global scale: One way to solve the issue of externalities is to make the polluters pay.
The most straightforward solution would be imposing a carbon tax. Other solutions include a permit system and feed-in tariffs. However, Sachs clearly prefers the carbon tax option. That top-down, government oriented approach does raise another question: Who will pay for it all? Massive investments will be needed to stop the vicious circle of disease and poverty. Sachs' most frequent solution is Official Development Assistance ODA , basically financial aid and donations by developed countries.
Will these countries always be willing to pay? Especially times of crises crisis, this is doubtful. Starting on page , Sachs offers 10 recommended steps to health for all.
In most cases, these recommendations involve throwing money at the problem. Part of the solutions may require specifying where that money will come from.
This is usually lacking in Sachs analysis. This book gives an impressive overview of was sustainable development is and what it can achieve. Sachs' focus on decent analysis, his embrace of complexity, acceptance of multiple causes of difficult issues and rejection of one-size fits all solutions are refreshing.
His optimism is powerful though occasionally over the top, for instance when he says on page that there are a few remaining pockets of poverty, and on the same page indicates that 1. I would say 1. With its wide scope and holistic approach, this book is a great introduction to sustainable development. At the same time, this also the book's weakness: Covering so many topics in one book results in a sometimes too basic introduction.
The result is that although it is wonderful to read through this holistic approach, on many occasions I couldn't help but notice that most of what I was reading was not surprising new knowledge to me. One thing I thought was lacking. The book ends with a description of the sustainable development goals SDG.
Also here there is a strong focus on a top-down approach. What I thought was missing was some suggestions what the average reader of this book, who has an ordinary day job, can do to contribute to the SDGs. Despite these small criticisms, the book is well worth the read. Start by asking 'Why not'? George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life: Other people, he said ''see things and But I dream things that never were — and I say: It is that quality of the Irish — that remarkable combination of hope, confidence and imagination — that is needed more than ever today.
The problems of the world can not possibly be solved by sceptics and cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.
View 1 comment. Feb 28, Nathan rated it it was amazing. The Age of Sustainable Development is the most comprehensive overview of humanity's greatest challenge - how mankind can exist in harmony with Earth's natural systems while solving the many severe problems facing humanity today, as defined by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
Despite the immense challenge of achieving such goals in spite of a grossly unsustainable status quo, UN advisor and super-economist Jeffrey Sachs is dogmatically optimistic that humanity is capable of savi The Age of Sustainable Development is the most comprehensive overview of humanity's greatest challenge - how mankind can exist in harmony with Earth's natural systems while solving the many severe problems facing humanity today, as defined by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
Despite the immense challenge of achieving such goals in spite of a grossly unsustainable status quo, UN advisor and super-economist Jeffrey Sachs is dogmatically optimistic that humanity is capable of saving our planet and ourselves if we collectively work towards doing so.
This is the ultimate primer on Sustainable Development - Sachs explains the history of global development, the challenge of extreme poverty, planetary boundaries, food security, health issues, and so much more in neatly laid out sections with plenty of charts, photographs and real-life case studies that blend the economics and history with practical action and advice.
As someone who has been heavily involved in addressing global health and development issues, Sachs offers tremendous insight into the successes and failures of various efforts to overcome developmental challenges. He is also utterly frank in humanity's devastation on the planetary systems, notably the rapid decline in global biodiversity, the realities of anthropogenic climate change, natural resource depletion, and more.
It's a hard-hitting reality check on a plethora of challenges facing humanity which dispels many myths and misunderstandings surrounding these issues. I have but one question following the completion of The Age of Sustainable Development: Is sustainable development truly attainable under our current global economic system? Sachs seems to think so, claiming that continued indefinite? While Sachs doesn't directly address the systematic un-sustainability of continuous economic growth, nor that of the global economic system, he does hint at it from time to time, notably one passage that suggests the real barrier to achieving environmental sustainability will require much more than regulatory tweaks, global cooperation and clean-energy-for-all: Page - V.
International Dynamics The most important point to emphasize time and again is that the pressures of the global economy are so strong that even when treaties or regulations are put in place, vested interests often give a powerful counterforce to these measures, and control mechanisms are often at the mercy of illegal activities, bribery, corruption, and other limits of enforcement.
The weight, force, and momentum of the world economy are often so powerful that the world economy runs roughshod over attempts at regulation. If humankind is to actually coexist within our planet's natural systems without damaging them beyond repair, alternative forms of socioeconomic structuring and developmental strategies need be explored in tandem with the many lessons and solutions presented by Sachs. In short, The Age of Sustainable Development is THE classic text for an introduction to sustainable development and how to address the greatest problems of our time.
I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. Mar 13, hpmasih rated it really liked it Shelves: I met the author today. Jun 26, Vicky rated it it was amazing. This book is so informative, easy to digest and has an awesome amount of graphical content in it to supplement the reading. Definitely recommend reading. I would also highly recommend taking the supplemental online course offered on coursera.
Sachs, is an ambitious book on the process of encouraging sustainable development as a tool to combat poverty, environmental degradation and rampant health issues, to name a few. This book encompasses many fields, including governance, health, development and environmental studies in Sachs quest to promote the field of sustainable development.
For disclosures sake, Sachs is a key economic research analyst for current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and sits on a number of boards dedicated to improving quality of health, and improving economic considerations worldwide. His interest in sustainable development ties in closely to the UN's Millennial Development Goals, and he proposes "Sustainable Development Goals" as a key alternative. Sustainable development in this book is a massive and complex web of different subjects as can be seen from the tags I've placed on this book.
It covers macro-economics in detail, touching on taxation rates, economic improvement for the third world, and the costs of energy sector development, to name a few. The book also covers health and wellness topics, such as access to drinking water, food, employment, education and healthcare, to name a few.
The book also touches on governance issues, promoting transparency and public participation, but stopping short of criticizing authoritarianism as a system. Sachs basically says, "If it works, then it works.
It is dense, to be sure, but highly readable, and full of interesting facts and figures, and a number of well thought out arguments on why sustainable development is important. Sachs takes an optimistic approach to environmentalism, which is very refreshing.
He lays out many of the challenges we face as a global community in detail graphic or otherwise but offers potential solutions to each one. I could go on an on. The End of Poverty ; Common Wealth: His most recent book is To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace.
Ban Ki-moon is the secretary-general of the United Nations, an office he assumed in He was previously the foreign minister of the Republic of Korea.
The Age of Sustainable Development. Jeffrey Sachs , Ban Ki-moon. 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: Sachs offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.