Global Green Shift: When Ceres Meets Gaia

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Anthem Press, Feb 1, 2017 - Business & Economics - 258 pages

Western industrialism has achieved miracles, promoting unprecedented levels of prosperity and raising millions around the world out of poverty. Industrial capitalism is now diffusing throughout the East. Japan, the four Tigers (Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong) and China are all incorporating themselves into the global industrial world. India, Brazil and many others are expected to follow the same course. But as China, India and other industrializing giants grow, they confront an inconvenient truth: they cannot rely on the Western industrial development model of fossil-fueled energy systems (resource throughput rather than circularity and generic finance) because these methods cause extreme spoliation of the environment and raise energy security, resource security and global warming concerns.

By necessity, a new approach to environmentally conscious development is already emerging in the East, with China leading the way in building a green industry at scale. As opposed to Western zero-growth advocates and free-market environmentalists, it can be argued that a more sustainable capitalism is being developed in China – to counter black developmental model based on coal. This new ‘green growth’ model of development, being perfected in China and now being emulated in India, Brazil, South Africa (and eventually by industrializing countries elsewhere), as well as by advanced industrial countries such as Germany, looks to become the new norm in the twenty-first century. Its core advantages are the energy security and resource security that are generated.

The British scientist James Lovelock has done the world an enormous service by formulating the theory of a ‘living earth’ named Gaia, where life self-regulates itself and the planet by keeping the atmospheric environment more or less constant, and likewise the environment of the oceans. In China’s Green Shift, Global Green Shift, Mathews proposes a way in which Gaia (a product of the processes of the earth) can be complemented by Ceres (our own creation of a renewable energy and circular economy system). Can these two concepts of how the earth works, represented by two powerful deities, be reconciled? While Lovelock is pessimistic, asserting that Gaia will look after herself and that if we survive at all it is likely to be as a greatly diminished industrial civilization, numbering no more than one billion people, Mathews argues in this book why he believes this prognosis to be mistaken. Mathews maintains that the changes that ‘we’ are driving, as a species, represent a viable way forward. They give us a chance of reconciling economy with ecology – or Ceres with Gaia.

 

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Contents

List of Figures
Introduction
compared with other leading industrial countries
Evolutionary Dynamics of Our Industrial
17502010
Ecomodernization with Chinese
A Sixth
Reverse Salients
Global Population Peaking
total population 19492015
Energy That Is Clean Cheap Abundant
Renewables a Moving Technological Frontier
Reframing Renewables as Enhancing
The Myths of Renewistan
Recirculation and Regeneration
Food and Fresh Water Production

Sixth Wave Trends Decoupling Economies from
Finance Now Playing a Central Role
China and the Building of a Green Financial System
Green Growth Development Strategies
Farewell Fossil Fuels
When Ceres Meets Gaia
Bibliography
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

John A. Mathews is a management strategy scholar who has influenced global policies on the greening of industry.

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