Famous Quotes & Sayings

Paul Hawken Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Paul Hawken.

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We have to ask ourselves, 'What kind of world is it where a baby-food executive substitutes artificial flavoring and sugar for apple juice? What kind of businesses have we created when we even lie to infants?' — Paul Hawken

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What a great time to be born, what a great time to be alive, because this generation gets to completely change this world. — Paul Hawken

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Most floods are caused by man, not weather; deforestation, levee construction, erosion, and overgrazing all result in the loss of ecosystem services. — Paul Hawken

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Money and prices and markets don't give us exact information about how much our suburbs, freeways, and spandex cost. Instead, everything else is giving us accurate information: our beleaguered air and watersheds, our overworked soils, our decimated inner cities. All of these provide information our prices should be giving us but do not. — Paul Hawken

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Healing the wounds of the earth and its people does not require saintliness or a political party, only gumption and persistence. It is not a liberal or conservative activity; it is a sacred act. — Paul Hawken

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My advice for people is to love the world they are in, in whatever way makes sense to them. It may be a devotional practice, it may be song or poetry, it may be by gardening, it may be as an activist, scientist, or community leader. The path to restoration extends from our heart to the heart of sentient beings, and that path will be different for every person. — Paul Hawken

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What we already know frames what we see, and what we see frames what we understand. — Paul Hawken

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The self-owned and -operated business is the freest life in the world. — Paul Hawken

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would become religious overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead the stars come out every night, and we watch television. — Paul Hawken

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It is critical to realize that underlying the extermination of nature is the marginalization of human beings. If we are to save what is wild, what is irreparable and majestic in nature, then we will ironically have to turn to each other and take care of all the human beings here on Earth. There is no boundary that will protect an environment from a suffering humanity. — Paul Hawken

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The United States prides itself on being the richest country in the world. Yet we can't balance the budget, pay for education, or take care of the aged and infirm. — Paul Hawken

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When the planes still swoop down and aerial spray a field in order to kill a predator insect with pesticides, we are in the Dark Ages of commerce. Maybe one thousandth of this aerial insecticide actually prevents the infestation. The balance goes to the leaves, into the soil, into the water, into all forms of wildlife, into ourselves. What is good for the balance sheet is wasteful of resources and harmful to life. — Paul Hawken

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If you look at the science that describes what is happening on earth today and aren't pessimistic, you don't have the correct data. If you meet people in this unnamed movement and aren't optimistic, you haven't got a heart. — Paul Hawken

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Seeing the world around you clearly is a critical step in developing an idea for a business, carrying out that idea, and then thriving with an ongoing concern. Through choice, predilection, lack of education, impatience, or other causes, the entrepreneur lives, in a way, outside the mainstream. — Paul Hawken

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We need to revise our economic thinking to give full value to our natural resources. This revised economics will stabilize both the theory and the practice of free-market capitalism. It will provide business and public policy with a powerful new tool for economic development, profitability, and the promotion of the public good. — Paul Hawken

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Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity's willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. — Paul Hawken

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The generations before you failed. They didn't stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn't ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn't make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it. — Paul Hawken

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Sustainability is an economic state where the demands placed upon the environment by people and commerce can be met without reducing the capacity of the environment to provide for future generations. It can also be expressed in the simple terms of an economic golden rule for the restorative economy: Leave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do. — Paul Hawken

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Being in business is not about making money. It is a way to become who you are. — Paul Hawken

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Throughout the industrial era, economists considered manufactured capital - money, factories, etc. - the principal factor in industrial production, and perceived natural capital as a marginal contributor. The exclusion of natural capital from balance sheets was an understandable omission. There was so much of it, it didn't seem worth counting. — Paul Hawken

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We're trained to see the world in terms of charismatic organizations and charismatic people. That's who we look to for leadership and change, for transformation. We're awaiting the next J.F.K., the next Martin Luther King, the next Gandhi, the next Nelson Mandela. — Paul Hawken

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There are insistent calls for autonomy, appeals for a new resource ethic based on the tradition of the commons, demands for the reinstatement of cultural primacy over corporate hegemony, and a rising demand for radical transparency in politics and corporate decision making. It has been said that environmentalism failed as a movement, or worse yet, died. It is the other way around. Everyone on earth will be an environmentalist in the not too distant future, driven there by necessity and experience. — Paul Hawken

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Hindered by asthma since I was six weeks old, I had begun experimenting with my diet and discovered a disquieting correlation. When I stopped eating the normal American diet of sugar, fats, alcohol, chemicals, and additives, I felt better. I could breathe freely. When I tried to sneak in a hamburger and a Coke, my body rebelled. — Paul Hawken

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The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. — Paul Hawken

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We are now heading down a centuries-long path toward increasing the productivity of our natural capital - the resource systems upon which we depend to live - instead of our human capital. — Paul Hawken

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There is no polite way to say that business is destroying the world. — Paul Hawken

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Don't go to business school. — Paul Hawken

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We can no longer prosper by increasing human productivity. The more we try to do, the more poverty we will create. — Paul Hawken

