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Eco-Economy : Building an Economy for the Earth

Eco-Economy : Building an Economy for the Earth - 01 edition

ISBN13: 978-0393321937

Cover of Eco-Economy : Building an Economy for the Earth 01 (ISBN 978-0393321937)
ISBN13: 978-0393321937
ISBN10: 0393321932
Cover type: Print On Demand
Edition/Copyright: 01
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.
Published: 2001
International: No

List price: $18.95

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Eco-Economy : Building an Economy for the Earth - 01 edition

ISBN13: 978-0393321937

Lester R. Brown

ISBN13: 978-0393321937
ISBN10: 0393321932
Cover type: Print On Demand
Edition/Copyright: 01
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.

Published: 2001
International: No
Summary

In 1543, Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus challenged the view that the Sun revolved around the Earth, arguing instead that the Earth revolved around the Sun. His paper led to a revolution in thinking -- to a new worldview. Eco-Economy discusses the need today for a similar shift in our worldview. The urgent question: Is the environment part of the economy or the economy part of the environment? Lester Brown argues the latter, pointing out that treating the environment as part of the economy has produced an economy that is destroying its natural support systems.

Brown notes that if China were to have a car in every garage, American style, it would need 80 million barrels of oil a day -- more than the world currently produces. If paper consumption per person in China were to reach the U.S. level, China would need more paper than the world produces. There go the world's forests. If the fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economic model will not work for China, it will not work for the other 3 billion people in the developing world -- and it will not work for the rest of the world.

But Brown is optimistic as he describes how to restructure the global economy to make it compatible with the earth's ecosystem so that economic progress can continue. In the new economy, wind farms replace coal mines, hydrogen-powered fuel cells replace internal combustion engines, and cities are designed for people, not cars. Glimpses of the new economy can be seen in the wind farms of Denmark, the solar rooftops of Japan, the bicycle network of the Netherlands, and the reforested mountains of South Korea.

Eco-Economy is a road map of how to get from here to there.

Table of Contents

1. The Economy and the Earth

Economy Self-Destructing
Lessons from the Past
Learning from China
The Acceleration of History
The Option: Restructure or Decline

2. Signs of Stress: Climate and Water

Temperature Rising
The Ice Is Melting
Sea Level Rising
More Destructive Storms
Rivers Drained Dry
Falling Water Tables
Facing Water Scarcity
3 Signs of Stress: The Biological Base
Fisheries Collapsing
Forests Shrinking
Rangelands Deteriorating
Soils Eroding
Species Disappearing
Synergies and Surprises

4. The Shape of the Eco-Economy

Ecology Over Economics
A Monumental Undertaking
Restructuring the Economy
New Industries, New Jobs
History's Greatest Investment Opportunity

5. Building the Solar/Hydrogen Economy

The Energy of Efficiency Base
Harnessing the Wind
Turning Sunlight into Electricity
Tapping the Earth's Heat
Natural Gas: The Transition Fuel
Getting to the Hydrogen Economy

6. Designing a New Materials Economy

Throwaway Products
Materials and the Environment
The Earth's Toxic Burden
The Role of Recycling
Redesigning the Materials Economy

7. Feeding Everyone Well

A Status Report
Raising Cropland Productivity
Raising Water Productivity
Restructuring the Protein Economy
Eradicating Hunger: A Broad Strategy

8. Protecting Forest Products and Services

Fuel, Lumber, and Paper
Forest Services
Sustainable Forestry
Lightening the Load
The Role of Plantations
Reclaiming the Earth

9. Redesigning Cities for People

An Urbanizing Species
Car-Centered Urban Sprawl
Urbanization and Obesity
Urban Rail and Bicycle Systems
Planning Cities for People

10. Stabilizing Population by Reducing Fertility

Breaking Out or Breaking Down
Africa Breaking Down
Filling the Family Planning Gap
The Role of Female Education
Using Soap Operas and Sitcoms
Stopping at Two

11. Tools for Restructuring the Economy

The Fiscal Steering Wheel
Tax Shifting
Subsidy Shifting
Ecolabeling: Voting with Our Wallets
Tradable Permits
Support for Fiscal Restructuring

12. Accelerating the Transition

United Nations Leadership
New Responsibility of Governments
New Role for the Media
The Corporate Interest
NGOs and Individuals
Crossing the Threshold
Is There Enough Time?
Notes
Index

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