The Way Out Kick-starting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass

Hill and Wang



Trade Paperback

400 Pages



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L. Hunter Lovins, co-author of the bestselling Natural Capitalism, and the sustainability expert Boyd Cohen prove that the future of capitalism in a recession-riddled, carbon-constrained world will be built on innovations that cutting-edge leaders are bringing to the market today. These companies are creating jobs and driving innovation. Lovins and Cohen further maintain that the best route to rebuilding the US national economy, as well as assuring national security, is by embracing efficiency, innovation, renewables, carbon markets, and new technologies. A conscious decision to adopt this climate friendly stance will ultimately prove profitable within a capitalist context.  Corporate executives, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and concerned citizens alike will find profitable ideas within these pages. In ten information-packed chapters, The Way Out gives tangible examples of early adopters across the globe who see that the low-carbon economy leads to increased profits and economic growth. It offers a clear and concise road map to the new energy economy and a cooler planet.


Praise for The Way Out

“Well supported with examples of real business practice.”—Ed Crooks, Financial Times
"Portrays a hopeful, sustainable future for global commerce: Even if some business leaders used to think that their profit margins and the environment's health were mutually exclusive, they will very likely think otherwise in the years ahead. Market watchers, environmental advocates, and general readers of all kinds will find in [here] a compelling counterweight to business as usual."—Rick Docksai, The Futurist
“In [The Way Out], L. Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen present in crisp, clear terms how smart economics hold the key to addressing the multiple crises—from financial to food, climate to resource scarcity—facing the world.”—Achim Steiner, executive director, United Nations Environment Programme
“One of the fastest growing areas in business schools today is entrepreneurship, and more specifically social entrepreneurship, as more and more students seek a path to both making a living and a positive difference in the world. [The Way Out] provides both direction and inspiration for these students who do not accept the artificial tradeoff between doing well and doing good. Bravo to Lovins and Cohen and to all those students who will turn this critically important message to positive action for the planet.”—R. Bruce Hutton, dean emeritus, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
“[The Way Out] is a must-read for entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts, and corporations interested in capitalizing on the greatest wealth-creation opportunity of our lifetime: solving climate change.”—Jigar Shah, founder, SunEdison, and CEO, Carbon War Room
“If you wonder whether there is any hope of humankind’s dealing successfully with climate change, read this book. It is a virtual compendium of what is going on already from which to draw hope and, more important, inspiration.”—Ray Anderson, chairman and founder, Interface, Inc.
“A highly persuasive demonstration of how profitable economic choices can take us a long way toward dealing with climate disruption, the misguided aspects of our agriculture, oil’s strategically catastrophic monopoly over transportation, the poverty of the bottom billion, and much else. Creative and deftly crafted.”—R. James Woolsey, Jr., former director of the CIA
“A blueprint to recalibrate the economy to the realities of climate destabilization. A must-read.”
David Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College
“Coping with climate change requires challenging conventional wisdom and showing where our interests—global, national, corporate, and personal—really lie. [The Way Out] eloquently defines those interests and the role that market forces could and should play.”—Sir Crispin Tickell, chair emeritus, Climate Institute
“Should be on every CEO’s reading list and required in every corporate boardroom.”—Bill Becker, executive director, Presidential Climate Action Project
“The ultimate guide for business and government leaders who see the opportunities in our rapidly changing world but don’t yet know how to win.”—Will Semmes, former director, California Conservation Corps
“For those seeking to implement genuine climate solutions, and make money doing so, [The Way Out] cannot be recommended highly enough.”—Tom Carnac, director of innovation, Carbon Disclosure Project
“Waste is expensive in any form. [The Way Out] clearly articulates how individuals, companies, municipalities and countries have benefited by reducing their carbon impacts. It's time to revamp what is considered business fundamentals! Organizations that embrace the principles in this book will be not only better positioned to weather the uncertain future, but will be trailblazing the paths.”—Catherine Greener, principal and co-founder, Clear Green Advisors
“Periodically an event, a speech, or a book comes along that changes everything. [The Way Out] is one of those books. Just as Natural Capitalism inspired thousands of businesses to re-think their bottom line, [The Way Out] profiles the opportunity, not the crisis, of climate change. It puts business in the leadership position to invest in a global future that improves profitability while cutting climate change. Lovins and Cohen lay to rest the economic argument that energy conservation and renewable energy cost jobs. Lovins is a master of her subject matter . . .”—David Johnston, author of Green from the Ground Up
“With a massive shift in the global economy toward sustainable business, new markets are emerging and cities are poised to capitalize. [The Way Out] demonstrates how cities can succeed in the global green economy by taking advantage of the growing demand for clean, green innovation. To build a future that values people and the planet, we need to rethink how we do business—and [The Way Out]shows how to do it.”—Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, BC
“Diversey uses the principles outlined in this book to enhance our profitability. For every dollar we invest in climate protection we get two dollars in return.”—S. Curtis Johnson, chairman, Diversey, Inc.
“ . . . [The Way Out] isn’t the fastest read (its more than 300 pages are packed with information), but it very comprehensively shows how environmental challenges, including climate change, can be linked to business opportunities for all. Through case studies and the authors' own expertise, [The Way Out] makes a powerful case for . . . today's society.”—Shirley Mak, Sierra Club
“[The Way Out] proves time and time again that conservation and energy efficiency are essential for capitalism to reach its highest potential.”—Peter Byck, director, Carbon Nation
“Hunter Lovins’ voice has always cut through the clamor and confusion around sustainability, like a chain saw through warm butter. And with [The Way Out] you’ll think Will Rogers has jumped back through time to lead us through another tough patch. Only this time he's not only got a lot of down home common sense, he's got a Library of Congress worth of data to back it up.”—Alex Bogusky, founder of the Fearless Cottage

In the Press

CLIMATE CAPITALISM by L. Hunter Lovins, Boyd CohenKirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of CLIMATE CAPITALISM Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change. A look at a new kind of capitalism that can save the planet from climate chaos while creating jobs and uplifting economies.

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Named a Time magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet and called by Newsweek “the green business icon,” L. Hunter Lovins is president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and chief insurgent of the Madrone Project.  Boyd Cohen is CEO of CO2IMPACT and a former professor of sustainable entrepreneurship in Spain, Costa Rica, and Canada.


  • Named a Time magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet and called by Newsweek “the green business icon,” L. Hunter Lovins is president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and Chief Insurgent of the Madron Project. Her clients include large companies like Walmart; small companies like Clif Bar; the Pentagon; the United Nations; cities around the world; and the energy minister of Afghanistan, to name just a few.
    Boyd Cohen is CEO of CO2IMPACT and a former professor of sustainable entrepreneurship in Spain, Costa Rica, and Canada.
  • Boyd Cohen © Elisabeth Obediente