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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A call to arms for ethical economics
Professor Collier is one of the most progressive thinkers in development economics. His earlier book `The Bottom Billion' was an inspired piece of intellectual virtuosity. His follow-up doesn't disappoint.

Putting to use his razor-sharp economics brain, Professor Collier cuts through the sea of romanticized preconceptions and prejudices surrounding development...
Published on 4 Mar 2012 by thejollypilgrim

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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A typical economist
Do you only think about money? Is that the most important thing in your life? If so, then this book is for you.
Totally ridiculous and selfish ways to feed the bottom billion.
Published 14 months ago by Stacey Nicole Bennett


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A call to arms for ethical economics, 4 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature (Paperback)
Professor Collier is one of the most progressive thinkers in development economics. His earlier book `The Bottom Billion' was an inspired piece of intellectual virtuosity. His follow-up doesn't disappoint.

Putting to use his razor-sharp economics brain, Professor Collier cuts through the sea of romanticized preconceptions and prejudices surrounding development economics. He has no time for self-interested lobbies or the fluffy middle-class love affair with peasant agriculture. The book is written with two basic ethical principles in mind:
1) the world's poorest must be lifted up; and
2) civilisation must be made sustainable.
Almost everyone will find some of their positions exploded (I certainly did).

The first section lays out his ethical principles. The second (long, technical) section deals with the chain of decision-making required for African countries to orchestrate an economic transformation through resource exploitation. The final sections deal with the big-picture environmental issues of the day.

Some key points
- International fishing rights need to be owned, otherwise international fisheries will be destroyed
- All subsidies to the fishing industry should be ended as soon as possible.
- A carbon tax is by far the most economically rational solution to climate change
- The key players who might block such a deal are Russia and the Middle East (i.e. the carbon exporters), not China and the USA
- The world needs more commercial agriculture on the Brazilian model, not less
- America should drop its fantasy of achieving energy independence through home-gown biofuels
- Europe should lift its damaging and anti-progressive ban on GM
- Organic food is a rich-world luxury, not a tool for feeding the poor

Telling statistic: until the GM ban in 1996, European grain yields tracked those of the US. Since 1996 they've fallen behind by 1-2% per year. As Europe is a big grain producer this is a major contributing factor to higher food commodity prices.

Quote: "The idea that fishermen should get the rights to scarce fish for free is analogous to oil companies getting the rights to oil for free."

Professor Collier points out that in this networked age, people power will prove decisive to more enlightened public policy. Have a look at NaturalResourceCharter[DOT]org. A brilliant book - anyone interested in a better, more sustainable, world would do well to absorb its lessons.

Peter Baker
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top marks for originality, 24 Jan 2012
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Morten Lintrup "morlin" (Frederikssund, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature (Paperback)
A very original and very well written book. Incredible how a subject treated so often in writing can be given a whole new angle. The best way to help the poorest countries is most likely not the various popular and ubiquitious types of human development projects but perhaps rather e.g. prospecting aid which - unfortunately - has little public appeal and goes up against vested interests of multinational mining conglomerates.
Importantly, also a simple and convincing description of economic theory dealing with socalled "global commons" such as international fisheries and carbon emissions. Yet also a problem in that category: Why not admit that the same theory applies equally well to child birth and population growth? Not even a passing mention. I suspect the author consider the subject too controversial and rather than writing some gobbledygook he knows is false, he choose to ignore it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a vital development topic, 30 Jan 2013
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As Paul Collier points out, on the basis of thorough economic analysis, natural resources such as oil, and mineral deposits have the potential to transform the economies of poor countries, provided they are well managed. Poor governance and management mean that most often they are not used for the benefit of future generations, though there are a few positive examples. Professor Collier makes suggestions for how countries can be helped to make better decisions on how the resources are exploited, how greater benefits can be obtained by better deals with exploration companies and what can be done to improve transparency. As he points out, the potential benefits to many countries in Africa far outweigh those from overseas development assistance (ODA), though ODA could provide assistance in improving the governance and management processes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature (Paperback)
If there is one thing I took away from this book it is that: whatever one might think, we, the inhabitants of planet earth, are so far from living a sustainable lifestyle it is unbelievable. And, what is more, we have never possessed so much knowledge as today, with which we could easily live a sustainable lifestyle if we wanted. And the thing is, we know now that our descendants will not forgive us!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 1 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature (Paperback)
Exactly as described and arrived swiftly without any issues. It couldn't have been easier. Definitely worth a read too for anyone who isn't sure
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A typical economist, 30 Jun 2013
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Do you only think about money? Is that the most important thing in your life? If so, then this book is for you.
Totally ridiculous and selfish ways to feed the bottom billion.
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The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature
The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature by Paul Collier (Paperback - 25 Aug 2011)
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