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Greening of CapitalismHow Asia Is Driving the Next Great Transformation$
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John A. Mathews

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804791502

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804791502.001.0001

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Why “Business as Usual” Cannot Continue

Why “Business as Usual” Cannot Continue

(p.49) 3 Why “Business as Usual” Cannot Continue
Greening of Capitalism

John A. Mathews

Stanford University Press

The third chapter evaluates the evidence as to why “business as usual” cannot be allowed to continue. It is the vast scale of the changes to the natural world unleashed by industrial capitalism that is the core issue for sustainability. The workings of markets, finance and securitization have allowed an economic system to flourish that is completely divorced from its ecological moorings. The mode of operation now is through “overshoot and collapse” in one market after another – peaking of oil and other fossil fuels being the most obvious symptoms. Global warming and its dire consequences constitute the end result. The issue is to re-establish the system’s moorings by reframing capitalism as a system embedded in an ecological matrix. This calls for a new eco-logic of capitalism, focused on the three fundamental sectors of energy, resources (commodities) and finance.

Keywords:   Business as usual, resource depletion, overshoot and collapse, peak oil, global warming, collective action problem

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