Capitalism: As If the World Matters / Edition 1

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Overview

As our great economic machine grinds relentlessly forward into a future of declining fossil fuel supplies, climate change and ecosystem failure, governments are at long last beginning to question the very structure of the global economy. In this fresh, politically charged analysis, Jonathon Porritt wades in on the most pressing question of the 21st century: can capitalism, as the only real economic game in town, be retooled to deliver a sustainable future? Porritt argues that indeed it can, and it must, as he lays out the framework for a new 'sustainable capitalism' that cuts across the political divide and promises a prosperous future of wealth, equity and ecosystem integrity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'A message that businesses may find they are surprised to agree with.'
Financial Times

'... could not have come at a more timely and critical moment ... A vital contribution to the most compelling issue of our times.'
Will Hutton, author of The Writing on the Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century

'... the best account of where we are now and how we might move ahead. Porritt's book is a brave and important working draft for an essential positive alternative.'
The Observer

'To renew and rebuild, we need to listen to the voices of the few truly selfless and thoughtful individuals among us, and Jonathon Porritt is one of them.'
James Lovelock, creator of the GAIA theory

'One of the most prominent voices promoting green issues over the last 25 years.'
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

'This is a very thoughtful and timely book. Many of those working towards a more sustainable future for our planet see capitalism as a big part of the problem. And with good reason. But if capitalism and free markets cannot be bent towards sustainability - towards being part of the solution - then I believe there is no solution. Hence the importance of this book. Read it.'
Lord May, President, The Royal Society

'This is a genuinely important book by one of Britain's most eminent environmentalists'
Jonathan Dimbleby, political commentator and broadcaster

'As ex-chair of the Green Party, one-time director of Friends of the Earth, and co-founder and Director of Forum for the Future, Porritt is possibly the best person to write a book such as this. The reader can feel confident that his views are based on a desire to create a sustainable future rather than less laudable reasons ... an important factor when dealing with such a revolutionary book.'
Pauline Thomas, The Waste Paper

'No US authors have matched this book's treatment of the interconnections between the environment, finance and economy, industry and technology, psychology and politics. Porritt depicts chilling vignettes, and decries greed and unbridled materialism without impugning business as a whole ... The book invites and repays detailed study.'
Choice

'This book is excellent, readable, comprehensive and ultimately quite optimistic. Essential reading for anyone interested in the world, the environment, humanity or the future.' Warmer Bulletin

'This book may well challenge any Christian environmentalists that see capitalism as the enemy.'
Methodist Recorder

'In this brilliant and timely book Porritt has thrown down the gauntlet and provided the necessary data and analysis on our collective dilemma.' David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review

'Too many environmentalists see capitalism as the enemy. Porritt grapples with its reality - a system capable of delivering sustainability and enhancing wellbeing, but only if we think carefully about what form of capitalism we want. This book stimulates that thinking.'
Adair Turner

'All too often, NGOs have to campaign against commercial activities that cause environmental degradation around the world. Our message about unsustainable lifestyles is increasingly understood, but greater thought leadership among business and governments is needed. In this refreshing observation of capitalism, Porritt positions the opportunities provided by sustainable development brilliantly.'
Robert Napier, Chief Executive, WWF-UK

'Here's a compelling book that should sound the trumpet for a whole new generation of engaged and optimistic young people, establishing once and for all that we still have choices - we don't have to sleepwalk our way into the future.'
David Puttnam

'Porritt has applied a decade of experience with business and government to address the dilemma that, while capitalism is the most effective system for satisfying human needs, that process is putting intolerable strains on our ecology and climate. The book is a lively and penetrating discussion of how we can build on growing business interest in the challenges and opportunities.'
Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Anglo American plc

Porritt's green credentials are unquestioned, and I was impressed by his obvious desire to try and reconcile the gulf between environmentalists and supporters of capitalism.
The Tablet (Catholic Weekly)

Jonathon Porritt has done us all a service by synthesizing a compelling vision of the goals we must steer towards, the main stages of the journey, and how each of us can joyfully bend to our oar. The breadth and incisiveness of his vision oblige us to be grateful, attentive, and engaged.'
From the Foreword by Amory B. Lovins

'We need more people like Porritt ... prepared to ... find the best ways to save both the environment and the capitalist system'
Professional Investor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844071920
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathon Porritt CBE is Co-Founder and Programme Director of Forum for the Future. A leading adviser to business and industry, he was appointed by the Prime Minister as Chairman of the new UK Sustainable Development Commission. He is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales's Business and Environment Programme.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Our Unsustainable World
Introduction
Conflicting Imperatives
Sustainable Development for Real
Re-engaging with Economic Growth
Unsustainable Capitalism?
Through the Global Looking Glass
Part II: A Framework for Sustainable Capitalism
The Five Capitals Framework
Natural Capital
Human Capital
Social Capital
Manufactured Capital
Financial Capital
Part III: Better Lives in a Better World
Confronting Denial
Changing the Metrics
Business Excellence
Civil Society
Visions and Values
Converging Imperatives
Bibliography, Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    A bold new vision for capitalism

    Activist Jonathon Porritt offers the startling proposal that capitalism may provide the best solution to poverty and global environmental degradation, though his solution requires reshaping capitalism. Porritt is aware that conventional environmental activists, greens and political academics favor socialism more than capitalism. However, he takes them to task for ignoring the power and potential of such capitalist mechanisms as markets and property rights and for their naïveté in expecting voters or political leaders to embrace their dismal vision of environmental responsibility as asceticism. We find his book more suggestive than programmatic. It meanders like a river and is sometimes directionless. The author makes his passions apparent, including anti-Americanism and scathing criticism of certain forms of Christianity. Though Porritt does not offer a detailed description of his vision or the practical steps needed to realize it, he does suggest a path toward a utopian ideal for that hope, he deserves appropriate attention.

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