More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next

More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next

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.

Title:More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next
ISBN:9781982103576
Format Type:

    More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next Reviews

  • Bradley

    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 ex...

  • Max Nova

    Did you know the world's paper consumption peaked in 2013 and total global paper use has been declining ever since? Or that since 1982, America has taken an area the size of Washington State out of cu...

  • Paul Boosz

    I read more from less with interest and was surprised with some of the claims in the book.The whole argument is based on this premise : "America is now generally using less of most resources year afte...

  • Andrej Karpathy

    A fairly unconvincing, high level, pop-econ take on dematerialization in the economy. The first 7 chapters lay out the context: Malthusian condition, the Industrial Revolution, Earth Day, etc. Chapter...

  • Sanjay Varma

    This book was extremely irritating. The author pretends that the last hundred years didn't happen, in order to assert that capitalists should keep doing what they do, making stuff and innovating. Gove...

  • Adam

    I've been doing a lot of reading on population and sustainability lately, and coming around to the position that Julian Simon might have been more right than I would ever have imagined possible 10 yea...

  • Siddhartha Banerjee

    Books like this, Better Angels of our Nature, Abundance, etc. are an excellent tonic to help recalibrate outlooks on current affairs. You may not agree with the four horsemen theory (I do and I love t...

  • Laurent Franckx

    It is sometimes really difficult to give final marks to a book written by an academic that is targeting a general public. Should we evaluate the book for what we have personally learned from it or wha...

  • Heather Bennett

    More from Less is a interesting book that has some good advice. Although there a several reputable scientists that would disagree with this author on many claims of his, such as we are emitting less g...

  • IAN MARTIN

    irritating...