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Beyond Darwin

  • Jan 4, 2000
Rating:
+5
As this new century begins, if there is only one book which everyone on the planet should read, it would be Natural Capitalism. Why is it so important? In my opinion, because it provides the most convincing, the most compelling argument in support of Wendell Berry's assertion that "what is good for the world will be good for us." Darwin's concept of natural selection becomes irrelevant if there is no environment in which such selection can occur. The authors introduce us to "The Next Industrial Revolution" with all oif its emerging possibilities. In subsequent chapters, they continue to examine natural capitalism in terms of "four central strategies": radical resource productivity, biomimicry, service and flow economy, and investment in it. According to the authors, natural capitalism "is about choices we can make that can start to tip economic and social outcomes in positive directions. And it is already occurring -- because it is necessary, possible, and practrical." For me, the information provided in Chapter 3 was almost incomprehensible in terms of the nature and extent of waste. Of the $9 trillion spent every year in the United States, at least $2 trillion is wasted annually. How? For example: Highway accidents ($150 billion), highway congestion ($100 billion in lost productivity), total hidden costs of driving (nearly $1 trillion), nonessential/fraudulent healthcare ($65 billion), inflated and unnecessary medical overhead ($250 billion), and crime ($450 billion). All of this waste can and should be reduced, if not eliminated. What the authors present, in effect, is a blueprint for the survival of the planet. All manner of statistical evidence supports their specific recommendations. Unless "The Next Industrial Revolution" succeeds in implementing those recommendations, natural capitalism will eventually be depleted ...and no one left to regret its loss.

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More Natural Capitalism: Creating t... reviews
review by . November 27, 2007
Whew! Adam Smith, move over. NATURAL CAPITALISM is the bible which ought to unite environmentalists, socialists and free-market capitalists in a meaningful shift to sustainable systems. It offers a breathtaking overview of the technological and methodological fixes now available -- and in the authors' view, imminent -- together with ways to get there from here. (This one actually left me feeling cautiously optimistic.) The suggestion is that we should eliminate the filters in the smokestacks by …
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Robert Morris ()
Ranked #168
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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InNatural 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 ...

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ISBN-10: 0316353000
ISBN-13: 978-0316353007
Author: Paul Hawken
Genre: Business & Investing
Publisher: Back Bay Books
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