Michelle Rafferty, Publicity Assistant
Which is more important: saving the environment or fixing global poverty? Economist Paul Collier argues that we can find a middle ground and do both in his new book The Plundered Planet: Why We Must—and How We Can—Manage Nature for Global Prosperity. A former director of Development Research at the World Bank and author of the widely acclaimed and award winning The Bottom Billion, Collier’s The Plundered Planet continues his life mission of advocating for the world’s poorest billion people.
Collier made a quick stop in NYC recently and I was able to ask him a few questions about his new book. In Segment 5 Collier discusses his “rock star alliance” (his book The Plundered Planet was photographed in the hands of U2 frontman Bono). You can check out the rest of the series here.
Michelle Rafferty: What’s it’s like to have this pop cultural force behind your work, and further do you think that celebrities can really make a difference when it comes to global problems like poverty and the environment?
Paul Collier: I know Bono, I know Bob Geldof. They are smart people who have actually taken the trouble to read, so they understand a lot I think. They are the victims of their own medium—which is it’s hard to sing a book. But what they are doing, they’re using their money to fund organization data which actually goes way beyond the songs that’s trying to help with the analysis and to advocate a much more sophisticated agenda. It’s very important to have people like Bono and Bob Geldof who draw people in. To get a critical mass of informed opinion, you’ve got to have a lot of people, and they do that. So I’m very proud of my alliance with the rock stars, and welcome it.