State of the World 2008: Table of Contents

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Chapter 1. Seeding the Sustainable Economy

Gary Gardner and Thomas Prugh, Worldwatch Institute
Environmental decline and persistent mass poverty suggest that the dominant model for economies worldwide is in crisis. But alternatives to business-as-usual can steer most economies onto sustainable paths. Underpinned by a handful of key Big Ideas, economic innovations might just remake our world.
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Chapter 2. A New Bottom Line for Progress

John Talberth, Redefining Progress
GDP tells an important, if one-dimensional, economic story. But it’s not the only story or even the most vital one. Metrics that better measure the things people most value, and don’t count pollution and other “bads” as assets, are explored in this chapter.
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Chapter 3. Rethinking Production

Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism Solutions
Modern production systems specialize in huge volumes, incidentally producing massive wastes and toxic by-products. Futurethinking businesses are inventing ways to meet people’s needs with a fraction of current environmental impacts.
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Chapter 4. The Challenges of Sustainable Lifestyles

Tim Jackson, University of Surrey
“More is better”—the modern economic mantra—is under attack as the environmental, economic, and personal downsides of consumerism become evident. Harried, overworked, and indebted consumers are increasingly open to a focus on quality of life rather than more stuff.
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Chapter 5. Meat and Seafood: The Most Costly Ingredients in the Global Diet

Brian Halweil and Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch Institute
Consumption of fish and meat is growing fast worldwide, but producing these in huge livestock-raising operations generates enormous health and environmental problems. Alternative ways of meeting demand for meat and fish can protect the environment and small farmers.
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Chapter 6. Building a Low-Carbon Economy

Christopher Flavin, Worldwatch Institute
To avoid tipping Earth’s climate into a dangerous runaway warming mode, global carbon emissions must be slashed by upwards of 80 percent by 2050. Improved energy productivity, deployment of renewable energy technologies, and enlightened government energy policies are key to achieving this goal.
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Chapter 7. Improving Carbon Markets

Zoƫ Chafe and Hilary French, Worldwatch Institute
A world choking on carbon increasingly understands that measures for reducing national and personal carbon footprints are critical. But which ones, and how should they be implemented? This chapter sorts fact from fiction for policymakers and consumers.
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Chapter 8. Water in a Sustainable Economy

Ger Bergkamp, IUCN, and Claudia Sadoff, IUCN and International Water Management Institute
Water may be the critical resource challenge of this century, with farmers, cities, and the natural environment all claiming shares of a shrinking pool. But market mechanisms and enlightened regulations can supply water to all claimants, even as they reduce waste and protect aquatic ecosystems.
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Chapter 9. Banking on Biodiversity

Ricardo Bayon, Ecosystem Marketplace
Despite the spread of national parks and protected areas, species decline and and ecosystem destruction continue apace. Market mechanisms (such as payment for ecosystem services), when linked to conservation goals, can protect natural capital while providing regulated access to important economic resources.
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Chapter 10. The Parallel Economy of the Commons

Jonathan Rowe, Tomales Bay Institute
Commons were once a stable and crucial part of many preindustrial economies. As uncontrolled access destroys resources such as fisheries and the atmosphere, the potential of commons regimes to sustainably conserve and allocate scarce resources in a ‘full world’ is more critical than ever.
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Chapter 11. Engaging Communities for a Sustainable World

Erik Assadourian, Worldwatch Institute
Citizens disempowered by economic decisions made far away are discovering that building local economies and sustainable communities offers viable alternatives to globalization. Case studies illuminate what’s possible in creating sustainability at the grassroots.
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Chapter 12. Mobilizing Human Energy

Jason Calder, Future Generations
Billions in aid have been spent over the decades on developing economies, often with shockingly little effect. A key missing element has been strong input from the grassroots, which allows local people to claim ownership of their development futures. This chapter will examine successful cases of grassroots-led development and their lessons for governments.
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Chapter 13. Investing for Sustainability

Bill Baue, Socialfunds.com
Finance is a vital leverage point for steering economies in a sustainable direction. Financing activities at all levels—venture capital, socially responsible investing, and microfinance—are being examined for their potential contributions to building sustainable economies.
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Chapter 14. New Approaches to Trade Governance

Mark Halle, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Free-trade ideology has long mistaken means for ends in trade discussions. The global community’s goal ought to be sustainable and equitable economic development, an end that may not always be served by a blind adherence to free-trade doctrine. Reforms of the WTO and the broader global trading system could help promote sustainable economic activity.
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Foreword | Preface | Table of Contents | About the Authors