By Lester R. Brown
One of many world's so much influential thinkers.—Washington PostIn 1543, Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus challenged the view that the sunlight revolved round the Earth, arguing as an alternative that the Earth revolved round the solar. His paper resulted in a revolution in thinking—to a brand new worldview. Eco-Economy discusses the necessity at the present time for the same shift in our worldview. the problem now could be even if the surroundings is a part of the economic climate or the economic climate is a part of the surroundings. Lester R. Brown argues the latter, declaring that treating the surroundings as a part of the economic system has produced an economic system that's destroying its traditional help structures. Brown notes that if China have been to have a motor vehicle in each storage, American variety, it is going to want eighty million barrels of oil a day—more than the area at present produces. If paper intake in keeping with individual in China have been to arrive the U.S. point, China would wish extra paper than the realm produces. There pass the world's forests. If the fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway fiscal version won't paintings for China, it's going to no longer paintings for the opposite three billion humans within the constructing world—and it is going to no longer paintings for the remainder of the area. yet Brown is confident as he describes easy methods to restructure the worldwide economic climate to make it suitable with the Earth's environment in order that fiscal growth can proceed. within the new economic system, wind farms change coal mines, hydrogen-powered gas cells exchange inner combustion engines, and towns are designed for individuals, no longer automobiles. Glimpses of the hot economic climate may be visible within the wind farms of Denmark, the sun rooftops of Japan, and the bicycle community of the Netherlands. Eco-Economy is a highway map of ways to get from right here to there.
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The first is to make the case that we have no alternative to restructuring the economy if we want economic progress to continue in the decades ahead. The second is to describe not only the broad structure of the eco-economy, but some of its details. And the third is to outline a strategy for getting from here to there in the time available. Building an eco-economy is exciting and satisfying. It means we can live in a world where energy comes from wind turbines instead of coal mines, where recycling industries replace mining industries, and where cities are designed for people, not for cars.
We spend a lot of time worrying about our economic deficits, but it is the ecological deficits that threaten our long-term economic future. ” When our numbers were small relative to the size of the planet, it was humanmade capital that was scarce. Natural capital was abundant. Now that has changed. 59 Transforming our environmentally destructive economy into one that can sustain progress depends on a Copernican shift in our economic mindset, a recognition that the economy is part of the earth’s ecosystem and can sustain progress only if it is restructured so that it is compatible with it.
Some of the world’s major rivers are being drained dry, failing to reach the sea. Among them is the Colorado, the major river in the southwestern United States. In China, the Yellow River, the northernmost of the country’s two 28 ECO-ECONOMY major rivers, no longer reaches the sea for part of each year. 3 Wells are going dry on every continent. As population expands and incomes rise, the demand for water is simply outrunning the supply in many countries. Those with money drill deeper wells, chasing the water table downward.