From Publishers Weekly
This engaging collection of essays, culled from the Bioneers Conference, explores the possibilities for eco-consciousness to infiltrate and transform the industrial economy. The subtitle refers not to conventional corporate biotech (which is denounced in several essays, including Elaine Ingham's account of a genetically modified bacterium that could have wiped out all terrestrial plant life), but innovations based on the wisdom and engineering prowess of Mother Nature. On the micro-level, these include self-cleaning paints modeled on the structure of leaves, bacteria that eat oil spills and gardens that treat sewage run-off and sequester heavy metals. On the macro-level, they include industrial processes that, like thrifty ecosystems, recycle wastes or eliminate them altogether, and experiments with a "new paradigm for agriculture" inspired by prairies. The bird's-eye view is offered by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins, who advocate a natural capitalism based on the flow of services rather than the production of goods. Some of the pieces are written by green entrepreneurs touting their wares, with a less than meticulous accounting of performance and costs, and the eco-moralizing can sometimes be heavy-handed. But the articles are stuffed with intriguing ideas, and while they sound a necessary alarm about environmental destruction, they also point the way forward to solutions.
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"A full-chakra festival of the most important challenges facing humankind." -- Shared Vision/Dragonfly Review
"Here is a book that turns biotechnology on its head." -- The Ecologist
"[A]n array of imaginative and practical solutions for some of the most perplexing environmental challenges of our time." -- San Francisco Chronicle