Outlining the case for economic growth as sustainability cure, not curse

For the first 200 or so years of the industrial era, technology and capitalism were sometimes seen as forces that helped economies flourish, to the detriment of the environment. Eventually, some feared, there wouldn’t be enough resources left to sustain humanity.

But Andrew McAfee sees a plot twist: Those same forces are now helping humans reduce their footprint on the planet. McAfee, a research scientist at MIT Sloan, lays out his optimistic case for how the “voracious appetite” of the industrial era led to technology that improves sustainability in his new book, “More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources — and What Happens Next.”