Menu Expand
Global Green Shift

Global Green Shift

John A. Mathews


Additional Information

Book Details


The world that created modern industry, pioneered in the West, is in decline. It is being transformed by a global green shift, creating new industries based on clean energy, clean water and clean food – all produced in a safe, clean and sustainable way, in abundance, at low (and diminishing) cost and without making further inroads into nature. This twenty-first century world is being driven by newly emerging industrial giants like China and India – just as the twentieth-century infrastructure of oil, automobiles and highways was created by the United States. It is China and India that are feeling the worst effects of industrializing along conventional ‘business as usual’ lines, and which have the greatest incentive to drive their own green shift. But the old world order based on a linear economy and fossil fuels is resisting bitterly, and will not give up without a fight. John A. Mathews explains how these trends and counter-trends are creating a new world order where an industrial system based on the Ceres (Circular Economy and Renewable Energy System) is seeking to take over from the world of fossil fuels, and provide scope for Gaia to become her wild self again. The outcome of this struggle is far from determined. It is the central issue to be resolved in the twenty-first century.

‘Asian countries are removing limits to their economic growth, using intelligence and manufacturing skills to let renewable energy replace polluting energy from finite sources. Clearly describing this revolution, Mathews helps readers in the other parts of the world understand how competitiveness for the future is now being created.’ –Tomas Kåberger, Professor, Energy Area of Advance, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

‘John Mathews is one of the foremost political economists examining, perhaps, the central question of our time, whether, we, as a species, can devise responses to global climate change. In this book, he argues that new green technologies are already available to allow us to begin manufacturing energy and thus overcome our addiction to fossil fuels – and he argues that it is China that is leading the way in the transition.’ –Martin Kenney, Professor, Community and Regional Development, University of California, USA

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.

‘In this sweeping global analysis of environmental challenges, Mathews weds Schumpeterian and renewable energy insights to draw the bold conclusion that China and India have embarked on a course to lead the world toward sustainable solutions. The book documents China’s ecomodernization strategy, placing it in the vanguard of clean and renewable power.’ –Mark Selden, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, State University of New York at Binghamton, USA, and editor, The Asia-Pacific Journal

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

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover 1
Front Matter i
Half-title i
Title page iii
Copyright information iv
Table of contents v
List of figures ix
Foreword xi
Preface xiii
Acronyms xix
PART I Dynamics of the Green Transition 1
Chapters (1-9) 1
Chapter 1 Introduction 3
It’s not all about Climate Change 5
Geopolitical and Environmental Limits to Fossil Fuels 9
China’S Energy Strategies 12
Anthropocene Choices: Moral vs. Economic 15
Ecomodernization Strategies 17
When Ceres Meets Gaia 19
Outline of Chapters 21
Chapter 2 Evolutionary Dynamics of Our Industrial Civilization 25
Industrial Transformations 26
Shifting Wealth 29
The Feasible Ecomodernization Strategies of China and India 31
Strategic Choices – and Objections 33
Chapter 3 Ecomodernization – with ‘Chinese Characteristics’ 37
Ecological ModerniZation 38
Decoupling 39
Chapter 4 Sociotechnical Transitions: A Sixth Wave 43
Five Waves Of Sociotechnical Transition 43
Sixth Wave Transitions: Food, Water, Resources, Energy 44
Food production 45
Water production 46
Resources reproduction – circular economy 47
Energy production/generation 48
Reverse Salients 49
Interconnections 51
Sixth Wave Trends – Decoupling Economies from Natural Constraints 53
Chapter 5 No Wonder China and India are Pursuing Green Growth Strategies so Vigorously 57
China and its Green Growth Strategy 58
Target of 750 billion watts of clean, green power in China by 2020 59
What are the options AVAILABLE for China? 64
Are bankruptcies and overcapacity in China’s renewables manufacturing industries a sign of weakness? 66
The pollution constraint 67
India’s Renewables Strategy 69
Chapter 6 Finance Now Playing a Central Role in the Green Shift 73
Tapping the Capital Markets: The Kexim Green Bonds 74
Green Bonds Expansion 76
China and the Building of a Green Financial System 78
Chapter 7 Can the China Model be Utilized by Other Industrializing Countries? 83
Advantages of Green Growth Development Strategies 85
Renewable resources are available to all 86
Green development is biased towards rural employment generation 86
Cost disadvantages can be overcome 86
Green growth pathways offer unlimited catch-up and technological leapfrogging possibilities 87
Green and black development complement each other 87
Green growth generates export earnings and reduces import charges 87
A green growth pathway generates increasing returns through cross-linkages 88
Insertion in global value chains 89
Green growth provides a bias towards innovation 89
Prospects for Green Growth in Developing Countries: Morocco as Exemplar 90
Chapter 8 Green Growth Development Strategies, Local Content Requirements and World Trade 95
Local Content Requirements and ‘Next Generation’ Trade Disputes 96
Green Reforms to the World’s Trade System 99
Integrating the World’s Trade and Climate Regimes: A Proposal 100
Chapter 9 Farewell Fossil Fuels 103
Declining Industries 103
Oil and gas industry problems 105
Divestment 106
Imperfect transition 106
Oil in the Twentieth Century: Wars, Revolutions and Terror 108
Japanese Experience with the Allied Oil Embargo 110
Part II Sixth Wave Eco-.Innovations 113
Chapters (10-18) 113
Chapter 10 Global Population Peaking … and Urbanizing 115
The Demographic Transition 116
Urbanization as Ecomodernization 118
Cities as Wealth Creators 121
Chapter 11 Energy that is Clean, Cheap, Abundant – and Safe 125
Manufacturing Energy 128
Renewables – a moving technological frontier 130
Production/Generation of Energy that is CLEAN, CHEAP, Abundant – and Safe 132
Chapter 12 Reframing Renewables as Enhancing Energy Security 137
Energy Security and Fossil Fuel GEOPOLITICS 138
Energy Security based on Manufacturing of Renewables 140
From Oil Security to Energy Security 142
Chapter 13 The Myths of ‘Renewistan’ 145
Ridiculous ‘Renewistan’ 145
Rebutting The Arguments Raised against Renewables 149
Superiority of Renewables 151
Clean and non-polluting 152
Tap into inexhaustible renewable resources 152
Practicable, scalable, replicable 153
Chapter 14 Recirculation and Regeneration of Resources (Circular Economy) 155
Enhancing Resource Security 156
China’s Circular Economy Initiatives 159
Urban Mining 160
What Holds Back the Diffusion of the Circular Economy? 164
Chapter 15 Food and Fresh Water Production 167
Urban Veggies: Vertical Farming Initiatives 169
Sky Greens, Singapore 169
The Mirai Initiative in Japan 171
Vertical vegetable farming in the United States and Europe 172
Meat – Without Torturing And Murdering Animals 173
Anticipated evolution of the market for cultured meat 177
Clean, Fresh Water 178
CSP-desalination 179
CSP-greenhouse ventilation 179
Chapter 16 Energy, Water, Food for Cities: Deploying a Positive Triple Nexus 183
Hydrosolar Gardens: Systemic Interconnections 184
Sundrop Farms 185
Wider Economic Significance of the Sundrop Farms Concept 187
Chapter 17 Eco-Cities of the Future 189
The Eco-City Infrastructure 192
Chinese Eco-Fantasies? 193
Chapter 18 When Ceres Meets Gaia 197
Managing Change: The Differential Principle 199
A ‘Moderate’ Ecomodernism: In Defence of Conventional Renewables 203
A Hot Planet 205
Twilight of the Gods: Gaia, Vulcan and Ceres 207
End Matter 209
Bibliography 209
Index 221