Paul Ehrlich is author of One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future.

In today's world the most common measure of success is financial wellbeing. For the environmentalist, real wealth is rooted in nature's treasure and calls for the wise stewardship of natural resources. Wasteful civilizations, ignoring this principle, have doomed themselves throughout history. Paul Ehrlich sees ancient and foolish consumption patterns repeating themselves today. He reminds us that the ruins of that ancient and wealthy Nineveh lies 60 miles west of Mosul in present-day Iraq.