TAG: Green economy

Mother Nature Never Loses Her Mojo


In the absence of radical economic change, it would not be hard to assume that there aren’t any significant environmental or social problems worth worrying about. Surely the powers-that-be would take the necessary action if disaster was impending. Surely the greenies are alarmist. The humanitarian mob are bleeding hearts. And the future is just as it’s meant to be – someone else’s problem. But where’s the logic in that? Doesn’t it make more sense to be at least a little bit cautious, to think of the future health and prosperity of the planet and its people as everyone’s problem? After… read more

The Many Forms of Wealth


Wealth takes many forms. But for the sake of argument, let’s think in terms of different types of capital. The traditional definition of capital is “accumulated wealth in the form of investments, factories, and equipment” (Hawken et al, 2000, p.4). From a Green Economic perspective, however, four types of capital are necessary for a healthy and prosperous economy. These are outlined by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L.Hunter Lovins in their book, Natural Capital: Creating the next industrial revolution (2000): Human capital: Beyond labour and intelligence, this includes the social capital of networks and organization, as well as the cultural… read more

Our Deteriorating Natural Capital

Natural Capital

Thanks to the industrial revolution, the modern economy has afforded unprecedented material gains for humankind. We live in a wealthy world. But whilst our ability to buy fancy cars and the latest gadgets may temporarily satisfy our egos, the price we now pay is far greater than the crunch on our credit cards. Since the time of Adam Smith (forefather of the industrial revolution), more of the natural world has been destroyed than throughout all previous human history. As Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L.Hunter Lovins highlight in their book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the next industrial revolution (2000): “While industrial… read more

Is It Utopia Or A Mirage?

Green economy vision

Imagine a future in which people and their communities live together peacefully. Imagine a world where every bustling metropolis is now a place of serenity, undisturbed by road rage, traffic noise and stinking fumes. Cars and buses and rail are whisper quiet. The only emissions from moving vehicles are harmless vapours of H2O. Parklands and green spaces have replaced the tangled knots of urban motorways. Oil is barely $5 a barrel but is rarely purchased; producers and consumers have now discovered cheaper, cleaner and more efficient ways to meet their needs in a post-petroleum world. Imagine a world in which… read more

Is This As Good As It Gets?

As Good As It Gets?

The era of the industrial economy is destined to meet its end. Paul Ekins highlights in Wealth Beyond Measure (1992), the nature and cause of modern economic development will be the system’s own undoing. It may indeed be doomed to collapse. Some writers argue that few people would benefit from such a collapse; while others counter-argue that the collapse of the modern economy is necessary for the benefit of all. But if our current economic framework is the cause for our environmental and social ills, then is it not worth asking what alternatives might exist?How might we envision a new… read more

The Green Economy

A green economy

The Green Economy is inspired by a different mind-set and value system to the modern industrial economy (otherwise known as modern wealth or capitalism). In their book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the next industrial revolution, Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L.Hunter Lovins (2000, p.9) identify some of the fundamental assumptions of a Green economy: The environment is not a minor factor of production. Think instead of the natural world as a package that contains, provisions and sustains the entire economy. Future economic development is limited by the availability and functionality of natural capital. In particular, the limiting factor is the health… read more