- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (April 9, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465031811
- ISBN-13: 978-0465031818
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature Hardcover – April 9, 2013
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Tercek is president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy and formerly served as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he worked to find market-based solutions to environmental challenges. Adams is a science writer and conservation biologist. Common belief holds that business and environmental groups are at odds, with loggers, ranchers, fishermen, and corporations that exploit natural resources on one side and the so-called tree huggers on the other. In the past few decades, however, we have reached a tipping point; with seven billion people on the planet, the earth’s resources are long past being considered inexhaustible, and big business is coming to realize that stewardship of the environment is in their best interests. From renewal of the Mississippi floodplain to the banning of fishing trawlers along our shores to the restoration of prairie and wetlands in urban areas, unlikely allies are coming together to create models of sustainability that serve the interests of both business and environmentalist groups. The authors examine this new kind of conservation and show how it is of utmost economic importance to our farms, fisheries, corporate stakeholders, and communities. --David Siegfried
Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
Mark Tercek presents a timely argument for valuing' nature that will be meaningful as much to business as to environmentalists. He demonstrates how this can work and why it is important, whether with water and forests high in the Andes, the floodplains of the Mississippi, fisheries off the California coast, or even in the dense centers of major cities. The result is a compelling business case' for investment in nature that is also an agenda for actionand cooperation.”
Marshall Goldsmith, bestselling author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There, MOJO, and Succession
In this telling work, Nature's Fortune, Mark Tercek reveals how an investment banker becomes a conservationist and brings two seemingly incompatible worlds together with amazing grace and immense success.”
Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and CEO, The Dow Chemical Company
If ever business and nature are going to realize their full potential to grow together, it will come about from the vision and perspectives that are contained in the pages of this book. A case like this could only be made by an author who has led passionately on both sides of the equation.”
Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope on Earth
In this encouraging, intelligent book that comes none too soon, Mark Tercek and Jonathan Adams show that the corporate world ultimately can't flourish unless the natural world does, too. Through stories equally compelling to entrepreneurs or environmentalists, CEOs or scientists, we see how Nature's Fortune and our own are inextricable. If we conserve and nurture our planet's gifts like any other crucial asset or investment, we profitor, we squander them at our own peril. Happily, this book shows why we needn't, ever.”
Chris Anderson, TED Curator
This book makes plain as day why we need to stop taking nature's gifts for granted. Its thoughtful solutions can underpin conservation goals with a powerful business logic. From an alarming premise, we are given reason to hope.”
The authors convincingly argue that corporate responsibility is not only the right ethical tactic, but the right business move....According to this savvy book, both environmentalists and business executives need to understand how nature contributes to economic and ecological well-being.'”
A hopeful message that a sensible marriage of business and environmental interests is in the cards, which until now has mostly been trumped by shortsightedness.”
William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America
By breaking conservation down into dollars and cents, Mark Tercek shows that economic growth and environmental sustainability are not mutually exclusive goals. Nature's Fortune takes a pragmatic approach to an important issue, and turns the conversation from ideology to arithmetic.”
Ted Turner, Chairman, Turner Enterprises, Inc.
In Nature's Fortune, Mark Tercek tackles the environment with a banker's eye and an outdoorsman's heart. He makes a clear case for why protecting nature is the smartest investment we can make.”
Helene Gayle, President and CEO, CARE USA
Nature is essential for both our human as well as our economic well-being. As someone who has lived in both worlds, Mark Tercek is well positioned to take us on a guided tour of the intersection between business and the environment. With clear examples, this timely book provides a road map for smart investments and new alliances to build a sustainable and prosperous future for people and planet. Bravo!”
Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank
Nature has long been recognized as a source of wealth, but we have yet to give natural capital the proper weight in economic decision making. In this timely book, Mark Tercek argues persuasively that investing in conservation and sustainable use can yield huge dividends for both people and the environment.”
Stewart Brand, author of Whole Earth Discipline
In the 1970s environmentalists and business despised each other. In this century they are often close partners. The change was brought about by leaders like Mark Tercek. His book shows how prosperity is as dependent on clean rivers as on strong bridges (both are infrastructure). GMO crops can be as welcome as restoring wildlands, since they both contribute to a healthier planet.”
David Quammen, author of Spillover and The Song of the Dodo
The cause of conservation in the twenty-first century desperately needs sharp, sophisticated, practical minds from the world of commerce. Mark Tercek's is clearly among the best of them.”
