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Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change

by L. Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8090-3473-4
Publisher: Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A look at a new kind of capitalism that can save the planet from climate chaos while creating jobs and uplifting economies.

Lovins (co-author: Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution, 1999) and Cohen, both seasoned environmentalists, mince few words in this persuasively argued volume. Climate change is pushing the world to the verge of environmental and economic collapse, whether global warming deniers want to believe it or not. Before things get worse, write the authors, immediate and transformative investment is needed in wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy and energy-saving technologies. This is already underway in places like Germany and, surprisingly, China, as well as in countries, cities and towns around the globe. If governments and entrenched fossil-fuel–dominated technologies don't block the way, the authors argue, this job-creating climate capitalism will rapidly emerge as the obvious and universally recognized best road back from the brink, and at a huge profit to investors. There will be another benefit, as well: saving the earth. The authors' overriding aim is not so much new wealth for corporations and entrepreneurs, but a massive reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. They write that an 80 percent cut is what it will take, and grimly observe that it's already time to adapt to climate changes that we're too late to avoid. Their writing is adequate and sometimes engaging, but the authors’ heavy use of statistics, acronyms and case studies may  overwhelm some readers.

Packed with vital, timely information about the future of the earth—deserves our full attention.