From the coauthor of the New York Times best-selling The Second Machine Age, a compelling argument – masterfully researched and brilliantly articulated – that despite increasing prosperity for most of Earths inhabitants and an explosion of goods overall, consumption of natural resources such as metals, water, and timber has begun to decline.
Best-selling author and codirector of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy Andrew McAfee says theres a new reason for optimism: Were past the point of “peak stuff” – from here on out, it’ll take fewer resources to make things and fewer dollars to lead a comfortable life.
What has made this turnabout possible? One thing, primarily: the collaboration between technology and capitalism. In More from Less, McAfee explains how capitalisms quest for higher profits is a quest for lower costs; materials and resources are expensive, and technological progress allows companies to use fewer of them even as they grow their markets. Modern smartphones take the place of cameras, GPS units, landline telephones, answering machines, tape recorders, and alarm clocks. Precision agriculture lets farmers harvest larger crops while using less water and fertilizer. Passenger cars get lighter, which makes them cheaper to produce and more fuel efficient. This means that, even though therell be more people in the future, and theyll be wealthier and consume more, theyll do so while using fewer natural resources.
However, the future is not all bright, cautions McAfee. He warns of issues that havent been solved, like overfishing and global warming. But overall, More from Less is a revelatory, paradigm-shifting account of how weve stumbled into an unexpected balance with nature and the possibility that our most abundant centuries are ahead of us.
Narrator: Andrew McAfee
Duration: 7 hours 57 minutes
Released: 19 Aug 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio