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The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet von [Naam, Ramez]

The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet Kindle Edition

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Länge: 364 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Sprache: Englisch

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

""I'm an optimist," he writes more than once. Optimism about the power of ideas offers no guarantees, as Naam is well aware; he carefully avoids complacency. Something needs to be done to stimulate our ingenuity, Naam writes. Equal parts pragmatic and inspiring, his book offers a helpful guide for that purpose."--The Intelligent Optimist

"Computer scientist/writer Naam has produced a compelling road map for meeting the dire environmental, energy, and food challenges facing human civilization. He argues persuasively, drawing from a wealth of research, that humanity has the potential to innovate itself out of those problems, as it has before."--Choice

"By providing a detailed, statistically rich historical background on many of the detrimental practices and attitudes that have brought humanity to the nail-biting precipice that may await a century from now, Naam strengthens his soberly confident, if not cautiously optimistic, predictions for how humans can walk it back from the edge of disaster. "Booklist""

Seattle Times"

The Intelligent Optimist"

Choice"

By providing a detailed, statistically rich historical background on many of the detrimental practices and attitudes that have brought humanity to the nail-biting precipice that may await a century from now, Naam strengthens his soberly confident, if not cautiously optimistic, predictions for how humans can walk it back from the edge of disaster. "Booklist""

"Seattle-based writer and former Microsoft executive Ramez Naam argues that we can solve the natural-resource and environmental challenges that face us and grow global prosperity if we tap our most abundant resource: innovation." "Seattle Times""

I m an optimist, he writes more than once. Optimism about the power of ideas offers no guarantees, as Naam is well aware; he carefully avoids complacency. Something needs to be done to stimulate our ingenuity, Naam writes. Equal parts pragmatic and inspiring, his book offers a helpful guide for that purpose. "The Intelligent Optimist""

Computer scientist/writer Naam has produced a compelling road map for meeting the dire environmental, energy, and food challenges facing human civilization. He argues persuasively, drawing from a wealth of research, that humanity has the potential to innovate itself out of those problems, as it has before. "Choice""

Kurzbeschreibung

"Brilliant" - Ray Kurzweil

"Required reading for all global thinkers and leaders." - Steven Pinker

Climate change. Finite fossil fuels. Fresh water depletion. Rising commodity prices. Ocean acidification. Overpopulation. Deforestation. Feeding the world's billions.

We're beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet itself.

Yet, if we act, these problems are addressable. Throughout history we've overcome similar problems, but only when we've focused our energies on innovation. For the most valuable resource we have isn't oil, water, gold, or land - it's our stockpile of useful ideas, and our continually growing capacity to expand them.

In this remarkable book, Ramez Naam charts a course to supercharge innovation - by changing the rules of our economy - that can lead the whole world to greater wealth and human well-being, even as we dodge looming resource crunches and environmental disasters and reduce our impact on the planet.

From solar power to desalination, from next generation crops to next generation batteries, from technologies that could scrub carbon from our skies to those that could turn our garbage dumps into piles of valuable resources - solutions are possible: But only if we invest in innovation, and only if we put the right incentives in place around the globe. This book shows the scope of the problems, the landscape of the solutions, and policy changes we need to make to bring those solutions to fruition.

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 3979 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 364 Seiten
  • Verlag: UPNE (9. April 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00BUUITEI
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #276.559 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Kindle Edition
*A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

Ever since the industrial revolution the developed world (and increasingly the developing world) has enjoyed remarkable economic growth. This economic growth has yielded wealth to a degree previously unimaginable. Indeed, many of us today enjoy conveniences, comforts and opportunities of a kind that have traditionally been unattainable by even the world's wealthiest and most powerful people.

