Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
All the things that surround us brought a lot of benefits since man existed in the planet. These covers all the parameters in the ecosystem like grasslands, rainforests, deserts, and other systems of nature. It also encompasses all organic processes like pollination, water cycle, natural soil fertilization and other essential course that provides great benefit for mankind. The book discusses all the details that describe nature and all the things that it offers, as well as humans’ treatment to this nature’s assets.
Chapter 1 deals with emerging possibilities of a new type of industrialism. Valuing natural capital which includes all the resources used by people particularly by means of water, minerals, oil, trees, fish, soil, air, etc. and other living systems such as grasslands, farmlands, wetlands, and rainforests. Industrialization took for granted the values of these systems and did not take into consideration the effect of its action to nature. There was a great degradation in the environment when industrialization made a big leap in the year nineteen hundreds. The industrial mind-set focusing on the emerging pattern of scarcity dramatically improves the living standards for all people particularly for the poor and those in developing countries.
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Prioritizing industrialization, the choice made by humans, only embraces monetary and man-made assets and clearly neglected allocation of any value to the largest supply of capital which is man and nature. It depicts the formation of importance as a linear progression of extraction of materials, construction and circulation. Raw materials are introduced from certain locations; industry uses technology to convert resources into goods, which are sold to generate profits. Those materials that were not utilized are thrown irresponsibly in many places. This practice has made accounts the costs of extraction and of waste production to the
surroundings. An ironic approach that people made because nature is a major factor to consider since this is a mantle that provides and sustains the whole economy.
As an act to reverse this approach, there was advocacy employ industrialization while taking into account the nature and human factor. This suggests numerous strategies to tackle its wider scenario in details. The first is to make factories and manufacturing firms efficient enough in terms of its operations. This would decrease waste production and maximize the productivity of every firm. The next strategy is to inculcate ideas of redesigning to eradicate wastes in the post-production. This is to find ways to replicate nature in its processes in producing essential products without giving harm in nature. Another tactic is to overturn the perception from focusing on wealth production to satisfy consumers’ needs ad preferences. There are companies that already shifted their primary concern and are currently providing better products and services for the people. The fourth strategy is to devote more concern to nature and environment. This engrosses emerging markets for actions which boost and restore the environment, and it needs to be done globally since degradation of nature like global warming and severe storms affects all the nations in the globe.
Chapter 2 is all about car redesigning. There is a great concern regarding the present design of cars in the present. Cars today are inefficient in terms of fuel consumption since car engines squanders most of the fuels it uses. A certain car company designed a new vehicle that is claimed to be efficient in its operation. When these cars are already out in the market, there will be no or little oil consumption, making oil prices significantly lower than its current prices. Another innovation is the
technology that utilizes hydrogen as fuel, making only water and oxygen as wastes.
This car design only weighs at least less than twice the weight of a conventional car. This particular design would also utilize only a little more than ninety percent-less iron and steel, aluminum, rubber, and platinum. The car design will use mostly solid-state devices and components, including the computer software. These initiatives are expected to add safety, convenience and other important aspects to consider.
One problem that may occur is that when almost all people will have their own cars, producing road congestion and worse traffic scenario. These issues mentioned are highly probable since cheaper cars will be available in the market, as well as low fuel and maintenance costs. This would also present problems with the quantity of emissions these cars will emit, though less emission are expected per each car, but having vast numbers of cars in the road in almost all of the time being. Proper making of policies and strict implementation is needed in order to solve these situations. Transportation sector then will still be more of a benefit rather than an add-on problem to the society and government.
Entitled “Waste Not”, chapter 3 depicts the extent and penalties of capitalizing on industrialization but not following the acknowledged standard of recycling. This chapter also includes topics on businesses that consume energy, metals and minerals, water, and forest, fisheries, and farm products. These wastes go into the environment-bodies of water like rivers and ocean streams and into the ground and other parts of the ecosystem. Its most evident sign are the commodities that citizens buy or use every day like provisions, garments, cars, domestic items make up only a small
fraction of the material required to sustain our usual living.
But even these signs taken mutually were belittled by the supreme contributor to the every day stream of resources: squanders in the form of wastes and the other wastes of the extractive and developed courses.
