In This Review
The Improving State of the World: Why We're Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet.

The Improving State of the World: Why We're Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet.

By Indur M. Goklany

Cato Institute, 2007, 516 pp.

"Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better." That mantra, invented by the self-taught psychologist Émile Coué in the nineteenth century, kept running through my head as I read Indur Goklany's new book on the relationship between economic growth and human and environmental progress, The Improving State of the World. Just as Coué told his patients that incessant repetition of his mantra would make it come true, Goklany seems to believe that saying often enough -- and in enough different ways -- that life today is better than ever will make it so.

Goklany depicts a

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