However, we may question just how sustainable all of this economic growth (and the resulting wealth) really is. For the economic growth has been accompanied by environmental depletion and degradation of a kind as unprecedented as the growth itself. And while some of the environmental crises that have come up along the way have been solved by new technologies, others yet remain, and are as daunting as any we have seen. Climate change in particular stands out as one of the greatest challenges we now face. What's worse, many of the earth's resources that we have used to generate the economic growth are dwindling, and face extinction. Indeed, the very resource that has powered the industrial era (and that has also caused many of our deepest environmental woes), fossil fuels, has now nearly peaked.

Looking to the past, we find that we would not be the first civilization to perish at the hands of a resource shortage brought on by overzealous extraction. Indeed, such an event has occurred on several occasions (including amongst the Mayan civilization, and that of the Easter Islanders).
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bb7f5f4) von 5 Sternen 68 Rezensionen
23 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9bb955d0) von 5 Sternen On staving off the end of the world 21. März 2013
Von Kevin MacDonald - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Not many books present subject matter more dire to our near future than this one. Naam's book is a concise summation of the greatest environmental and technological challenges humankind faces today. He manages to achieve an impressive level of scientific rigor while remaining approachable to a wide readership, and presents back of the napkin calculations that are both understandable and frightening in their implications. He also attempts to present workable solutions along the way. And while I don't agree with all of his optimism regarding the power of the collective intelligence of our billions, his call to action could not be more relevant and appropriate. This book may hold the power to change your thinking on many subjects from genetically modified foods to nuclear power. Read it!
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9bb97b88) von 5 Sternen A Brief Summary and Review 24. April 2013
Von A. D. Thibeault - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
*A full executive summary of this book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com.

The main argument: Ever since the industrial revolution the developed world (and increasingly the developing world) has enjoyed remarkable economic growth. This economic growth has yielded wealth to a degree previously unimaginable. Indeed, many of us today enjoy conveniences, comforts and opportunities of a kind that have traditionally been unattainable by even the world's wealthiest and most powerful people.

However, we may question just how sustainable all of this economic growth (and the resulting wealth) really is. For the economic growth has been accompanied by environmental depletion and degradation of a kind as unprecedented as the growth itself. And while some of the environmental crises that have come up along the way have been solved by new technologies, others yet remain, and are as daunting as any we have seen. Climate change in particular stands out as one of the greatest challenges we now face. What's worse, many of the earth's resources that we have used to generate the economic growth are dwindling, and face extinction. Indeed, the very resource that has powered the industrial era (and that has also caused many of our deepest environmental woes), fossil fuels, has now nearly peaked.

Looking to the past, we find that we would not be the first civilization to perish at the hands of a resource shortage brought on by overzealous extraction. Indeed, such an event has occurred on several occasions (including amongst the Mayan civilization, and that of the Easter Islanders).

So we find ourselves at a crossroads, unsure of whether our impressive economic growth can continue, and equally unsure of whether our lavish lifestyle lives but on borrowed time (and resources).

For writer Ramez Naam, though, we do have reason to be optimistic, and in his new book The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet Naam lays out the reasons for his optimism. To begin with, Naam argues that the natural resources on our planet are far from running out. He assures us that there is enough water and arable land on the earth's surface, minerals in the earth's crust, and energy from the sun to feed the demands of the planet's plateauing population for time out of mind (especially when we reuse and recycle these resources, which is what we are increasingly doing).

The problem, at present, is our relative inefficiency in accessing these resources. Even here, though, Naam argues, there is room for optimism. For our saving grace is our ability to innovate. It is our ability to innovate, Naam maintains, that is responsible for virtually all of our progress and economic growth to this point. It has brought us everything from the first stone tools and the ability to harness fire, to phones that fit in our pockets and allow us to access a world of information and all the world's people. Along the way (and more to the point), our ability to innovate has allowed us to access an ever greater percentage of the earth's resources (while at the same time decreasing the relative amount of resources that each of uses to achieve an increasingly affluent lifestyle).

And the really wonderful thing about our ability to innovate is that, unlike natural resources, it does not shrink over time. Rather, it only expands. This is because innovation is built on ideas, and ideas themselves only grow and multiply. Ideas can even be shared without ever being diluted. Instead, the sharing of ideas often generates even more ideas. The power of ideas--and the innovation that goes along with it--truly is an infinite resource.