The materials sequence takes premium natural resources from the environment in the form of crude oil, timber, precious stones, and other reserves and returns them in the form of waste. The sugar is reaped from the grounds in France and goes through several processes which include refinement and shipment of products.
Consumers in British country get rid of less than 90 percent of all cans, which means that the overall rate of aluminum misuse after counting assembly losses reaches up to a critical level. Another thing is what is required to yield a quart of orange juice in certain parts of the United States, needing at least significant amount of gasoline and vast amounts of water to manufacture such products.
On the other hand, American industries generate a huge quantity of solid waste elsewhere. At least few million pounds of waste materials are being produced in order to suffice one American family based on its needs per annum. Summing it up , United States wastes now estimates up to trillions of pounds per year. These wastes were not transformed into recycling and other waste reduction strategies.
Other kind of waste are people itself. These are the unemployed and underemployed people. These instances cause protest, addicted youth, heroin use, drug wars violence and rising criminality. Due to these instances many people especially children and women are being abused. Waste people are the one who doesn’t do any good in the society and making it worst.
Lost wealth is also considered waste. Here we are talking about the money. Money that is being waste by the government, funds that is not allocated well.
The world faces many crises that threaten to cripple civilization in the twenty-first century: the deterioration of the natural environment; the ongoing dissolution of civil societies into lawlessness, despair, and apathy; and the lack of public will needed to address human suffering and social welfare. All three problems share waste as a common cause. Learning to deal responsibly with that waste is a common solution, one that is seldom acknowledged yet increasingly clear.
Numerous things are being made by our manufacturing industries every single day. Each person would surely wonder where it came from and where it will conclude. This is where the recycling comes to the picture. In chapter 4, the main topic centers on the improvement of more efficient and modern approaches in dealing with the issue of recycling. This has been the primary targets of scientists and engineers for hundreds of years. Non-renewable energies are the main concern in enhancing the engine efficiency. These people have been putting ways and strategies in saving energy and material costs for every line of production of goods and services. In the US, factories that produce integrated circuits still are designed inadequately that most of their energy being used are largely wasted. There are important parameters with respect to the efficiency issue and these are the following: design, new technologies, controls, corporate culture, new processes and saving materials1. Design considerations are big aspects in the output of the structure. A good example to mention is a certain refinery in Germany. This industry releases chemicals that are
hazardous to environment and it was only when course-oriented groups appealed for the factory to be close to stop their continuous operation that degrades the environment. This refinery was subjected to redesigning to be able to go back to its normal operation without the hazardous chemical that it emitted before it was closed.
Innovation has been regarded as one of the main catalyst in bringing up new advancements in technology. Because of technology, we enjoy comforts in our homes and workplace. On the other hand, control in a system is needed to ensure the accuracy of the products and services. When systems can be controlled, losses can be minimized and an increase in the efficiency can be expected. Until a particular factory can stand on its own without human control and intervention, control systems are still an integral part of the production.
Saving materials in the production is also a vital issue because this can economize the production of the factories. Glut materials need not be put into waste but rather reuse for other purposes. Steel industries are one concrete example in the implementation of scrap reusing. They melt those scraps and mould it to another form. Flawed metals produced are also melted so that they can be recycled, thus, reducing wastes in the factory. With this current approach, other companies are looking into any possibilities that they can also implement the same with their production. These measures will surely boost more production with less raw materials being used. In the coming years, continuous practice of these strategies would benefit our environment while progress is still at hand.
Chapter 5 mainly discusses certain topics that are related to structures. It centers on the capitalizing in nature in the field of architecture and housing developments. It also gives emphasis on ways to correlate city development to nature responsibility. As of now, professionals involved in housing designs and constructions are paid depending on the price of the structure. This segment suggests that architects and engineers should be paid depending on how they minimize the costing of the project. This suggestion can be realized by changing the incentive systems in paying professionals when they save materials and processes cost in furnishing infrastructure projects and other structures. Another approach can be done for he building owners where rebates will be given to those who will implement energy-efficient systems in their respective bills while applying more fees to those who will not comply with the energy-saving measures. Housing and structure costs can also be assessed depending upon the degree that the corresponding building will save power rates.
