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Plundered Planet: Why We Must--And How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Paul Collier's The Bottom Billion was greeted as groundbreaking when it appeared in 2007, winning the Estoril Distinguished Book Prize, the Arthur Ross Book Award, and the Lionel Gelber Prize. Now, in The Plundered Planet, Collier builds upon his renowned work on developing countries and the world's poorest populations to confront the global mismanagement of natural resour ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2010)
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Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Oversimplifies solutions he suggests for use of world's resources.
Doesn't seem to take enough account of greed and corruption.
Not enough about what will happen when all non-renewables are used up and controlling world population growth.
Paul Collier writes well about economics and development of poorer nations. The Bottom Billion, his award-winning manual on what holds nations back and how they can overcome their challenges, earned him invitations from leaders around the world.

The Plundered Planet delves further into one of the difficulties identified in The Bottom Billion: the difficulty emerging nations face in reaping the benefits of natural resources. How to capture the value of natural resources and preserve their wealth
Jake S
I like Bottom Billion and some of the other work I have read by Collier on resources, democracy and conflict. I have not always agreed with, but I respect his work. In this context it pains me to write that this is one of the most startlingly bad books I have read by a professional academic.

Collier starts with a spectrum of people's response to environmental issues, the romantic (my words, anti-capitalist, primativist with 'ideological baggage') to the Ostrich (my words, the consumer, short-ter
Jeanne Ferris
Dec 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Underlying some interesting arguments is what seems to me a fundamentally flawed premise--that our planet consists of resources and a single species that has the right to use them ("The oceans are not national territory; they are the true global dominion of mankind" is not the only statement of this kind in the book). Collier pays attention to future humans but ignores all other species. Humans aren't the only consumers of the fish that he discusses at length, yet he makes no mention of those ot ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a reader who is somewhat naive about economics, global politics and many aspects of environmentalism, I have found this book to be a useful starting place for thinking about these issues. In particular, it is interesting to see the process of using an ethical framework to tackle such questions as: Who should prospect for natural resources? Who should mine them? Should the lion's share of the 'profit' be saved or invested in the economy?

The ethical framework used by the author is one he names
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Some interesting ideas but the romantic view on capitalism and big finance and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a minority is just being ignored. He fits perfectly in the economic aftermath of Friedman with a bit more regulation. Being wealthy and being able to consume all day long is not enhancing happiness after a certain salary which is backed by scientific research on that matter. So the focus of economics if it really wants to go down the utilitarian line should be to improve ove ...more
Wicks Rabach
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book for our times

With rapid growth of population with dodgy sustainable government policies across continents but most especially in Africa, this book highlights why nature and natural resources must be well taken care of. Good governance, corporate ethics, and collective responsibility are some of what is needed to mitigate the issues at stake.
This is an important book especially for university students in Africa!
Coffee & books
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars. I had to deduct half of star for something I didn't like in the book. But that is a personal view and I imagine the majority of the people will not the bothered. This is the second book I read by him and I think it's great.
I really like Paul Collier's style. He explains his views so clearly and sometimes in a funny way. Of course, he is an economist and the book is filled with economic terms and ideas.

Full review on Coffee and Books.
Nick Aurelius
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking book on tough subject that asks us to think outside jumping on the popular and or romantic bandwagon of environmentalism.
Raymond Thomas
Mar 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Collier presents an interesting account of the challenges developing states face when attempting to balance environmental concerns and economic development. Collier lays out the challenges to explore the ways in which development countries have recently dealt with the political/economic expectations of their populations and the world's growing concern about the environment. Collier spends a lot of time focused on the way that developing countries have been exploited by outside corporations as th ...more
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting book about our natural resources and how they are used and abused. Lots of stories from countries around the world.

What exactly should we do with natural resources? We have already over-fished the oceans, with everyone looking out for their own interests, plunder is what happens....

A country like Norway has benefited tremendously. They saved all the money they got for their oil and invested it. They distribute the income from the investments to their citizens. That way, the money i
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it
In this follow up to The Bottom Billion, Collier considers the importance of environmental stewardship as it relates to fighting poverty, and discusses the realities of resource extraction in Africa. These are emotionally powerful issues for many people but Collier treats them with a measured, philosophical distance. This leads him to some positions that don't seem to sit well with environmentalism (he is FOR conventional agriculture and oil exploration) but his ideas and research methods are an ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Paul Collier is a well known name amongst economists and indeed I was given this book by a friend who studies economics. It provides a completely different insight into sustainability, the environment and importantly offers real credible solutions.
As an engineer, at times I found Collier's style of writing monotonous and economic terms hard to grasp, nonetheless there are some gems littered throughout the book and it is worth persevering. In particular these three poignant equations:
"nature + t
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
I like Collier because he takes problems we've all heard about, breaks them down rationally, and then creates solutions. I wonder how plausible the solutions are given political reality, but seeing world leaders calling on Collier gives me some hope. I also think the solutions are more practical than radical changes (or radical denial) advocated from each of the political extremes.

As the title implies, Collier deals with the topics of resource extraction and management of global environmental/na
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More technical than I was expecting, but still an interesting and wide-ranging analysis on many aspects of sustainable development. Collier is a brilliant mind and he is able to jump between many different social and environmental issues seemingly effortlessly. My mind had to work a little harder to make sure I fully grasped the concepts. Overall, a good, though dense, read.
Patrick Morris
Jun 16, 2010 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Collier's "The Bottom Billion", and think that he did a good job of following up on that with "The Plundered Planet". Unfortunately, I think he went astray at the end when discussing ag policy for africa, and left me with a bad taste in my mouth. ...more
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ciencia, ensayo
Otro libro lleno de "bon sens", respaldado a su vez por una sólida economía. Una lectura útil, casi obligatoria para no repetir, como en nuestro caso, los viejos errores en el manejo de los recursos naturales, para que estos sirvan bien a los que viven hoy y a los que vivirán mañana. ...more
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Scary. What more can be said, but we need to do something to prepare for the calamitous weather we have created for ourselves. Unfortunately those to be most affected, live on far away islands and parts of Africa, where we Americans will feel little remorse.
Chris Elkjar
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book with really wide reaching implications towards providing actual solutions for world hunger. Great argument against the banning of GM crops and the general "fear of science" that seems to be prevalent today. ...more
Chris Heidger
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This was my least favorite of Collier's books; however, it did have some good take-aways. ...more
If you're running a poor country and want to turn it into a middle-income country, this how-to book is for you. ...more
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Really strong and original take on natural resources in developing countries.
Spencer Huchulak
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A road map for nations trying to avoid the 'resource curse'. ...more
Maral Maral
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Apr 16, 2018
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Nov 08, 2015
Rowan Lange
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Jul 05, 2018
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Georges Sassine
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Feb 12, 2013
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Jul 08, 2011
Tom Hayford
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Oct 02, 2015
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Paul Collier, CBE is a Professor of Economics, Director for the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Antony's College. He is the author of The Plundered Planet; Wars, Guns, and Votes; and The Bottom Billion, winner of Estoril Distinguished Book Prize, the Arthur Ross Book Award, and the Lionel Gelber Prize.


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