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The Age of Sustainable Development

Cover of The Age of Sustainable Development

The Age of Sustainable Development

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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 The End of Poverty and Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet. Now, in this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice. Sachs outlines the holistic way forward: sustainable development. This provocative work 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 a clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.

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 The End of Poverty and Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet. Now, in this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice. Sachs outlines the holistic way forward: sustainable development. This provocative work 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 a clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.

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About the Author-
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, best-selling author, and syndicated columnist. He serves as the director of the Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University. He is special advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals and held the same position under former secretary-general Kofi Annan. He is director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, as well as cofounder and director of the Millennium Villages Project. He has authored three New York Times best-sellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty; Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet; and The Price of Civilization. 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 2007. Before that he was the foreign minister of the Republic of Korea.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 26, 2015
    Sachs (The End of Poverty), an economist and director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, argues that it’s time for humankind to reconcile its needs with those of the planet, in this sprawling manifesto. He surveys the great dilemma facing civilization: how to ensure broadly inclusive economic growth, especially in the poorest countries, without destroying the natural environment and deranging the climate on which survival depends. Deploying clear, straightforward prose and a wealth of statistics—the book’s countless tables and graphs are an eye-opening education in themselves—he follows the threads of this knotty problem from their scientific and economic roots to their potential solutions in new technologies and a mix of market dynamics and vigorous government action. Sachs balances alarming forecasts with signs of progress, giving brief, even-handed rundowns of policy prescriptions such as carbon taxes, foreign aid to help Africa escape its “poverty trap,” and reforms of America’s hideously expensive private health-care system. The overstuffed book suffers from a scope that precludes detailed analysis of the many contentious debates over sustainability policies and technologies, particularly in its inadequate assessments of the pros and cons of wind, solar, and nuclear power. Still, Sachs’s overview demonstrates the seriousness of the sustainability crisis while illuminating workable paths to resolving it. Maps and photos.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from January 15, 2015
    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 challenge humanity has ever faced," writes Sachs (Sustainable Development, Health Policy and Management/Columbia Univ.; To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace, 2013, etc.). In an important, comprehensive and remarkably accessible book-a standout in a sea of jargon-laden titles that fail to explain and vivify this enormously complex topic-the author writes lucidly about a staggering array of intertwined challenges, including poverty, overpopulation, species extinction, overextraction from oceans, urbanization, social mobility and climate change. Sachs stresses that sustainable development is "inherently an exercise in problem solving," and he calls for a holistic approach and new ideas to produce "prosperous, inclusive, sustainable, and well-governed societies." He explains the history of world economic development, the factors that help make some nations more impoverished than others (such as the landlocked nature of much of Africa), the science of climate change, how technical advances have fostered the depletion of ocean fisheries, the "unfinished business" of social mobility, and the pressing need for sustainable technologies and higher farm yields (especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia). In each instance, the author offers telling details and anecdotes accompanied by useful charts, maps and photographs that drive home his points. Two photos of Shenzhen, China, taken three decades apart, convey the astonishing growth of that major southern city. Examining each aspect of his topic in detail within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals formulated at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, Sachs argues that solutions are feasible and affordable, despite strong opposition by vested interests and the inaction of governments. Required reading for policymakers and students, and general readers will finish the book realizing they actually understand what sustainable development is all about.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    March 15, 2015

    This book is a comprehensive introduction to the field of sustainable development by one of its leading scholars, advocates, and practitioners, Sachs (Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, also health policy and management, Columbia Univ.; director, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network; The End of Poverty). Sustainable development refers to balancing economic development, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion--all topics on which Sachs has written extensively. The work begins with an overview and history of development, includes chapters on several specific facets of sustainable development--including biodiversity and climate change--and concludes by advancing ten related goals. These move beyond the UN's Millennium Development Goals to include management of natural resources and transformation of governance. Sachs covers a wide range of topics in considerable depth. Many colorful graphs and maps supplement the technical material. The author's prescriptions for sustainable development stand in contrast to the more pessimistic views of aid expressed by William Easterly in The White Man's Burden and the focus on individual decisions by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo in Poor Economics. VERDICT A synthesis and update of Sachs's work that also serves as an excellent comprehensive introduction. Recommended.--Jennifer M. Miller, Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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