The corporate book review

A review of

Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World
To fully confess my sins, I did not but read through the introduction of this book, 30 minutes before the library closed in the small town where I was staying the night before I put it down. Partially by choice, partially by the fact that the library was about to close. But it piqued my curoiusity enough to keep reading while the library was open while hundreds of thousand of other books lay dormant so it was interesting to me. It seems to touch upon the same lines that "Let My People go Surfing" by Patagonia's founder. Preaching the eco-liberals the values and virtues of Natural Capitalism and how it will save the world and make money. This sounds like music to my ears, and I'm sure to many others. That's the American dream, live long and prosper, oh, wai, that was Spocks Vulcan Dreams. So is this a Utopian dream of a modern day Adam Smith, or a realistic view of globalisation and how we can all live better. The first few pages struck me, as Gary explained how he grew all this food for him and his friends at a New Alchemy Institute in a magical green house, but then was moved by the horrors of a Kraft Foods pavilion in Disneyworld and decided to try to compete, and infact, was able to outsell Kraft eventually. Now I am not one to judge at this point, my point is to raise a few questions about this type of approach, and it's consequences on the environment and society. A triple bottom line is great, but is it really a tripple bottom line if shareholders and economic growth trumps the latter two (social and environmental growth)? I do believe that one can make money, and heal the wounds of the people and the land, but my question is how much, and for long? What of the negative consequences of the some of the less desirable aspects of functioning and competing with the business as ussual crowd. Can you tip the scale, and from there are you just puting band aids on flesh woulds ?

Some of the main issues with global capitalism that concern me:

*using gasoline as the only means of trasporting the product

*lowering workers wages to save the company in times of crisis

*using plastics to store the food even if it can be recycled

*having the food pasteurized so it can be kept on shelves longer

*creating a product that can make more money than a biz as usual, but is not affordable to the masses