4 out of 4 stars
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In the world today, we endlessly strive to increase our economies yearly. The number of innovations and activities creating employment are numerous. Therefore, our quality of life improves as well. What is the environmental cost of this constant growth of the economy? This is a question that many people neglect to ask. When you think about it, to improve the economy, we harness resources from Earth, and studies have shown that we have gotten to a point where, in a year, we utilize over 1.6 times the resources generated by the Earth per year while the economy continues to grow. At what point does this become catastrophic? What are the other numerous negative effects of this? How can we reverse these negative effects and improve the planet's health sustainably? These questions are answered in Iain Miller's thought-provoking book, Economics for a Healthy Planet.
Shockingly, the author immediately suggests shrinking the economy, which will lead to a recession. A lot of readers will find this suggestion alarming in the same way I did. However, I went from seeing this as a crazy idea to completely agreeing with Iain Miller over the course of this book. In clear and simple language, the author presents the facts of the different ways we harm the planet and shows how reducing the economy and improving the natural economy is the way to go. These facts are backed by research, and the links are included at the bottom of each page for reference.
Furthermore, Iain Miller ties the ever-growing economy to a rise in the occurrence of diseases, healthcare systems, poverty rates, and even world peace. One part of the book that interested me was an analysis of the different vicious cycles in the world today. A good example can be seen when there are new inventions and modes of lifestyle that cause unexpected diseases. More money and resources from Earth will have to be spent creating cures to these diseases, which boosts the economy. Nevertheless, this could have been avoided by living natural lives in the first place. This was intriguing to think about but also scary when the author presents the numbers.
Of course, my favorite part of the book was the number of solutions the author provided to these problems. They are ideal solutions, and Iain Miller admits that they may be difficult to implement, but he also presents cases where similar methods have already been applied. A good example is Russia repurposing lands for use as kin domains to promote living off the land. He also shares insightful methods of taxation that will ensure a better distribution of wealth, and it will be interesting to see if these methods can actually be implemented.
I found four minor errors while reading. These errors had no bearing on my enjoyment of the book, however. Nevertheless, the words in the book could have been much bigger to improve readability. That is the only thing I dislike about the book; it isn't enough to affect my rating, though. Therefore, the well-researched, eye-opening Economics for a Healthy Planet deserves the maximum rating of four out of four. Readers who enjoy detailed exposés will love this book. I think that the world will benefit from reading this book and acting on the information presented as well.
Economics for a Healthy Planet
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