Moreover, there are structures that were mentioned in this chapter that somehow helped the community because of its good attributes. These structures were cited as green buildings like one of the largest bank in Holland and an inn in California. Both these structures are considered as green buildings.
The 6th chapter of the book speaks about the reality of the outlay of irresponsible engineering and of how an engineering-oriented school should foresee the future of their graduates. It says that from the time that designs even born to life, the economic and ecological costs of these have already been made predictable. With prestigious design perspectives, most engineers apt to present a multi-million dollar worth of equipments not including the infrastructure and framework.
If increasing the company’s comfort will increase its productivity on lines, then society can gain perhaps a million times more benefit than the additional cost of the better engineering education.
It advocates that if better engineering education were ultimately responsible for the equipment’s being made more efficient, the utility would avoid about couple of million dollars in present-valued investments per brain, without taking into account any of the savings in operating energy or pollution. This returns at least a hundred to a thousand times the extra cost of that better education. The savings would cost even less if good practitioners disseminated their improved practices through professional discourse, mentoring, or competition, so that educating just one engineer could influence many more.
Note that saving a large amount of energy and resources often costs less than saving a small amount. As we accumulate more energy, the value of saving the next unit of energy originally rises more and more sharply. Thus, we should integrate the design of a whole package of measures, so each measure achieves multiple benefits, such as saving on both energy and equipment use; to the reconstruction of aging equipment, renewal of weakening building facades, or removal of hazards. An engineer should secure that the whole system will be optimized, all measurable benefits should be counted, and the right steps should be taken at the right time and in the sequence. It was stated that most engineers ignore the principles in the abstract, instead the want principle. The nature runs successful design which everything is frequently improved.
In chapter 7, Ohno-Sensei, the Father of Toyota production specifically mentioned that waste pertains to any individual movement which utilizes resources but produces no value. A particular solution to avoid being a waste is inclined philosophy. This provides ways to specify proper sequences and conducts in the production for effective performance of any person involved in the construction of goods and services. It also present ways on how to do more tasks with less effort by human, less period, fewer tools and space without compromising customer satisfaction. Another thing is that it makes labor more rewarding by providing direct responses on efforts, converting muda1 into something of value. Being different to reengineering methods, it offers a mode to craft innovative work rather than basically eliminating jobs to have a better organization.
Consequently, inclined philosophy introduces simplicity in the workplace It can also be seen in the design of mechanism and goods. Enlarged to the framework of the entire procedure or place, it increases the wider skill to keep concurrently such capital as space, supplies, power, transport and period.
Chapter 8 is all about capital gains. Waste eradication in production leads to a series of events and processes that can outline the foundation for astounding advancement in the business arena. Eventually, though, the sequence leads back to organic systems, life from which all affluence is derived. Until now, the correlation between commerce and living systems or nature has basically been uncared for.
Using a calibrated system model, a professor predicted that in the next century, if the present scenario in population issues, industrialization, and nature resource exhaustion continued to be unsolved, the world then would face a terrible future. Shortages in different aspects will be experienced by the people of that
generation, and more hardships is evident in that point in time. Many people contradicted that rationale brought about by the model, reasoning further that crises are likely to be solved by that time. They argued that the world already had passed other shortages before and that any future crises will eventually be overcome. But, recently, there is a direct threat that shortages in natural resources will be inevitable in the coming future. Though the prediction was tagged as an unfulfilled prophecy, it cannot disregard signs of depletion of resources in the world. In the year 1991, a multi-million experiment was conducted spearheaded by some scientists by building more than 3 acre sealed structure somewhere in Arizona. For two years, these scientists remained inside the structure including a wide diversity of ecosystems like deserts, rainforests, wetlands, farming lands, and an ocean with coral reefs. Inside the structure, air, water, and nutrient recycling took its toll. Air quality inside the structure began to diminish gradually. There was a sudden drop in the oxygen level while an increase in the carbon dioxide was observed. There were revelations exhibited in the ecology of the said man-made structure. Many species inside the artificial earth died after several months. As a conclusion, they stated that there are some factors that cannot be made artificially and no man can replicate. There are resources that cannot be bought by pecuniary manners. The flow of nature cannot be substituted by man-intervened systems. Humans cannot produce watersheds and other organic systems.
