MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2008 (#39)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 139 of 179

138 MacDirectory INTERVIEW JEFFREY SACHS > WORKING WHERE "THINGS COULD BE IMPROVED" Special adviser to the United Nations, director of the prestigious Earth Institute at Columbia University, best-selling author, and co-founder of the Millennium Promise Alliance — Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs never imagined becoming an economist as a child. "I was transfixed and transformed by the early opportunities for travel and fell in love with the idea of the world as a community and the belief that where there's suffering, things could be improved." Putting his ideas into action have helped make tremendous headway worldwide in the efforts for sustainable development and eradicating poverty. MacDirectory > Can you explain the Earth Institute to us? Jeffrey D. Sachs > The Earth Institute is an amazing initiative of several parts of scientific leadership of Columbia University working together to present solutions on sustainable development. This includes many schools and faculties all aiming to knit together basic science, applied science, outreach demonstration programs, education, global awareness and networking to take on these challenges. I'm having a ball and I think my colleagues are as well. We've established goals to reduce poverty, hunger and disease in quantified amounts by 2015, with a second timeline for ending extreme poverty within our generation by the year 2025. To do this requires a lot of focus, attention, pooling efforts and resources. It wouldn't break the bank and that's the whole point in my books. Using less than 1 percent of our income in the rich world to enable places trapped in extreme poverty to escape that trap. MD > Can modern technology help reach these goals? JS > My book Common Wealth is about how to combine economic development and environmental sustainability. The only way to do this is through improved technologies. There are things we can do even with our existing technologies — less waste and smarter lifestyles that will make us healthier and happier. Today's very crowded planet and the poor world wanting to become richer all use vast amounts of the earth's resources. We're facing the crisis of water, climate, land and oceans that we see now, but we're going to face them at a rate and pace that will become unmanageable unless we find ways to deploy better technologies that give us what we want and need for health and services. But it does it in a way that is less harmful on the environment. MD > Can technological advances have negative effects as well as positive? JS > We've learned, often the hard way throughout human history, that every breakthrough technology has adverse side effects. Starting with agriculture. On one side you get food security and the ability to sustain cities and urbanization and all that went with that. At the same time, there came a loss of biodiversity, land degradation and other environmental threats and this has been part and parcel of the human experience. Fossil fuels have brought us to where we are today in long life expectancy, better health, and better food security. But the side effect nobody foresaw when the first Watts steam engine was deployed a couple hundred years ago was the big climate change from greenhouse gases. This doesn't mean that technology is bad, but we have to be eyes open all the time, both to the side effects and to the continual need to improve and identify remedies and new approaches. This is where we are right now. INTERVIEW BY ALISON ASHLEY FORMENTO > PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE EARTH INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SACHS WITH KENYA PRESIDENT KIBAKI AND PM ODINGA

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MacDirectory Magazine - Fall-Winter 2008 (#39)