Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change

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Believe in climate change. Or don't. It doesn't matter.

But you'd better understand this: the best route to rebuilding our economy, our cities, and our job markets, as well as assuring national security, is doing precisely what you would do if you were scared to death about climate change. Whether you're the head of a household or the CEO of a multinational corporation, embracing efficiency, innovation, renewables, carbon markets, and new technologies is the smartest decision you can make. It's the most profitable, too. And, oh yes—you'll help save the planet.

In Climate Capitalism, L. Hunter Lovins, coauthor of the bestselling Natural Capitalism, and the sustainability expert Boyd Cohen prove that the future of capitalism in a recession-riddled, carbon-constrained world will be built on innovations that cutting-edge leaders are bringing to the market today. These companies are creating jobs and driving innovation.

Climate Capitalism delivers hundreds of indepth case studies of international corporations, small businesses, NGOs, and municipalities to prove that energy efficiency and renewable resources are already driving prosperity. While highlighting business opportunities across a range of sectors—including energy, construction, transportation, and agriculture technologies—Lovins and Cohen also show why the ex–CIA director Jim Woolsey drives a solar-powered plugin hybrid vehicle. His bumper sticker says it all: "Osama bin Laden hates my car."

Corporate executives, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and concerned citizens alike will find profitable ideas within these pages. In ten information-packed chapters, Climate Capitalism gives tangible examples of early adopters across the globe who see that the low-carbon economy leads to increased profits and economic growth. It offers a clear and concise road map to the new energy economy and a cooler planet.

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About the author

Named a Time magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet and called by Newsweek "the green business icon," L. Hunter Lovins is president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and Chief Insurgent of the Madrone Project. Her clients include large companies like Walmart; small companies like Clif Bar; the Pentagon; the United Nations; cities around the world; and the energy minister of Afghanistan, to name just a few. Boyd Cohen is CEO of CO2IMPACT and a former professor of sustainable entrepreneurship in Spain, Costa Rica, and Canada.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hill and Wang
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Published on
Apr 12, 2011
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781429966658
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Green Business
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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There are twenty million acres of lawns in North America. In their current form, these unproductive expanses of grass represent a significant financial and environmental cost. However, viewed through a different lens, they can also be seen as a tremendous source of opportunity. Access to land is a major barrier for many people who want to enter the agricultural sector, and urban and suburban yards have huge potential for would-be farmers wanting to become part of this growing movement.

The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else's). Major benefits include:

Low capital investment and overhead costs Reduced need for expensive infrastructure Easy access to markets

Growing food in the city means that fresh crops may travel only a few blocks from field to table, making this innovative approach the next logical step in the local food movement. Based on a scalable, easily reproduced business model, The Urban Farmer is your complete guide to minimizing risk and maximizing profit by using intensive production in small leased or borrowed spaces.

Curtis Stone is the owner/operator of Green City Acres, a commercial urban farm growing vegetables for farmers markets, restaurants, and retail outlets. During his slower months, Curtis works as a public speaker, teacher, and consultant, sharing his story to inspire a new generation of farmers.

Until recently, Elizabeth Cline was a typical American consumer. She’d grown accustomed to shopping at outlet malls, discount stores like T.J. Maxx, and cheap but trendy retailers like Forever 21, Target, and H&M. She was buying a new item of clothing almost every week (the national average is sixty-four per year) but all she had to show for it was a closet and countless storage bins packed full of low-quality fads she barely wore—including the same sailor-stripe tops and fleece hoodies as a million other shoppers. When she found herself lugging home seven pairs of identical canvas flats from Kmart (a steal at $7 per pair, marked down from $15!), she realized that something was deeply wrong.


Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenney now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. Retailers are pro­ducing clothes at enormous volumes in order to drive prices down and profits up, and they’ve turned clothing into a disposable good. After all, we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.


But what are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?


In Overdressed, Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut, tracing the rise of budget clothing chains, the death of middle-market and independent retail­ers, and the roots of our obsession with deals and steals. She travels to cheap-chic factories in China, follows the fashion industry as it chases even lower costs into Bangladesh, and looks at the impact (both here and abroad) of America’s drastic increase in imports. She even explores how cheap fashion harms the charity thrift shops and textile recyclers where our masses of cloth­ing castoffs end up.


Sewing, once a life skill for American women and a pathway from poverty to the middle class for workers, is now a dead-end sweatshop job. The pressures of cheap have forced retailers to drastically reduce detail and craftsmanship, making the clothes we wear more and more uniform, basic, and low quality. Creative inde­pendent designers struggle to produce good and sustainable clothes at affordable prices.


Cline shows how consumers can break the buy-and-toss cycle by supporting innovative and stylish sustainable designers and retailers, refash­ioning clothes throughout their lifetimes, and mending and even making clothes themselves.


Overdressed will inspire you to vote with your dollars and find a path back to being well dressed and feeling good about what you wear.

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