Chapter 9 entitled “Natures Filaments” focuses on the special concern of consuming papers which is closely related to preservation of forest resources. It confers the direct effects in the forests which are now being exhausted for construction materials and paper. It was also mentioned that people consumes more paper today than before. Almost in every transaction, papers are used, on almost every
business transactions like in schools, offices, and other establishments. Another thing that adds to the increased demand in the paper is the unproductive techniques in using paper products. Most of the time, more paper is wasted that used due to the laxity of many people using papers. What are not being implemented are the strategies to sustain forests even though the idea is already known. Planting more trees is one known idea that is being practiced but not consistently.
New approaches in industrialization include dealing with the concern mentioned in this chapter. Further reduction in paper demand, efficient paper production and extensive recycling process are some of the main procedures in realizing this goal.
Chapter 10 of the book asserts that the industrialization of farming has been a major accomplishment of technology. In the past half century, production of major crops has more than doubled. Almost all of the world’s increase in food output has been the result of higher-yielding, faster-maturing crops.
Intensive agriculture is conventionally considered the only feasible way to continue expanding world food production to feed the growing population. In this method, vast and complex native ecosystems were converted to equally vast expanses of crops. A similar pattern of development is transforming agriculture around the world. Experts in this “Green Revolution” emphasize high-yield seeds, biocides, irrigation, and nitrogen fertilizers. Industrialization, and developments like the heavily subsidized interstate highway system, enables food to be transported great distances. American farms have doubled their direct and indirect energy efficiency.
Even though we succeeded in producing more food, it still has its drawbacks. A third of the original topsoil in the United States is gone, and much of the rest is degraded. Topsoil is eroding very much faster than it is being formed. A more subtle decline than physical soil loss, but no less dangerous, is the invisible loss of the soil’s organic richness. The ability of soil bacteria, fungi, and other tiny organisms to cycle nutrients, fights disease, and create the proper soil texture and composition to protect roots and hold water is essential to soil health. Agriculture uses about two-thirds of all the water drawn from the world’s rivers, lakes, and aquifers. In many key areas, groundwater is being over pumped and depleted—mined out just like oilfields. Degradation of the natural capital that is the foundation for farming has been found to be decreasing overall farm productivity in almost all farm systems studied worldwide, including every irrigated Asian rice system. This loss continues regardless of the technological inputs that have been applied to alleviate it. Seed banks that store and preserve thousands of different varieties of common and rare plants are being neglected. Crops are becoming more specialized; prospective income from single cash crops is overwhelming local subsistence traditions, which favored varied local production to meet balanced nutritional needs.
Resource productivity on the farm comes from many small, simple applications of farmers’ native inventiveness. Better buildings offer special advantages when crops are being grown under artificial conditions. These building are also known as Greenhouses. Producing food more locally, whether indoors or outdoors, can greatly reduce the expenditures of transportation energy. As in industrial processes, better measurement and control systems are an inexpensive way to increase efficiency in farming. Loop-closing design-integration strategies are the
agricultural equivalent of industrial ecology or of a natural food web. The most basic way to close loops is to reuse the wastes produced both on the farm and downstream in the food-processing industries. Companies should make soil-biota test kits instead of producing genetically engineered crops.
Substituting synthetic for natural nutrient cycles, puts the huge standing biomass of soil bacteria, fungi, and other biota out of work. Agriculture based more on natural models would feature reduced land clearance, tillage, and fertilization, higher energy efficiency, and greater reliance on renewable energy. Changing the numbers and rearing methods of livestock offers greater climatic and food-supply benefits. An important alternative to intensive feedlot production of livestock, especially cattle, is to let them graze as their forebears were designed to do. Some of the most productive kinds of biofarming integrate livestock with crops, and garden and tree crops with field crops.
Farming, crop growing and animal husbandry is accountable for big consumption of freshwater. This is more than the water usages made by all buildings, industry, and mining combined in the U.S. Chapter 11 is all about proper usage and conservation of water in every household, offices and agriculture lands.