John Fahey, Chairman and CEO, National Geographic Society
Mark Tercek argues with refreshing clarity and persuasiveness that we must recognize the substantial economic value in our scarce natural resources. I agree wholeheartedly that the ultimate allocation and use of these resources must be market-based, backed by wise regulation. Tercek makes his point with wonderful real-life examples and prodigious logic.”
Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former chief executive of Goldman Sachs and Treasury secretary, and chairman of the Paulson Institute
Mark Tercek knows business and he knows the environment. We have worked together on both. This book shows us how we can bring them together to the benefit of nature and our economy.”
Morton Schapiro, Professor of Economics and President, Northwestern University
This is an important book for environmentalists, investment bankers, and everyone else. It presents a compelling case that investing in nature is a great dealnot just morally but economically as well. It is in all of our enlightened self-interest to take this book very seriously.”
Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar, Middlebury College, and author of Eaarth
There are probably more important reasons to protect the natural world, but as this book makes clear, it's economic folly to keep wasting our one sweet planet. It's worth infinitely more than economists have traditionally taughtinfinitely more!”
Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University Research Professor, Emeritus, and author of The Social Conquest of Earth
In Nature's Fortune, Mark Tercek and Jonathan Adams expertly articulate the interdependence of our economy and nature's economy, and the practiced ways both can be saved in perpetuity.”
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But persons evolve. And as he became more comfortable at The Nature Conservancy, Tercek saw more clearly than ever that "..nature means all species of animals and plants, their habitats and the ecological processes that support them."
What I like about Tercek's approach is that he tries to incorporate business as a partner in conservation. He is an advocate for strong and effective government policy but he is a champion of trying to persuade businesses to voluntarily embark on environmental initiatives. He admits that he is not sure if working with businesses will produce environmental benefits but believes that one has no choice but to try. Given the dominant global role of business it id difficult to argue with that position.
The book is easy to read and has separate chapters on different environmental issues. Take de-forestation. Soy beans from the Amazon rainforest traveled to Liverpool, became chicken feed and then nuggets sold by McDonald's. The activist Greenpeace sent its boat to block the shipping terminal, protestors in chicken suits tied themselves to chair in McDonald's outlets and posters went up showing Ronald McDonald carrying a chainsaw. McDonald's capitulated, joined forces with Greenpeace and pressured the giant agribusiness Cargill to step up its conservation efforts.
Is this a tale of victory of the righteous? Or is it a tale of a malefactor getting away with a token surrender to public outrage? Probably both. But undoubtedly the change did at least lessen the pace of destruction of the rainforest.
Tercek is a believer in market principles such as implementation of a carbon tax to reduce emissions. But he also needs to cover the possibility of "perverse incentives" actually undermining the stated objectives. Thus, for example, an attempt to buy Freon from old refrigerators etc. to take it out of circulation resulted in pirate operations that manufactured it so that they could be sold to the government at a profit.
Over all this is a book that will give you a better grasp of the environmental challenges we face and what major players are doing about this.
Certainly worth reading.
From restoring fisheries to oyster and coral reefs to floodplains to realizing how our world is affected by climate change, Nature's Fortune aims to educate readers on the critical need of reducing society's dependence on grey infrastructure and the cost-effectiveness of replacing this with green infrastructure.
The authors cite multi-national companies, fishermen, farmers and others who have partnered with governments and environmental organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy, to reduce their footprint (think harm to or effect on nature), increase the amount of natural capital in the world (think Brazilian rainforests that sequester carbon, oyster and coral reefs that protect our coastlines, and fisheries that produce the shellfish and shrimp we consume) and to make operations greener (effecting a partnership with nature instead of working against it).
Nature's Fortune briefly discusses how the increasing human footprint is sowing the seeds of climate change and what this means for society. The age-old saying, "Don't fool with Mother Nature" remains a good warning. More extensive discussion of climate change and its effects is beyond the scope of Nature's Fortune. For an interesting take on climate change in the form of fiction, read Dan Brown's Inferno and Abdi-Jamil Nurpeisov's Final Respects.
Reading Nature's Fortune was relatively easy as the authors defined terms, using examples to further explain and clarify their ideas, and linking earlier chapters to the ongoing narrative. More of this type of literature is needed. One area I wished the authors would have incorporated into earlier chapters was addressing how to endear future leaders' (the youth) minds and hearts to the vision laid out in Nature's Fortune.
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