Amory Lovins’ Logic In Natural Capitalism

978 words - 4 pages

Amory Lovins’ Logic in Natural Capitalism

In the first chapter of Natural Capitalism, author Amory Lovins proposes a new method of capitalism that recognizes the importance of natural and human capital in the industrial system. Conventional capitalism places value only on capital that yields financial gain, and ignores the human and natural parts of the equation. Lovins points to this as the reason for many of the environmental, social, and economic problems on our planet today. He argues that the destructive practices of conventional capitalism must cease, and that a new industrial revolution must happen that will change how human beings support themselves and sustain the ...view middle of the document...

He discusses four key strategies for implementing natural capitalism; radical resource productivity, biomimicry, service and flow economy, and investing in natural capital. Radical resource productivity involves finding every way possible to increase the usage that humans get from natural resources. This lowers the cost of materials and decreases the amount of pollution due to wasteful consumption of resources. Biomimicry is the term given for modeling the mechanical processes of our industries after the self-sustaining and interdependent processes found in nature. Such a transformation would make factories more efficient and less polluting. Creating a service and flow economy means that consumers would pay for the service a product provides instead of buying the product itself. Instead of throwing away worn out products, consumers can just return them to the manufacturer, who will repair them or recycle them. Investing in natural capital means that corporations value living systems. In this sort of system, logging companies would value not only the lumber that they harvest, but the forest habitat where the trees came from as well. This gives companies motivation to not strip a forest bare because they now profit from a thriving forest habitat. This Lovins calls these points “the basis of responsible stewardship and prosperity for the next century.”

This chapter is full of colorful language written specifically to sway the emotions of the reader. Throughout the chapter, Lovins contrasts the destructive methods of conventional capitalism with alternative methods that promote sustainability. Lovins describes, “Mountains of toxic tailings” being dumped next to “Impoverished indigenous villages.” These words arouse sympathy for the natives and concern about the destruction of their local environment. He calls the emergence of natural capitalism “the end of the war against Earth.” This makes the reader look at the history of capitalism in the last century and realize that to continue on the present path would mean...

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