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More From Less: How we Finally Stopped Using…
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More From Less: How we Finally Stopped Using Up The World - And What… (edição 2019)

por Andrew McAfee (Autor)

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515405,759 (3.95)1
"A surprising analysis of the decline in consumption of natural resources despite the explosion of goods, prosperity, and population"--
Membro:thacher
Título:More From Less: How we Finally Stopped Using Up The World - And What Happens Next
Autores:Andrew McAfee (Autor)
Informação:Simon & Schuster UK (2019), Edition: Export/Airside, 304 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:February 2020, Social Science, Environmental responsibiity, Social aspects of Population, Social aspects of capitalism, Sustainable development

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More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources_and What Happens Next por Andrew McAfee

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Many good points about biased perspectives (the numbers don't lie and McAfee provides many numbers). Many contradictions within this book (minor example: "we should treat animals better"; "our manipulation of cattle for their milk is at its highest production rate/head of cattle ever...we are learning to prosper using fewer resources, see?!"). Optimism is a good thing yet if we were to live by this worldview alone, we might forget simple things Example from the book: rich countries have good laws that allow for us to prosper on fewer resources. Yet nowhere does McAfee mention that our cleanliness is swept under the big rug by dumping our pollution, trash, other problems onto other countries...they simply need to fix their laws, right? Piles and piles of electro-trash in 3rd world countries... but no fear, our TVs are getting thinner. This book will likely go down as a statistic in another skeptic's book as to why we should be skeptical.

Overall a good defense for the techno-optimist perspective while still allowing for many pages of increasing our awareness of the health of the earth. A good stance for an advisor but I would want someone else to make the big decisions. ( )
  DouglasDuff | Jun 21, 2021 |
Important and timely for environmentalists to keep doing their good work

At a time when I hear from everyone that everything is wrong, it’s important to learn what is right, so we can do more of it. And at a time when I hear so often that there are too many people for the planet, it is important to learn how population growth is on a trajectory to harm the planet less - if only because historically people who saw no alternative put their efforts into people dying. Industrialisation has been devastating to the planet but wealthy economies in the last 30 years have decoupled income growth from material destruction. China, India and other poorer countries are earlier in their curves, with more destruction, but it is important to know that their curve eventually reversed, and that they will go through their curve faster than previous economies.

This is not to say that we should not worry and we should do nothing. We should worry and we must do more of the good things and less of the bad things. This book gives a good framework of the 4 forces: technology (the change), capitalism (yes, to adopt the change), popular awareness (to demand the change) and government (to put a high price on the lack of change).

Interestingly he says people who seriously care about the environment should back nuclear power and GM food. I wish this would be properly included in environmental debates.

I also wish the second half of the book was as numerical and specific as the first half, spelling out more future changes like it had described past changes. Of course this is much harder.

Great book, I really enjoyed it. ( )
  idiopathic | Dec 13, 2020 |
Upon reading this, I must balance two reactions very carefully.

I agree with the basic premise that ON THE WHOLE, dire poverty across the world has reduced and a lot of this has to do with the free exchange of goods MINUS the looters who exploit the system OR external negatives such as unrestrained pollution. We DO have a lot of reasons to remain optimistic. Technology, awareness, the willingness of governments to combat looting, and general innovation HAS forestalled some of the very worst predictions of history. The fact that we're still around and still driving cars and have cleaner air and waterways is proof of this.

I LIKE reading books that lay out all the points where we have not fulfilled all our most dire predictions. That we haven't achieved our worst dystopias.

However, despite this book devoting the last third of its pages to notes and bibliography, it does appear to suffer from a lot of rather telling biases and cherrypicking.

Yes, when the forces of good are doing good, we accomplish a lot. But when the forces of evil are bent on maintaining the harmful status quo and governments are consistently rolling back the kinds of protections that kept us safe from monopolies, polluters, economic slavery, and disaster economics, there's no way we can say that we can sit back and relax.

Indeed, the author does not say we shouldn't worry. But he DOES give us a lot of good, real data mixed in with some perhaps wildly misinterpreted data, all of which paints a very positive picture.

For one, we are on a trend to use fewer resources as a whole. We're not perfect, but we are innovating and consistently finding alternatives. The same is true for energy consumption. We are finding ways to do the same thing as before but more efficiently. Free market DOES help this trend nicely, assuming that other forces aren't interfering with it... like coalitions and monopolies that use strong-arm techniques to keep innovation down. But that's the purpose of regulation and politics, the same area that seems to be always under siege.

Even with my fairly large quibbles, I AM quite pleased to be reading books that illustrate the positive aspects of our world. It isn't all complete s**t.
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
An interesting thesis, well supported with lots of facts figures. Not just about the dematerialisation of our economies but why and how it has happened. Unfortunately, the script reads a little bit like a TED talk, which makes it easy but a little tiring to read. ( )
  jvgravy | Dec 30, 2019 |
I do not purport to present this as in any sense a proper "book-review", I have no intention--at least at this point--of doing any such thing,

Behind this work is a set of assumptions which, taken together, produces what is an amazingly stupid thesis--so stupid that it truly boggles the mind and leaves my capacities for expression seriously wanting. This work is a monument to what is possible in erudite stupidity.

I suspect that one day it shall far surpass for ridicule of its nonsense anything seen since the works of "The One-Minute , anager" crowd. Goddamn this idiot author and all his progeny. Goddamn them from here to the end of decent, livable, civilization and the misery which shall overtake and destroy it through a surfeit of precisely this kind of erudite stupitidy --and, that, at a rapid pace which this fool has not and never can imagine.

Worthless junk.
  proximity1 | Oct 4, 2019 |
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