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.

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

It has been conventional wisdom that India is powering ahead with its industrialization in the same manner as earlier industrializing powers, and most recently in the footsteps of China as a leading producer of black, coal-fired electric power. It has been widely assumed that India would be the next major producer and consumer of coal and of...

October 17, 2017

The entry of September 20, 2017, Spectacular success of the German Energiewende: A 21st century energy strategy that works, has been reposted numerous times, e.g. at

Energy Post (http://energypost.eu/the-spectacular-success-of-the-german-energiewende-and-what-needs-to-be-done-next/),

Energy Collective (http://www.theenergycollective.com/birtley...

October 12, 2017

An insightful review of ‘Greening of Capitalism’ has just been published in the journal Political Science (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00323187.2017.1388207) by young Korean scholar Dr Sung-Young Kim. 

Click to read the review here.

October 11, 2017

Here is a draft of a chapter to be carried later this year in the forthcoming Handbook on Green Growth, edited by Dr Roger Fouquet at the LSE. The chapter is carried as a Working Paper with permission.

Click to read the paper here.

October 10, 2017

When we have abundant references to a ‘second industrial revolution’ (McAfee and Brynjolfsson), a ‘third industrial revolution (Rifkin) and a ‘fourth industrial revolution’ (Schwab), all with their own rationales, it is perhaps foolhardy to venture the argument that we are living through a ‘sixth industrial revolution’ as I do in Global Green...

October 10, 2017

In The University of Auckland, on September 20, 2017 JM presented evidence that China is driving a global green transition to enhance its energy security and clean up its deteriorating urban environment. See the details here:


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