Chapter 9. Wealth and the Environment: The Costs of Success

Everything has its price.

In 1798, the Reverend Thomas Malthus published his now-famous prediction that the growing human population would one day be unable to feed itself. While this prophecy has not yet come true, the wealth creation process has had profound impacts on the earth: Consumption, production, and people all deplete resources and create waste. Today, we have vastly more consumption, more production, and more people than ever before, and growth shows no signs of slowing.

But, are turbo-capitalism and environmentalism implacable enemies? Are the two ideals, one economic and the other social, mutually exclusive? Not necessarily. Values toward the environment shift with prosperity, ...

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