Now, wherever there has been an incentive to innovate, innovation has come, and this helps explain why the market economy has been the single biggest spur to innovation ever invented. The market economy harnesses innovation by way of tying useful inventions to economic gain, thus exploiting self-interest for the benefit of all. Up until recently, a relatively small proportion of the world lived under a market economy. Not coincidentally, these were also the most inventive and affluent parts of the world. In the past 40 years, though, an ever increasing portion of the world has switched over to a more market-oriented economy, and this has greatly accelerated both economic growth and the speed of innovation. For Naam, this trend bodes very well for the future.

Now, as powerful as the market system is, Naam does concede that it has one fatal flaw. And this is that it does not put an accurate price on the degradation of communal goods, such as the environment. The end result is that the environment is not cared for as well as it might be (this phenomenon is known as `The Tragedy of the Commons'). Nevertheless, a market economy can be tweaked to ensure that a price is put on environmental degradation. Indeed, this has happened before, and it has helped put an end to several environmental crises (including, recently, both acid rain and the ozone-hole threat).

For Naam, this approach is also the best way to deal with the greatest environmental threat we now face: global warming. Specifically, Naam argues we ought to put a price on carbon dioxide (and return the tax proceeds to the people). This would not only help ensure against global warming, but also hasten the inevitable transition to the use of solar power and clean fuels to meet our energy needs.

With the right approach and policies, Naam argues, we can live in a world of plenty for all (and one that is clean to boot).

This is a brilliant book. The writing is excellent, the logical flow is superb, the supporting evidence is well-chosen and extensive, and the argument is air tight. In a world that is dominated by fear-mongering on the one hand, and blind optimism on the other, Naam is a shining beacon of sober and rational thought. If you are looking for a big-picture view of the challenges we face and how best to meet them, this book is for you. A full executive summary of the book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com.
16 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9bb97150) von 5 Sternen How and why "the infinite power of ideas" can help the human race to manage finite natural resources 9. April 2013
Von Robert Morris - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I agree with Ramez Naam that "the choices societies make affect their rate of innovation." That helps to explain why, from the Fall of Rome early in the 5th century until the Renaissance, the Chinese, Japanese, and Ottoman people were far more advanced culturally and technologically advanced than were the Europeans. Since then, major developments that include Johannes Gutenberg's introduction of s moveable type printing press and Roger Bacon's refinement of Aristotelian empiricism to what we now view as the scientific method (based on observation, hypothesis, and experimentation), "Europe soared through the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution" while the nature, extent, and pace of change elsewhere "was far less impressive...The explosion of new ideas in Europe, and later in North America, led to the incredible prosperity of our current age." But there are problems of unprecedented severity that must be solved.

For example, as Naam explains in Chapter Four, a single "ecological footprint" can be used to measure human consumption of the earth's finite resources. "The world has about 1.8 hectares of useful living land per person on it. Yet the average citizen of the world uses up 2.7 hectares of that land via that lifestyle. (A hectare is around 2.5 acres, so that's around 6.7 acres.)...[At estimated] levels of per capita consumption, the planet can't support the 7 billion people it has on it, let alone the 9 to 10 billion it will have by mid-century. It can support only about two-thirds of the current population of the planet, or around 4.7 billion people. So what becomes of the 2.3 billion people the planet can't support today? The 4 to 5 billion surplus people we'll have by midcentury?" Ominously, high-income countries averaged 6.1 hectares per person in their ecological footprint. And the United States comes in at 8.0 hectares per person. "To sum this up another way, the world's population right now is using up 1.5 planets' worth of natural resources. If everyone on Earth lived like an American, we'd be using up 4.4 planets' worth of natural resources."