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What we are missing, utterly and completely, in this government is accountability. — Paul Hawken

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There is no cost difference between incarceration and an Ivy League education; the main difference is curriculum. — Paul Hawken

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I think an old style of addressing environmental problems is ebbing, but the rise of the so-called conservative, political movement in this country is not a trend towards the future but a reaction to this very broad shift that we are undergoing. — Paul Hawken

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Business is the only mechanism on the planet today powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environments and social degradation. — Paul Hawken

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Luck is earned. Luck is working so hard at your craft, service or enterprise that sooner or later you get a break. — Paul Hawken

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Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich — Paul Hawken

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And also, more and more businesses really want to do the right thing. They feel better about themselves, their workers feel better, and so do their customers. I think this is equally true in the transnational corporations, but it is harder to express in those situations. — Paul Hawken

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Business is destroying the world, with flair, expertise, and panache. — Paul Hawken

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Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor. — Paul Hawken

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I doubt very much that the chief executives of any of the Fortune 500 corporations can name five edible plants, five native grasses, or five migratory birds within walking distance of their homes, or name the soil series upon which their house sits. And I would contend that if you don't know where you are, you are in fact nowhere at all. — Paul Hawken

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We subsidize the disposal of waste in all its myriad forms from landfills to Superfund cleanups, from deep-well injection to storage of nuclear waste. In the process, we encourage an economy where 80 percent of what we consume gets thrown away after one use. — Paul Hawken

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You are Brilliant and the Earth is Hiring — Paul Hawken

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The financial capital is being concentrated by corporations, institutional investors, and even our pension funds, and being reinvested in companies that repeat this process because it provides the highest return on that financial capital. — Paul Hawken

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This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Civilization needs a new operating system. — Paul Hawken

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Mother's milk would be banned by the food safety laws of industrialized nations if it were sold as a packaged good. — Paul Hawken

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Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. — Paul Hawken

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Local companies don't have to internalize their costs, and few actually do, but they tend to more often because the owners live there and they have to show their face in town, and their kids play with other kids. — Paul Hawken

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It costs the same to send a person to prison or to Harvard. The difference is the curriculum. — Paul Hawken

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Capitalism, as practiced, is a financially profitable, non-sustainable aberration in human development. — Paul Hawken

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When you pollute a river, it's a supreme injustice to those who are downstream and those who live in the river who are not human beings. — Paul Hawken

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We are the only species on this planet without full employment. — Paul Hawken

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When cattle ranchers clear rain forests to raise beef to sell to fast-food chains that make hamburgers to sell to Americans, who have the highest rate of heart disease in the world (and spend the most money per GNP on health care), we can say easily that business is no longer developing the world. We have become its predator. — Paul Hawken

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How is it that we have created an economic system that tells us it is cheaper to destroy the earth and exhaust its people than to nurture them both? Is it rational to have an pricing system which discounts the future and sells off the past? How did we create an economic system that confused capital liquidation with income? — Paul Hawken

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Business is correct to defend its right to act in order to produce a vigorous and engaging prosperity. But it is wrong if it forgets that this freedom can only be experienced within the discipline of social responsibility. — Paul Hawken

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Being a good human being is good business. — Paul Hawken

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If there is to be an ecologically sound society, it will have to come the grass roots up, not from the top down. — Paul Hawken

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We are speeding up our lives and working harder in a futile attempt to buy the time to slow down and enjoy it. — Paul Hawken

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Thus, the forces and value systems that are most threatened by this shift are becoming the most coherent and are rising to the top as minority or plurality powers. But they do not represent either the shift, the change, or the future. — Paul Hawken

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That inefficiency is masked because growth and progress are measured in money, and money does not give us information about ecological systems, it only gives information about financial systems. — Paul Hawken

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Sustainability, ensuring the future of life on Earth, is an infinite game, the endless expression of generosity on behalf of all. — Paul Hawken

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Biological diversity is messy. It walks, it crawls, it swims, it swoops, it buzzes. But extinction is silent, and it has no voice other than our own. — Paul Hawken

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I'd rather fail at something important than succeed at something trivial. — Paul Hawken

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Trees are being saved because of the Kindle. — Paul Hawken

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Natural capital is easy to overlook because it is the pond we swim in. One can live perfectly well without ever giving a thought to the sulfur cycle or wetland functions. Only when the benefits nature provides are disrupted do we take notice. — Paul Hawken

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Somewhere along the way to free-market capitalism, the United States became the most wasteful society on the planet. — Paul Hawken

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Real change occurs from the bottom up; it occurs person to person, and it almost always occurs in small groups and locales and then bubbles up and aggregates to larger vectors of change. — Paul Hawken

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We have the capacity to create a remarkably different economy: one that can restore ecosystems and protect the environment while bringing forth innovation, prosperity, meaningful work, and true security. — Paul Hawken

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Intelligent policies will be largely self-regulating in the sense that the system of incentives and standards makes it absolutely ludicrous to not move towards clean, internalized systems of cost and production. — Paul Hawken

