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The Way Out: Kick-starting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass Paperback – April 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Climate Capitalism is a must-read for entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts, and corporations interested in capitalizing on the greatest wealth-creation opportunity of our lifetime: solving climate change.” ―Jigar Shah, founder, SunEdison, and CEO, Carbon War Room

“If you wonder whether there is any hope of humankind's dealing successfully with climate change, read this book. It is a virtual compendium of what is going on already from which to draw hope and, more important, inspiration.” ―Ray Anderson, chairman and founder, Interface, Inc.

“Coping with climate change requires challenging conventional wisdom and showing where our interests--global, national, corporate, and personal--really lie. Climate Capitalism eloquently defines those interests and the role that market forces could and should play.” ―Sir Crispin Tickell, chair emeritus, Climate Institute

“Should be on every CEO's reading list and required in every corporate boardroom.” ―Bill Becker, executive director, Presidential Climate Action Project

“Well supported with examples of real business practice.” ―Ed Crooks, Financial Times

“In Climate Capitalism, L. Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen present in crisp, clear terms how smart economics hold the key to addressing the multiple crises--from financial to food, climate to resource scarcity--facing the world.” ―Achim Steiner, executive director, United Nations Environment Programme

“The ultimate guide for business and government leaders who see the opportunities in our rapidly changing world but don't yet know how to win.” ―Will Semmes, former director, California Conservation Corps

“For those seeking to implement genuine climate solutions, and make money doing so, Climate Capitalism cannot be recommended highly enough.” ―Tom Carnac, director of innovation, Carbon Disclosure Project

“A blueprint to recalibrate the economy to the realities of climate destabilization. A must-read.” ―David Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College

“Waste is expensive in any form. Climate Capitalism clearly articulates how individuals, companies, municipalities and countries have benefited by reducing their carbon impacts. It's time to revamp what is considered business fundamentals! Organizations that embrace the principles in this book will be not only better positioned to weather the uncertain future, but will be trailblazing the paths.” ―Catherine Greener, principal and co-founder, Clear Green Advisors

“Periodically an event, a speech, or a book comes along that changes everything. Climate Capitalism is one of those books. Just as Natural Capitalism inspired thousands of businesses to re-think their bottom line, Climate Capitalism profiles the opportunity, not the crisis, of climate change. It puts business in the leadership position to invest in a global future that improves profitability while cutting climate change. Lovins and Cohen lay to rest the economic argument that energy conservation and renewable energy cost jobs. Lovins is a master of her subject matter having been awarded the "Nobel Award" of Sustainability Leadership by the European Business community in 2008.” ―David Johnston, author of Green from the Ground Up

“One of the fastest growing areas in business schools today is entrepreneurship, and more specifically social entrepreneurship, as more and more students seek a path to both making a living and a positive difference in the world. Climate Capitalism provides both direction and inspiration for these students who do not accept the artificial tradeoff between doing well and doing good. Bravo to Lovins and Cohen and to all those students who will turn this critically important message to positive action for the planet.” ―R. Bruce Hutton, dean emeritus, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver

“With a massive shift in the global economy toward sustainable business, new markets are emerging and cities are poised to capitalize. Climate Capitalism demonstrates how cities can succeed in the global green economy by taking advantage of the growing demand for clean, green innovation. To build a future that values people and the planet, we need to rethink how we do business--and Climate Capitalism shows how to do it.” ―Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, BC

“Diversey uses the principles outlined in this book to enhance our profitability. For every dollar we invest in climate protection we get two dollars in return.” ―S. Curtis Johnson, chairman, Diversey, Inc.

“Alliteration isn't the only thing this book's got going for it. Climate Capitalism isn't the fastest read (its more than 300 pages are packed with information), but it very comprehensively shows how environmental challenges, including climate change, can be linked to business opportunities for all. Through case studies and the authors' own expertise, Climate Capitalism makes a powerful case for the two major ‘C's of today's society.” ―Shirley Mak, Sierra Club

“A highly persuasive demonstration of how profitable economic choices can take us a long way toward dealing with climate disruption, the misguided aspects of our agriculture, oil's strategically catastrophic monopoly over transportation, the poverty of the bottom billion, and much else. Creative and deftly crafted.” ―R. James Woolsey, Jr., former director of the CIA

Climate Capitalism proves time and time again that conservation and energy efficiency are essential for capitalism to reach its highest potential.” ―Peter Byck, director, Carbon Nation

“Hunter Lovins' voice has always cut through the clamor and confusion around sustainability, like a chain saw through warm butter. And with Climate Capitalism you'll think Will Rogers has jumped back through time to lead us through another tough patch. Only this time he's not only got a lot of down home common sense, he's got a Library of Congress worth of data to back it up.” ―Alex Bogusky, founder of the Fearless Cottage

Climate Capitalism provides convincing evidence that the world's climate and financial crises are deeply entangled, and that tackling the one is an essential part of tackling the other. Lovins and Cohen have assembled so much positive, hopeful material that it is hard to believe folks who still say ‘it can't be done.'” ―Guy Dauncey, author of The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming

About the Author

Named a Time magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet and called by Newsweek "the green business icon," L. Hunter Lovins is president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and chief insurgent of the Madrone Project.

Boyd Cohen is CEO of CO2IMPACT and a former professor of sustainable entrepreneurship in Spain, Costa Rica, and Canada.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; Reprint edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809034697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809034697
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,031,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A worldwide recognized leader in helping companies and communities profit from more sustainable practices, Hunter Lovins has authored and co-authored numerous books, including Brittle Power (1982), Energy Unbound (1986), Factor Four--Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use (1997), Green Development (1998), Natural Capitalism (1999), and hundreds of papers and articles. She was named as a Time magazine "Hero for the Planet" in 2000, and a Newsweek "Green Business Icon" in 2008.

Hunter has consulted for governments and the private sector, briefing senior management at such groups as Interface, Mitsubishi, Bank of America, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and numerous utility companies. She is currently the President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, faculty at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and the Chief Insurgent of the Madrone Project.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book provides a long list of examples and references, so it could be relevant as a starting point for an in-depth research project due to the number of references. For this purpose, the book format is a limitation.

As a book that struggles to make a case, if falls down. It fails to present evidence that the examples are representative and not simply cherry picked. Sure there are lots of examples presented that seem to make a case, but there is no analysis of why the examples can be extended for general purpose or data showing that the examples are more than an aggregate of exceptional cases (first mover, niche market, etc.).

As an example, several cases highlight the marketing or PR benefit that certain companies get for a 'green' solution. While it may be easy to find a examples of such a case, this can't necessarily be generalized to the entire industry. Marketing/PR benefit diminishes as other companies adopt offer a similar product - it no longer becomes a differentiator. The size of the market that can benefit from green marketing depends on the size of the customer base that demands a green product. Given that greenwashing is so easy, the real ROI for green practices based on marketing will remain even more limited.

I struggled when reading this book because personally, I wanted to believe it. I wanted to see how green business is sustainable and scalable from a business point of view, so I was disappointed with the book's failure to present a case.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sustainability E on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Lovins' The Way Out: Kick-starting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass is an easy-to-read, exceptionally informative book that reveals how companies can profit by thinking about the climate. People from corporate executives to ordinary citizens will find the book an enlightening, enjoyable read that offers a necessary compilation of information about the energy economy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quite interesting points of view of what the near future departs.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marvin Klein on February 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing collection of facts and data presented in a clear and understandable presentation. The Introduction alone should be mandatory reading for every citizen who wants our nation to succeed. Natural Capitalism changed American Industry and The Way Out is the guide to continued environmentally sustainable growth.
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