View Full Version : Natural Capitalism: Creating The Next Industrial

08-28-2001, 12:50 AM

Has anybody read this book by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins?

The reviews I read sounded interesting. Its based on the principle that business can be good for the environment.

08-28-2001, 07:40 AM
oxymoron for sure. no business can be good for the environment. pure shit.

08-28-2001, 01:09 PM
Well I don't see how that could be possible unless it was a recycling business perhaps.

You gave us the premise; did the reviews elaborate on any specifics of just how business could be good for the environment?

08-28-2001, 04:13 PM
Not to be picky, but it depends how you define terms. "Environment" is a relational concept, and our frame of reference requires that we look at man's environment. That is, how man relates to nature. Nature is not a relational concept. I haven't read this book, but I would think business could be good for the environment and not particularly damaging of nature. A lot of "environmentalists" are not because they oppose the existence of man. This is a growing trend and should be called something else, like "radical naturism" or something. There are degrees of beliefs on this of course, but when human needs are disregarded I think we move away from "environmentalism" and more toward "naturism." Also, of course, we must look at the long term need for people to have a livable planet, not just immediate desires.

Thus, I think companies may help the environment by creating the products that allow more people to live on the planet, and allow those people to live longer, better lives. Assuming the planet is not completely destroyed, which would kill off all those people.

08-28-2001, 06:11 PM
"Thus, I think companies may help the environment by creating the products that allow more people to live on the planet, and allow those people to live longer, better lives."

More and more people living on the planet is one of the main reasons we are having environmental problems.

I don't think having more people living on the planet would be a good thing. It's already too crowded and this creates great strains on our natural resources. I don't "oppose the existence of man" but I am concerned about increasing pollution, irerevocably destroyed natural areas and resources, and the ever increasing unbiquitous traffic and traffic jams.

The concept of overpopulation applies to the human species as well as to deer.

Those who worry about the changing of demographic trends and not having enough youth to care for the elderly in 20 years might consider whether the root of the problem is too many elderly or too few younsters. The world didn't suffer for lack of people when we had a few billion less than we now have. A few billion more and we will probably be in serious trouble.

I sure hope those projected declining fertility rates mean something, but every year the world keeps growing more crowded.

08-28-2001, 06:14 PM

08-28-2001, 09:36 PM
8/24/01 Scott Burns moneycentral.com

web site natcap.org downloadable chapters

30 some reviews at Amazon

I haven't read it yet but will.

08-29-2001, 06:22 AM

20% of all people, in the history of human beings, who have lived past the age of sixty-five are alive today.


08-29-2001, 10:05 AM
Overpopulation is overblown. I don't pay much attention to it and have heard some studies recently (can't specify) which indicate overpopulation will not be the problem the doomsayers have threatened. People are most definitely not like deer. People can invent new ways to feed themselves and live in a changing environment. Deer are pretty much predator food and depend on having a certain narrow range of habitat. I am not saying kill off the deer on a whim, but am saying there is a big distinction between deer and people.

In the countries that are most developed by all the nasty businesses, there is less problem of overpopulation and environmental damage. This is because developed countries can support more people with a given amount of harm to the environment and because the birth rate drops as countries become modern.

As to my views on whether there are enough young people to support old people, see my posts on Social Security.

08-29-2001, 01:34 PM
This is what environmental economists have been arguing for awhile. While I'm not sure what you mean by "business" in this case and I have not read the book. The economists' persepctive has long been that only capitalism can produce non-polluting industries, only capitalism will create viable renewable energy sources. Only capitalism will provide the technology needed to greatly reduce the number of human inhabitants on earth.

The real question is how far governments should go to alter the market in order to push the market to do these things. The market will, afterall, adapt to any restrictions put upon it. The government at all scales from local to national) needs to find what sort of ways it can nudge the market wihtout causing undue stress to consumers and employees in the present.


Paul Talbot

08-29-2001, 02:37 PM
I'm not saying that developed countries have more environmental problems. I'm saying that the world is probably not far from holding about as many people as can reasonably be supported. Surely you must agree that there is somelimit to the size of the human population the Earth can support.

08-29-2001, 02:39 PM

I'm afraid I don't know whether you are using this to make point, or if you are simply providing information.

08-29-2001, 03:32 PM
This statistic and the trend it represents should point up the folly of the notion that we should have greater numbers of youngsters to take care of the oldsters.

08-29-2001, 03:46 PM
There is certainly a limit given each level of technological development. More technology leads to a higher limit. So there is a limit, but it depends on how much we advance. I think the limit with many advances in technology is very high.

08-29-2001, 04:25 PM

Just for information, but I found the statistic amazing. One assignment I give to students is to take a fact like this and write a paper based on the fact, saying what it means to them and the world. They can't do research, so they are forced to invent. One student took this fact and continued, "and every time I get in my car, there they are, driving in front of me, very, very slowly."


08-29-2001, 04:28 PM

I agree in one sense. Note how agriculture led to a burgeoning human population. Perhaps technology can perform the same sorts of feats, but do we really trust technology that much?


08-29-2001, 09:26 PM
Even if there were to be essentially unlimited energy and food due to future technological advances, there wouldn't be unlimited space on the planet.

Who wants to live in a permanent traffic jam ten times worse than any we have today? Maybe your idea of progress is humans packed like sardines, but I can't see any reasons why we should need more people. I can think of lots of reasons we could do with less people, though.

We are only one of how many species on the planet anyway. We are the dominant species but we are probably already overreaching our entitlments, so to speak. We would not exist without the ecosystem, and the more there is of us, the less there is of many other species, all of which play roles in the balance of the entire ecosystem.

Of course, as we grow in number, there is definitely one type of organism that grows along with uis: bacteria and viruses.

08-30-2001, 01:23 AM
I haven't read the book, the word business came from a review.

Last week a rancher leased his water right to Trout Unlimited which will mean an additional 220 cfs in the Madison River, good for the fish. A few days later F&G announced closures on two rivers that are flowing at lows so low as to threaten fish populations. Both have heavy irrigation demands. I would speculate that water left in the river would be more valuable than that used to grow grass to feed cattle, more so if the subsidies to ranchers were eliminated.

09-01-2001, 03:57 PM
"oxymoron for sure. no business can be good for the environment. pure shit. "

I can't agree with you there. If your definition of "good for the environment" is that it remain relatively untouched it would be fair to say capitalism and business in general can't be good for the environment. But....if business already exists then there is room for a business that both makes money and is good for the environment. How's about a recycling center? Electric cars(replacing gas fueled ones with electric fueled ones)? Factory that creates cloth diapers?

09-02-2001, 12:18 PM
what you mention is not good for the environment, they are just better than they alternatives. its a big step in the right direction though. and slowly the world is going that way but mostly because its the law.

09-03-2002, 02:54 AM
You bastard. Give me back my username from the old forums and find your own handle to post under. This isn't me.

09-03-2002, 12:45 PM

By your standard, human beings are not good for the environment. So, unless our solution is to do away with people, EVERY system is going to have environmental impact. The question then becomes: which system does a better job of maintaining some sort of compromise ecological balance?