Naam offers a research-driven analysis of problems such as these, duly noting meanwhile that he is dealing with degree of probability rather than with certainty insofar as current trends and future realities are concerned. His rhetoric is by no means overheated but he does have a gift for figurative language. For example, he observes, "In short, as a planet, we're sitting on a keg of gunpowder, and we're enjoying a smoke. Maybe we'll finish the cigarette, put it out, and nothing will happen. People get away with foolish risks all the time...[That said], no matter which numbers you choose, the risk is too high...Until we step away from the explosives and put out our cigarette, we -- the whole human race -- won't be truly out of the danger zone."

These are among the dozens of other passages that caught my eye, also listed to indicate the scope of the material that Naam examines:

o The Catalysts (Pages 10-13)
o Market Forces, Hubbert's Peak, and, Faster Than We Think (40-47)
o A Very Large Footprint (59-60)
o Are Humans Responsible? (67-71)
o The Methane Bomb (81-86)
o Zero Sum World (93-95)
o Solutions, Problems, Solutions (115-118)
o Nylon Mania, or How to Support an Elephant Balancing on a Pencil (123-126)
o Substitution Everywhere (133-135)
o The Fallacy of Futureness: Part 1 (155-156)
o The Fallacy of Futureness: Part 2 (158-162)
o Innovation Nation (181-187)
o The Problem with an Inconvenient Truth (218-221)
o The Virtue of People (280-283)
o Coda: Living in the 21st Century (303-308)

Before concluding this book, Naam acknowledges, "The world I've just described to you isn't guaranteed to be the world we'll have. But it's not a world out of fantasy, either. It's the world we [begin italics] can [end italics] have, if we work hard and smart to bring it into being." I agree. He then adds, "The human mind is the ultimate source of all wealth. We stand poised on the brink of the largest-ever explosion of human mental power, a second Renaissance, more transformative, more far-reaching, and more inclusive than the first. [begin italics] If [end italics] we make the right choices to empower human minds and encourage innovation, to steer innovation toward the solutions for our planet's problems, and to embrace the fruits that it offers, then the future will be one of almost unimaginable wealth, health, and well-being."

That is indeed a compelling vision. I hope I live long enough to see it.

No brief commentary such as mine possibly do full justice to the quality and value of the material that Ramez Naam provides. However, I hope that I have at least suggested why I think so highly of it. Also, I hope that those who read my commentary will be better prepared to determine whether or not to obtain and read this book. In that event, I hope what it offers will help you to gain a better understanding of how the infinite resource between our ears can help us to become more enlightened as stewards as well as consumers of our planet's finite resources.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9bb9ad5c) von 5 Sternen The Most Important Book I've Read 23. März 2013
Von Alexis Carlson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
If you're into comparisons, I could call this something like the intersection of An Inconvenient Truth, The Pentagon's New Map, and the ultimate guide to making sure your children have a bright future. It's an honest look at the spectrum of our planet's forecast for the next 100 years, a look back at how we arrived here, and what we can do in the next 100 years to arrive at the best possible outcome. It's frightening, in part because Naam carefully avoids dramatizing the dangers we face, and in part because I'm still not entirely sold on his optimism :) I am, however, convinced that he's right about what we have to do. Once again, Naam asks us to get over some of our reflexive fears and biases (for example, around GMO foods) and get on with shaping the future. All he promises in return is that we can go beyond saving the planet to improve the life of the average person. This is an awesome synthesis of climate trends, economics, population dynamics, politics, and technology. I'll be giving copies of this book to literally dozens of family members and friends.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9bb9af0c) von 5 Sternen The kind of book you'll want to share with everyone... 23. März 2013
Von _LARS_ - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Before I'd even finished this book, I wanted all my friends to read it. The author first demonstrates (with a lot of data) that mankind is on a very perilous path, but then shows how that path can be avoided with some amazing technologies that are just beyond the horizon - if we are only willing to make the investment in them. The book was very disturbing in its portrayal of the dangers that humanity faces and yet at the same time optimistic. Its call to action that will leave you feeling inspired.
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