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Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done. — Paul Hawken

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We assume that everything's becoming more efficient, and in an immediate sense that's true; our lives are better in many ways. But that improvement has been gained through a massively inefficient use of natural resources. — Paul Hawken

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If they [companies] believe they are in business to serve people, to help solve problems, to use and employ the ingenuity of their workers to improve the lives of people around them by learning from the nature that gives us life, we have a chance. — Paul Hawken

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Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on Earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation ... but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. — Paul Hawken

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You can print money to bail out a bank, but you can't print life to bail out a planet. — Paul Hawken

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Commercial institutions, proud of their achievements, do not see that healthy living systems - clean air and water, healthy soil, stable climates - are integral to a functioning economy. As our living systems deteriorate, traditional forecasting and business economics become the equivalent of house rules on a sinking cruise ship. — Paul Hawken

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If, as is natural, you focus on the corruption and on those threatened institutions that are trying to prevent change - even though they don't really know what they're trying to prevent - then you can get pessimistic. — Paul Hawken

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While there may be no "right" way to value a forest or a river, there is a wrong way, which is to give it no value at all. How do we decide the value of a 700-year-old tree? We need only to ask how much it would cost to make a new one, or a new river, or even a new atmosphere. — Paul Hawken

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A local company has more accountability. — Paul Hawken

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That appropriation of resources and the transformation of them into goods and services through the European production system characterized, and characterizes to this day, all industrial systems including the information age. — Paul Hawken

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When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. — Paul Hawken

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Wrong is an addictive, repetitive story; Right is where the movement is. — Paul Hawken

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The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them. — Paul Hawken

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The promise of business is to increase the general well-being of humankind through service, a creative invention and ethical philosophy. — Paul Hawken

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The future belongs to those who understand that doing more with less is compassionate, prosperous, and enduring, and thus more intelligent, even competitive. — Paul Hawken

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The responses that environmentalists evoke - fear, anxiety, numbness, despair - are not helpful, even if they are understandable. It should be fascinating, even enthralling, to be in the milieu of environmental change. — Paul Hawken

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Writing is my way of diving deep into an issue. My approach is to watch, read and listen - sometimes for years - in order to grasp the dynamics, resistance and patterns of thought that repeat and impede progress and breakthrough. — Paul Hawken

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How much harm does a company have to do before we question its right to exist? — Paul Hawken

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Businesses who are members of Businesses for Social Responsibility or the Social Venture Network are internalizing costs on a voluntary basis and therefore raising their costs of doing business, but their competitors are not required to. — Paul Hawken

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Information from destructive activities going back a hundred years right up until today is being incorporated into the system. And as that happens the underlying framework of industrialism is collapsing and causing disintegration. — Paul Hawken

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First we need to decide what needs to be done. Then we do it. And then we ask if it is possible. — Paul Hawken

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We have reached a point where the value we do add to our economy is now being outweighed by the value we are removing, not only from future generations in terms of diminished resources, but from ourselves in terms of unlivable cities, deadening jobs, deteriorating health, and rising crime. In biological terms, we have become a parasite and are devouring our host. — Paul Hawken

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It is possible for the assembly-line worker consigned to tightening the bolts on the transmission and the office worker who processes medical insurance claims to work with pride and efficiency, but it's not easy to maintain that attitude. — Paul Hawken

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Interestingly, the oil companies know very well that in less than 30 years they will not only be charging very high prices, but that they will be uncompetitive with renewables. — Paul Hawken

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For the developed world, there is a choice to be made: to promote economic policies that despoil indigenous lands or to support cultures and the remaining biological sanctuaries. — Paul Hawken

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Natural capitalism is not about making sudden changes, uprooting institutions, or fomenting upheaval for a new social order. Natural capitalism is about making small, critical choices that can tip economic and social factors in positive ways. — Paul Hawken

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At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. — Paul Hawken

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People are naming it the Third Wave, the Information Age, etc. but I would say those are basically technological descriptions, and this next shift is not about technology - although obviously it will be influenced and in some cases expressed by technologies. — Paul Hawken

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The great thing about the dilemma we're in is that we get to re-imagine every single thing we do ... There isn't a single thing that doesn't require a complete remake. There are two ways of looking at that. One is: Oh my gosh, what a big burden. The other way, which I prefer, is: What a great time to be born! What a great time to be alive! Because this generation gets to essentially completely change the world. — Paul Hawken

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In short, industrialism is over. — Paul Hawken

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Green business is not about tie-dyed T-shirts. It's about transforming the industrial system itself into one that looks at all the connections. — Paul Hawken

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Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them. — Paul Hawken

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You can blame people who knock things over in the dark or you can begin to light candles. You're only at fault if you know about the problem and choose to do nothing. — Paul Hawken

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Yes, population is a huge problem - birth rates are too high. And in order to take care of the environment, we have to make sure that every child that comes here, that arrives, knows that he or she is welcome, is going to be cared for and honored. — Paul Hawken