There is a movement that designs custom creating smart and water-efficient landscapes, now being possesses by many states in the U.S. Water-efficient landscaping also saves such inputs as industry, compost, pesticide, and energy. The simplest method to remove the need for watering lands is to replant them with vegetations. Residential and commercial establishments account for more than ten percent of U.S. potable water consumption. A usual U.S. single-family dwelling uses
less than 80 gallons per person per day. There are also diverse methods to employ efficient and smart toilets that use no water like urinals that do not use water and toilets that introduce composting.
American showers conventionally consume several gallons per minute. Efficient means that were introduced by technologies that are already commercially offered can save a lot of freshwater compared to the conventional apparatus or device. Even though technologies had ways to conserve water, proper behavior in the usage of water is still a big factor in fulfilling the goal of water conservation. A burdened water treatment facility can still be used without much upgrades or expansions by applying approaches that were mentioned in this chapter.
Chapter 12 summarizes the issues and problems of worldwide weather alteration, a fact that most people are aware but are not considering its end effect with seriousness. Other people still respond to this challenge by nature hopelessly. The
writer of the book offered a plan not only for resolving the problems that this global issue are threatening but overturning it into something that can be of a business opportunity. They asserted that the mounting pressure and price of global warming will move us forward in the correct course. The principal foundation, release of carbon into the atmosphere from burning of coals can be reversed. In contrary to the prediction made three decades ago, U.S efficiency intensification has actually lowered power utilization. On the other hand, U.S power stations are still largely dependent on coal and it would take more time before America can fully comply with the realization of the goal to continue the industrialization at no expense by the environment. This would involve formation of more incentive programs and developments that will surely enhance fuel efficiency and reduction of carbon
emissions, as agreed upon by the pact signed by many countries in Japan. It was stated that those who would adapt the policy will be given incentives and those countries that adapted in an earlier time will be rewarded with bigger remunerations.
Chapter 13 is entitled “Making Markets Work”. This summarizes other business policies to formulate ecological sustainability attuned with productivity. The purpose on capitalizing in nature is to expand sound doctrines of the trade to all sources of material worth to warrant that all structures of capital are as practically trusted as money is by trustees of fiscal resources.
The writers declare that the cure for flawed market behaviors is implementation of sustainable trade systems. Such activities contain commerce creation while avoiding store diminution and declined pollution levels which will capitalize on rivalry in saving resources. A clear example representing the viability and accomplishment of the described market above is the production of redesigned restroom plan made in a particular country. This type of restrooms saved as much water that is being utilized by conventional toilets. Another strategy is on the power sector, making markets to save more energies while maximizing production. But what is far more important for the market to behave is to invest in weather protection and nature assets.
Capitalizing on manpower is very important in every nation. A country without proper management of the people will not prosper and achieve economic growth. Human capital is necessary in a particular country because the state or condition of the country depends on how people run it. Problems occur when human capital decreases its level or if there would be improper usage of human capital happened in
many countries before. One important factor to consider is the health care system of a particular nation. A government must invest on its populace by providing them with a good health care program. This is very important because the health of the society depends not only on choosing the right means to satisfy human needs but also on understanding the interlinked pattern of those means. Traditional cultures, having more limited means to satisfy human needs, tend to meet as many needs as possible with as few resources as possible. Yet by combining responsible government with vital entrepreneurship prosperity will be achieved. That example shows that better human capitalism is a great factor in achieving success.
In chapter 14, the writers significantly change the importance from nature to capitalizing in human , applying the unchanged viewpoint, to realize the same well-designed prudence, with which whole production scheme meets technological burdens by delivering numerous benefits from sole expenditures. This chapter obviously made a great realization in the whole manuscript. It’s bright and credible description of one whose concrete existence is confirmed by various town websites. There is a place that has followed the course of capitalizing more in nature. In that place, responsible government and private organizations made a good relationship and it did succeed better than other cities in America. They have employed numerous initiatives to help realize their goals, to treat their citizen with utmost respect and care. New technologies were also adapted further, making nature on their side.
