I have struggled half-way through The Natural Advantage of Nations and found I needed a break. It's not that the book isn't good or important... it's that it can get boring. I know, I enjoy reading policy because I am a strange person and I like working out in my head how things would happen if such and such a thing were done, or if we fiddled with some incentive structure. This book, however voluminous it is in details and facts and figures, could probably have been a third of the size it is now. It is one thing to make a companion book to Natural Capitalism; quite another to attempt to make an entire survey of the literature and studies on the subject and pack in dense policy ideas on top of it. Add the fact that it's not particularly well organised and there are a few copy-editing errors, it's a tough slog. So, instead of pushing the whole way through, I started Hawken's The Ecology of Commerce. I must admit that it's a bit doom and gloom. Not as much of the optimism as we saw in Natural Capitalism. Still, a lot of the stuff he said a long time ago is stuff I'm writing about now.
I've also got Blessed Unrest sitting on my bookshelf staring at me, but I wanted to read them in chronological order. After that comes Factor Five, Biomimicry, Critical Path, Capitalism at the Crossroads, interspersed with longing glances at The New Organic Grower, Edible Forest Gardens Vol. I and II, and Gaia's Garden...
...and perhaps the occasional perusal of the photos I took when spending a weekend at an alpaca ranch in Southern Alberta in 2000. Alpacas are so cute.
The Green Gap
In the Cold War, we feared a Missile Gap was a strategic weakness. Nowadays, we must awaken to the fact that the Green Gap is true strategic weakness: the nations whose economies will thrive in the coming years will not be those with the biggest factories, but those with the most sustainable, efficient, and ecological markets. What we require is a Strategic "Green Reserve" of ecological design to weather the coming changes that both climate and resource scarcity will force on the international economy.