Synopses & Reviews
The first thing that strikes one about Spencer Beebe's Cache: Creating Natural Economies
is that it is neither fish nor fowl, written by a man who has a clear passion for both. It's the kind of book that, almost by design, will drive compartmentalized minds to distraction — what shelf should it go on? Part memoir, part manifesto, Cache
comes closest to being an old-fashioned apologia — the personal history of how one man arrived at his conviction — from a 35-year career in conservation.
What is clear from both the structure and strategy of the book is that Beebe cannot separate theory from practice, life lessons from work lessons. For the most part, Beebe embeds his lessons in on-the-ground stories, leaving readers to draw their own conclusions. Even when talking about the principles he feels are indispensable to environmental and economic health, he backs his assertions with facts and examples from his life-long experience as a lover and steward of natural places. He is nothing if not a pragmatist; if something doesn't work, he'll keep experimenting until he finds something that does.
Beebe's central message, in fact, is that both traditional economics and traditional conservation have failed to deliver "reliable prosperity." His central conviction is that neither will succeed in doing so until they are grounded in principles found in nature. Cache is the story both of how he arrived at this conviction and of how it operates in the lives of real people grappling with real problems in the places they call home.
"Untiring idealism about the natural world combined with strategic brilliance and ingenuity are on vivid display in Spencer Beebe's Cache." Thomas McGuane
About the Author
Spencer Beebe is a fourth-generation Portlander who spent 13 years with The Nature Conservancy before helping found Conservation International in 1987. In 1991, he founded Ecotrust to focus his work on the rain forests of home. He serves on the boards of Tamastlikt Cultural Institute and Walsh Construction Company. Spencer is a member of the Ecotrust and Ecotrust Canada boards of directors.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Tom Brokaw
Introduction: The Artist, the Urbanist, and Me
Part One: 1974-1991
1. Two Rivers: Getting My Feet Wet
2. Two Ranches: Cowboys and Conservationists
3. South of the Border: Releasing Local Energy
4. Creation Myth: High Drama in D.C.
5. Bolivia: A First and Last Hurrah
6. Apprenticeships Revisited
7. Kitlope, Ecotrust, and the Magic Canoe
8. Willapa Bay: The Resource Curse and a Hopeful Example Abroad
9. Generalities, Differentiation, and the Benefit of Hindsight
10. The First Environmental Bank: A New Take on "Green"
11. From Country to City: Creating A Living Building
12. Slow Food, Slower Forests
13. Indigenous Leadership: Gift Exchange