The overwhelming truth about the Greek debt crisis is that it’s a massive distraction. Greece accounts for a mere 2% of the eurozone economy and the EU population. This doesn’t mean that Greece should be pushed around, still less pushed out of the eurozone. It means the very opposite: the crisis should be resolved, and [...]

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Twenty-two years ago, when the price of gas at the pump was $1 a gallon and a movie ticket was $4, Congress saw fit to set the gasoline tax at 18.4 cents a gallon. The idea was to ensure enough funds for the Federal Highway Trust Fund to keep our roads and bridges in good [...]

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The announcement that last year was the warmest on record puts another nail in the coffin of climate denial. Not that one was needed. The pseudo-debate about climate science has always been about politics, not science. There are two main sources of climate denial. The first is libertarian ideology, which opposes government more than climate [...]

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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 [...]

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NEW YORK – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was not speaking metaphorically when he said that France is at war with radical Islam. There is, indeed, a full-fledged war underway, and the heinous terrorist attacks in Paris were part of it. Yet, like most wars, this one is about more than religion, fanaticism, and ideology. [...]

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NEW YORK – For several years, and often several times a month, the Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist and blogger Paul Krugman has delivered one main message to his loyal readers: deficit-cutting “austerians” (as he calls advocates of fiscal austerity) are deluded. Fiscal retrenchment amid weak private demand would lead to chronically high unemployment. [...]

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This week’s heartening rapprochement of the U.S. and Cuba reminds us of the complexity of regional security relations and the very long shadow of the Cold War. Washington, Moscow, and Berlin would do well to build on the spirit of this week’s breakthrough in the Western Hemisphere to find a similar solution in Ukraine. It [...]

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This has been a year of great geopolitical anniversaries. We are at the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, an event that more than any other shaped world history during the past century. We are at the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the opening chapter of the demise [...]

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NEW YORK – The year 2015 will be our generation’s greatest opportunity to move the world toward sustainable development. Three high-level negotiations between July and December can reshape the global development agenda, and give an important push to vital changes in the workings of the global economy. With United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call to [...]

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The Age of Sustainable Development explains the central concept for our age, which is both a way of understanding the world and a method for solving global problems – sustainable development. Sustainable development tries to make sense of the interactions of three complex systems: the world economy, the global society, and the Earth’s physical environment.  It recommends a holistic framework, in which society aims for environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development, underpinned by good governance. It is a way to understand the world, yet is also a normative or ethical view of the world: a way to define the objectives of a well-functioning society, one that delivers wellbeing for its citizens today and in future generations. This book describes key challenges and solutions pathways for every part of the world to be involved in problem solving, brainstorming, and determining new and creative ways to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth.

The Age of Sustainable Development explains why Sustainable Development will become the central public policy framework for our age.  The 193 member states of the UN will soon adopt Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help guide the world in the coming generation.  This book offers the first comprehensive approach for this new era and for the new SDGs.  The book examines the complex interactions of the economy, society, and the physical environment, and shows how a holistic strategy can help societies to achieve the combination of economic prosperity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.  Students around the world and interested citizens will be the leaders of this new era of problem solving, and The Age of Sustainable Development will provide them with new tools for success.

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KIRKUS REVIEW

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.

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