Nordhaus, William D. The Spirit of Green: The Economics of Collisions and Contagion in a Crowded World.

AuthorWang, Yongsheng

Nordhaus, William D. The Spirit of Green: The Economics of Collisions and Contagion in a Crowded World. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2021. 355 pages. Hardcover, $29.95.

This book is the latest collection from Dr. William D. Nordhaus, Nobel Prize-winning environmental economist from Yale University. It brings together a host of green economics topics and their intertwined conundrums in political and societal realms. The author addresses these complex issues of our time in straightforward language accompanied with storytelling style of presentation. Throughout the lines of stories, the nature of green economy as public goods is self-evident and the metaphysical essence of green directly connects with one of the fundamental challenges in economics on how to enjoy the power of the market while taming its wildness in need of common good: i.e., the Goldilocks rule of regulation, as the author put it. The author recognizes the need to find the appropriate balance between no regulation and draconian regulation and proposed that efficient policies such as carbon taxes, auction of public resources, and minimization of the role of command-and-control mandates are attainable. In conclusion, the author depicted how the goals of a green society should be nested inside the goals of a well-managed society and his hope of realize the dream of a "Green Earth" through science and farsightedness by overcoming the deadly spillovers of economic growth.

This book is both concise in length and comprehensive in coverage. There are twenty-five chapters in total divided into six parts. In Part I, going down the memory lane as a child in the high desert of New Mexico, the author reflects on the evolution of his view of the green movement by reviewing environmental thinkers such as Pinchot, Muir, Hardin, Carson, and Esty (chapter 2). The author believes that the way of green thinking can solve many other problems of our age (chapter 3) such as market efficiency, eternality regulation, responsibilities of federal structure, and social fairness (chapter 4 to 7). Chapter 8 to 11 (Part II) focuses on the center issue of sustainability in green economics, a growing branch of economics that deals with the environment and emphasizes the central importance of environmental consumption. Although we hear suggestions of human colonization on other planets, the author reviews the current experimental studies (chapter 10) and painful experience of COVID-19...

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