In last chapter, the environmental debate is conducted in a predictable cycle. Many critics argue on certain issues but in the end, nobody is right or wrong. An example of this issue is, if you went for your yearly material and were diagnosed by two doctors who fought and argued every step of the way as to whether you were sick or healthy, you would come away confused, numbed, and probably angry. This is a concept on how experts predict the world, and the people who listen to those fortune tellers will be confused. To relate the kinds of systems views, the worldviews will discuss the color-coded systems which are Blues, Greens, Reds, and Whites. The Blues are mainstream free-marketers. Such people have a positive bias toward the future based on technological optimism and the strength of the economy. Their approach is deeply rooted in conventional economics, and their number-crunching reveals a world vastly improved and rapidly ascending. They believe that reliance on innovation, investment, and individual freedom will ensure a shining future for humankind, and a level of material well-being that has strong appeal to virtually everyone in the world. The Reds represent the sundry forms of socialism. Their views find validation in the chaotic and horrific economic conditions that the rise of bandit capitalism. While Blues focus on the promise of growth and technology, Reds focus on its shadow and try to discern its root causes. The Greens see the world primarily in terms of ecosystems, and thus concentrate on depletion, damage, pollution, and population growth. They focus on carrying capacity and want to bring about better understanding of how large the economy can grow before it outstrips its host. Their policy focuses on how many and how much, the number of people, and the amount of impact each person can have upon the environment. The Whites are the synthesists, and do not entirely oppose or agree with any of the three other views. With an optimistic view of humankind, they believe that process will win the day, that people who tell others what is right lead society astray. Since Blues, Reds, and Greens all fall into that category, Whites reject them all, preferring a middle way of integration, reform, respect, and reliance. They reject ideologies whether based on markets, class, or nature and trust that informed people can solve their own problems. Each is focusing on one piece of a very complex system. Each is seeing its piece correctly. But because no side is seeing the whole, no side is coming to wholly supportable conclusions. The Greens are correct: Population growth that causes people to level forests and overgraze lands exacerbates poverty. The Reds are correct: The helplessness of poverty creates the motivation for parents to have many children, as their only hope of providing for themselves. The Blues are right: Economic development can bring down birthrates. The Whites are right: development schemes work, but not when they are imposed by large bureaucratic institutions such as the World Bank. Capital can be the scarcest factor of production at some times and places, labor at other times and places, materials and energy and pollution-absorption capacity at still others.
Changing the procurement, design, and investments made by our educational systems represents a “hidden curriculum” that can teach, as “powerfully as any overt curriculum, a more comprehensive way of seeing the world that is the foundation for a radically different curriculum than that presently offered virtually anywhere. In every respect this is a challenge of how we think which makes it a challenge for those institutions purporting to improve thinking. Much of the change in outlook and perspective called for will not happen in the time available unless schools, colleges, and education get it.”
The lesson of this book with respect to forecasting is simple and clear: No matter what future one believes in, building the principles of natural capitalism into our planning will make the foundations of society firmer. In scenarios in which the environment begins to change rapidly (or in which its services are clearly declining), resource productivity can also buy time, buffering society against sudden changes.
While facing such challenges, it is easy to overlook the social part and go straight to the technical. Social issues are human and messy. Social includes children, women, the elderly, the next generation, and government. It is hard to grapple with what may seem unrelated issues, starting with the rights, health, education, and economic opportunities available to women. It will not be trivial to establish sensible policies. Emphasizing resource productivity will require the reversal of two hundred years of policies in taxes, labor, industry, and trade meant to encourage extraction, depletion, and disposal. Trade policies will need to be recast so as to protect environmental capital, cultural heritage, indigenous rights, and social equity.
To make people better off requires no new theories, and needs only common sense. It is based on the simple proposition that all capital be valued. While there may be no “right” way to value a forest, a river, or a child, the wrong way is to give it no value at all. If there are doubts about how to value a seven-hundred-year-old tree, ask how much it would cost to make a new one or a new atmosphere, or a new culture. What is remarkable about this period in history is the degree of agreement that is forming globally about the relationship between human and living systems. Natural capitalism is not about fomenting social upheaval. On the contrary, that is the consequence that will surely arise if fundamental social and environmental problems are not responsibly addressed. Natural capitalism is about choices we can make that can start to tip economic and social outcomes in positive directions. And it is already occurring—because it is necessary, possible, and practical.
Hawken, P., Lovins A.. Lovins H., 1999, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next
Industrial Evolution (Online). www.natcap.org