Sustainable Automobility

Sustainable Automobility

Understanding the Car as a Natural System

Paul Nieuwenhuis

If we are part of nature, then so is everything we make. This unique book explores this notion using the example of the car, how it is made and used and especially how we relate to it, with a view to creating a more sustainable automobility.

Chapter 7: Supply chains . . ., or loops, tiers, webs or flows?

Paul Nieuwenhuis

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, management and sustainability, environment, corporate social responsibility, ecological economics


One of the side effects of the Cartesian-Newtonian revolution that gradually rolled out across the Western world and beyond from the 17th century onwards - and which gave us the scientific method and many other benefits - is that we have adopted a mechanistic, often linear way of thinking. What we have lost is an appreciation of the interconnectedness of things. In societies we generally regard as less scientific and less rational, each effect has a cause; everything happens for a reason. This way everything becomes in some way connected with everything else. The causal entity may be spirits, gods or even God, but the essence is that everything is meant to be. This is something we have lost, and with it we have adopted a view of the world in which only those things we know to be connected become connected in our minds. Unfortunately we have our limitations and assume that where we do not know there to be a connection there is not one. We lose a lot of information and intelligence by this approach, for, in reality, in our world most things are in some way connected with many other things. These systems, and the significance of them and their interconnections, are something we are only just beginning to unravel, taking us back in many respects to our 'less sophisticated', or less rational, ancestors. Morton (2010) refers to our ongoing relationship with various 'others', or 'strange strangers' as he terms them.

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