amcafee Profile picture
Author, "More from Less," coauthor "The Second Machine Age" and "Machine | Platform | Crowd." Enough, it wasn't that way at all. - Mark Doty, "Visitation"
Jean Hammond Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
14 Apr
THREAD!
Toby @thll, thanks for the great and well-phrased question: “would you agree it's reasonable to set science-informed boundaries on prosperity..” for the sake of the environment? As I explained in @Newsweek, my answer is an emphatic “No:” newsweek.com/how-we-can-hav…
In short, because science and evidence inform us that boundaries on prosperity are NOT necessary for us to be better stewards of the Earth. Longer explanation follows:
The problem is NOT that greater human prosperity (i.e. economic growth) always harms our planet. The problem is much more narrow and tractable: some of the things we humans do harm our planet.
Read 13 tweets
13 Feb
A THREAD (with visuals!) on where the unicorns are around the world:
At #Davos and elsewhere recently, I’ve been in lots of discussions about nat’l competitiveness, innovation policy, etc. as we move deeper into the 4th Ind. Revolution, 2nd Machine Age, or whatever we call it.
There is no shortage of strongly held opinions on these topics, but there’s often a shortage of broad-based evidence. During one discussion, I found myself wondering where the world’s unicorns were and what, if anything, their distribution might tell us.
Read 23 tweets
28 Jan
"More from Less" response to criticism thread, part 2:
The upper continental crust of the Earth weighs about 7*10^21 kg. 80 billion tonnes is 8*10^13 kg. So we’re consuming ~0.000001% of the planet under our feet annually. That’s… not scary at all.
ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFM.…
Of course, the above is a ridiculous calculation. That’s the point. It’s as ridiculous as modeling global tonnage of materials and thinking that the resulting number means anything about scarcity, or sustainability, or much of anything else.
Assessing planetary health by calculating global material tonnage makes about as much sense as assessing the health of Walden Pond by modeling the amount of its water leaving in the wet bathing suits of visitors every year.
Read 5 tweets
28 Jan
"More from Less" response to criticism thread, part 1:
@Jasonhickel recently posted a thread refuting the claims I make in my book “More from Less.” So, time to respond.
threadreaderapp.com/thread/1221033…
The main reason to respond here is to discuss the research Hickel and others rely on to state, repeatedly, that we humans are taking too much from the earth year after year.
In his 1st tweet, Hickel does a great job of stating my central claim: “McAfee argues that we can have indefinite GDP growth while *reducing* our ecological impact.” This is correct, and “can” is the right verb. I don’t say that we WILL, only that we CAN
amazon.com/More-Less-Surp…
Read 25 tweets
3 Dec 19
MORE FROM LESS BOOK THREAD: GLOBALIZATION / OFFSHORING EDITION
In person and on Twitter, several people have argued that the dematerialization of the US economy -- the recent pattern of increasing GDP while decreasing resource use -- is a mirage. amazon.com/More-Less-Surp…
Their argument is that we’re NOT using fewer resources over time in America; instead, we’re now importing more of them year after year from China (and other countries).
This seems like a plausible argument. Imports of goods from China have increased a LOT this century (since the permanent normalization of US-China trade)... researchgate.net/publication/27…
Read 21 tweets
17 Oct 19
MORE FROM LESS BOOK THREAD: GLOBALIZATION / OFFSHORING EDITION
In talks and on Twitter, several people have advanced the idea that the dematerialization of the US economy is a mirage.
Their argument is that we’re NOT using fewer resources over time in America; instead, we’re now importing more of them year after year from China (and other countries).
This seems like a plausible argument. Imports of goods from China have increased a LOT since 2000 (when US-China trade was permanently normalized)...
libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2011/07/would-…
Read 13 tweets
23 Sep 19
#MorefromLess BOOK THREAD
My new book “More from Less” is now available for preorder. Here are 10 of its main claims: amazon.com/More-Less-Surp…
1. We have finally learned to tread more lightly on our planet, as evidence from the US shows. Total consumption of most resources is now trending downward over time, a phenomenon called “dematerialization.” Pollution levels are also falling. amazon.com/More-Less-Surp…
… This is not a US-only phenomenon. @ChrisGoodall2 found that the UK is now reducing its consumption of resources, and Eurostat shows similar trends for several EU countries. My conclusion: the rich world has learned to tread more lightly on the Earth. carboncommentary.com/blog/2011/10/3…
Read 17 tweets