March 11, 2005


   Fresh Air Photos

   (click photo for larger image)

Limits - Modeling Diversity - Part IV
Changes are underway at the directory page of the web site to improve navigation and expand coverage.

This issue presents short introductions to two well known writers on macro-economics and sustainability.
      - Lester R. Brown
      - Paul Hawken

We have new photographs from the Pawnee National Grasslands and a flashback to work by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.


Pushing Beyond the Earth's Limits
"When historians look back at our times, the last half of the twentieth century will undoubtedly be labeled "the era of growth." Take population. In 1950 there were 2.5 billion people in the world. By 2000, there were 6 billion. There has been more growth in world population since 1950 than during the preceding 4 million years.

"As the economy grows, its demands are outgrowing the earth, exceeding many of the planet's natural capacities. While the world economy multiplied sevenfold in just 50 years, the earth's natural life support systems remained essentially the same. ..."

So begins the book Outgrowing the Earth by Lester R. Brown. Mr. Brown, a McArthur Fellow and prolific thinker and author, is founder and president of the Washington based Earth Policy Institute. A listing of his books appears on their web site. (click to read more Lester R. Brown below)
Web Site --
Book Link - Books by Lester R. Brown

Reflecting back on the February 4 edition of this newsletter which featured the photojournalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the "coffee table" version of his book Earth From Above contains 12 chapters with text contributions from significant authors, the first being Lester R. Brown's chapter, titled "Building An Eco-Economy."
Book Link - Amazon - Earth From Above - Table of Contents
Web Site - Yann Arthus-Bertrand web site

Photograph - .by Yann Arthus-Bertrand (click photo to enlarge)
BARRINGER CRATER, near Flagstaff, northern Arizona, United States
Pawnee National Grassland - Part II
The Pawnee National Grassland is in NE Colorado between CO Highway 14 and the Wyoming / Nebraska borders. This region is comprised of short to middle height grasses on lands reclaimed by U.S. Department of Agriculture SCS (Soil Conservation Service) in the 1930's. These grasslands consist of hundreds of one square mile parcels intermingled with privately owned land. The SCS purchased land severely damaged during the dust bowl years and seeded the land back to native grasses. This region is open to hiking, camping and horseback riding.

Click any photo to see enlargements of this series:



Building An Eco-Economy
Lester R. Brown

A Sustainable Economy

"An economy is sustainable only if it respects the principles of ecology; if it does not it will decline and eventually collapse. Market forces rather than ecological principles, have shaped today's global economy. Unfortunately, by failing to reflect the full cost - the social and environmental costs - of goods and services, the market provides misleading information to economic decision makers at all levels. An eco-economy will make markets work to the earth's advantage. enabling us to justify our needs without jeopardizing the prospects of future generations to meet their needs.

"A sustainable economy respects the sustainable yield of the ecosystems on which it depends: fisheries, forests,rangelands, and croplands. A particular fishery can sustain a catch of a certain size, but if the annual demand on the fishery exceeds the sustainable yield by even the smallest amount, the fish stocks will begin to shrink and will eventually disappear. As long as the harvest does not exceed the sustainable yield, it can be sustained in perpetuity. The same is true of forests and rangelands."

EXCERPTS by Lester R. Brown, from Earth From Above, Revised and Expanded Edition, Chapter 1, Building an Eco-Economy
English translation, 2002 Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York

Paul Hawken on Socially Responsible Investing
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and best-selling author. His concerns extend from health to farming, from commerce to social justice. He started several ecological businesses, writes and teaches about the impact of commerce upon the environment, and consults with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. He is founder of NCI (Natural Capital Institute) which operates the Socially Responsible Investing Project which published the following report.

Socially Responsible Investing:
How the SRI industry has failed to respond to people who want to invest with conscience and what can be done to change it.

This report addresses financial management companies offering mutual funds that screen their portfolios against nonfinancial criteria, what is called the socially responsible or the ethical investing community. It examines current portfolio practices, reveals how SRI funds are actually allocated, shows how the industry misleads investors, recommends how the industry can reform itself in order to respond to investors who want to invest with conscience and a purpose.

PDF file -- SCI - Socially Responsible Investing Report- PDF
Web Site - Natural Capital Institute - Projects Page
Web Site - Paul Hawken


George Beggs 2/2005 - Feedback is welcome