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Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next…
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Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

by Paul Hawken

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This is one of the best books of the type that I have ever read. It gives a clear blueprint to how we can save the world from ecological disaster. I think often of sending this book to Congresspeople, legislators and company boards. I am disappointed that more people don't read it and that it isn't mentioned in the news more often. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
The author lays out a compelling case for economic evolution; he argues convincingly that we need to adjust our economic system to include "natural capital", and that our GNP needs to be adjusted to include damage to natural resources in the costs of products. ( )
  quantum_flapdoodle | May 15, 2011 |
Natural Capitalism starts with a description of a clean, peaceful city with public transportation, low energy costs and little or no un- or underemployment. At the beginning of the book, this vision strained the bounds of credulity. By the middle of the book, I was describing to friends and family the only optimistic book about the environment I've ever read. And by the end, I was done with conventional debate about the zero-sum game between economic gain and the environment. Why can't we design a tax system that rewards efficiency instead of punishing it? Why can't we support ourselves and our families in a way that doesn't preclude future generations from supporting their families?

This is the sort of breath of fresh air that political debate needs - why can't we create a health care system that doesn't have an interest in keeping us as unhealthy as possible? Why can't we attract human capital from all over the globe that contributes to our prosperity? Why can't the Red Sox win the World Series? Twice? [10/30/07 - or many, many times!?!?]

The key - according to Natural Capitalism - is to fix some of the weird leftovers from previous experiments in economics. Subsidies to destructive industries, disincentives to invest in efficiency and public finance of environmental degradation have all got to go. In their place, take your pick between thousands of successful programs around the world (and even here in the US) including taxes, fees, rebates, markets to trade energy savings for energy consumption, better information, better design, and even letting a free market drive competition. There aren't a lot of examples of good old fashioned regulation, and with good reason - the things that need regulating are growing faster than our ability to write and fund regulations. Instead, Natural Capitalism turns toward encouraging a few basic principles: energy efficiency, reduction in waste in any form (effluent, toxins, CO2, etc.) and not spending down the enormous natural endowment of the planet. The market sorts out the rest.

I hope there's a companion volume in he works. 8 years from the original publication date, are we any closer to this world? ( )
2 vote bkohl | Jun 30, 2007 |
Liked it. ( )
  adelmajd | Apr 10, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
The concept and strategies of Natural Capitalism hold immense promise for one of the true challenges of our times: bringing our way of living in industrial societies into harmony with the natural systems of which we are but one small part.
 
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Imagine for a moment a world where cities have become peaceful and serene because cars and buses are whisper quiet, vehicles exhaust only water vapor, and parks and greenways have replaced unneeded urban freeways.
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Most businesses still operate according to a world view that hasn't changed since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Then, natural resources were abundant and labor was the limiting factor of production. But now, there's a surplus of people, while natural capital natural resources and the ecological systems that provide vital life-support services is scarce and relatively expensive. Three leading business visionaries explain how the world is on the verge of a new industrial revolution. Natural Capitalism describes a future in which business and environmental interests increasingly overlap, and in which companies can improve their bottom lines, help solve environmental problems and feel better about what they do all at the same time
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316353000, Paperback)

In Natural Capitalism, three top strategists show how leading-edge companies are practicing "a new type of industrialism" that is more efficient and profitable while saving the environment and creating jobs. Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins write that in the next century, cars will get 200 miles per gallon without compromising safety and power, manufacturers will relentlessly recycle their products, and the world's standard of living will jump without further damaging natural resources. "Is this the vision of a utopia? In fact, the changes described here could come about in the decades to come as the result of economic and technological trends already in place," the authors write.

They call their approach natural capitalism because it's based on the principle that business can be good for the environment. For instance, Interface of Atlanta doubled revenues and employment and tripled profits by creating an environmentally friendly system of recycling floor coverings for businesses. The authors also describe how the next generation of cars is closer than we might think. Manufacturers are already perfecting vehicles that are ultralight, aerodynamic, and fueled by hybrid gas-electric systems. If natural capitalism continues to blossom, so much money and resources will be saved that societies will be able to focus on issues such as housing, contend Hawken, author of a book and PBS series called Growing a Business, and the Lovinses, who cofounded and directed the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental think tank. The book is a fascinating and provocative read for public-policy makers, as well as environmentalists and capitalists alike. --Dan Ring

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"On its first publication 10 years ago, Natural capitalism rocked the world of business with its innovative new approach - an approach that fused ecological integrity with business acumen, using the radical concept of natural capitalism. This 10th anniversary edition features a new introduction by Amory B. Lovins and Paul Hawken, which updates the story to include the successes of the last decade. It clearly sets out the path that we must now take to ensure the future prosperity of our civilization and our planet"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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