Reviews of EcoCommerce 101


"I very much liked this book and consider it is a tremendous addition to my bookshelf. EcoCommerce 101 is probably a worthwhile purchase/read for those who are trying to connect disparate dots (environmental policy; ecology politics; proposed new "permit" or "compliance" markets) and for readers who have ever considered if/how protecting fundamental "commons goods" can be an "economic stimulus".

The author seamlessly synthesizes many complex thoughts, theories, and principles and he presents them clearly enough to be appreciated by both novices AND accomplished veterans in many different and discrete domains (finance, agriculture, environmental advocacy, etc.). In this work, the case is well made for integrated resource management, for longitudinal analysis/consideration of how resources are allocated, and for more intelligent policy to be created. In EcoCommerce 101 the reader will be stimulated to really think about how critical fundamental supplies (soil, water, air) can be be used responsibly in the present AND remain available for the the continued reuse which will be required to maintain/advance national and international economic growth.

This author has produced not just a robust primer, he has written a good book that should be of real value to experts in many related and component fields."

Robert O’Donnell
General Manager, AquaNexus
New York


"EcoCommerce 101 is an authoritative and much needed review of Ecosystem Service markets. Tim Gieseke does an excellent job communicating the principles, potential and need for market driven mechanisms to sustain our environment and enable farmers to realize some of the value they provide beyond the commodities they produce. Written by a farmer who has been in the trenches and is clearly expert on the topic, I recommend this book to anyone interested in better understanding why they are essential when discussing 'sustainability'."

Terry Stone, Syngenta
Sustainability Value Chain Manager
North Carolina


"EcoCommerce 101 makes a compelling case for the need to bring the externalities of agriculture and business into the accounting framework of economics. This book is not just about lip service for the need for a triple bottom line. It lays a foundation for how to develop an ecologically based economy. Economists generally tend to ignore the limits of earth’s ecology to absorb waste and regenerate itself. As economist Kenneth Boulding put it: "Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." Tim Gieseke provides a much needed framework for how we can live and prosper in a finite world."

Francis Thicke
Dairy Farmer
Former USDA Extension Service, National Program Leader for Soil Science
Fairfield, Iowa


"Tim Gieseke presents us with a detailed and thoroughly researched contribution to the vitally important and cutting edge area of ecosystems services, and the need to develop an ecologically literate economy, where environmental value/performance is generated, and financially rewarded. For anyone whose interest, ambition or business involves or is impacted by the sustainable ecological functioning of the earth (which in practice means everyone), this book is essential reading."

Geoff Burke
Managing Director
Agro-Ecological Investment Management
London, UK


"EcoCommerce 101 is an inspiring book that allows the reader to think through all the issues as it relates to the new emerging bio-economy. The readers will know Tim Gieseke writes from a practical point of view, thus recognizing that it’s not all about the final end game, but how as a country we will get there. His experience as an ecologist and farmer gives him the perspective to create a logical pathway that naturally corresponds with economical goals and targets proper planning while we protect our resources."

Steve Flick
Board Chair, Show Me Energy Cooperative
Centerview, Missouri


"EcoCommerce 101 provides a framework for not only how we value ecosystem services but the process through which we quantify this value. This is a unique feature because what has been lacking in the discussions of ecosystems or their monetary value has been a framework from which the value could be evaluated. This book will be a valuable asset to anyone who wants to understand how this economy will emerge and for undergraduates and graduate students to understand how economic services will be generated from ecosystems. However, the greatest value for this book is for those policymakers and traders who will be the driving force in the development of policies and practices associated with ecosystem services. "

Jerry L. Hatfield
USDA – Agriculture Research Service
Laboratory Director, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment
Ames, Iowa


"Finally - finally someone with dirt (or worse) in the treads of their boots has produced an approachable explanation about how the academic and theoretical potential of environmental market forces might actually look in the real world. Tim's experience working with the land and with landowners makes the day-to-day decision-making of real people less of a mystery as he highlights the need to apply caution when developing policy incentives for ecoservices and agricultural commodities. I don't know if ecoservice markets are going to stay just over the horizon for another decade, but I do know when they do rise they will follow the principles Tim lays out in his book."

Steve Woods
Agricultural Engineer and State Conservation Agency Manager
St. Paul, Minnesota


"As a firm that is starting to invest in ecosystem markets generated from land based practices on working farms and forests, we eagerly devoured EcoCommerce 101. We found the concise metrics very useful for developing tools to measure such investment opportunities, and we plan to use examples in EcoCommerce 101 as demonstration of potential economic and income generation as it relates to ecosystem markets and working lands. This type of monetary potential confirms our thinking on how to develop such markets at scale in the US."

John Campagna
Managing Partner, Restore Capital
Baltimore, Maryland


"Tim Gieseke provides a well-thought out frame in EcoCommerce 101 to develop an 'agro-ecosystem intelligence' that will allow us to better define what are the advantages and disadvantages of organic production systems in terms of biodiversity, ecosystem services, yield and human health, particularly in resource-poor African countries. I think this book breaks important ground by integrating production resource management with natural resource conservation management — it is a commendable intellectual output."

Ged Buffee
International Development Director
African Organic Farming Foundation


"In EcoCommerce 101, Tim Gieseke has provided a tremendous tutorial and reference for anyone who wishes to understand how the invisible hand of market forces interacts with environmental resources. EcoCommerce 101 will be useful to those who are seeking a basic understanding of the economics of environmental markets and to those who wish to delve deeper into the interactions of people, environmental resources and the factors involved with valuing our natural resources. The topics covered by Gieseke are wide ranging and are addressed with both the theoretical background of the topic and then illustrated with appropriate examples. EcoCommerce 101 should become required reading for resource economic students and for public policy decisionmakers. I highly recommend EcoCommerce 101."

David Miller
Director, Research & Commodity Services
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation


"The concept of EcoCommerce 101 and the frame that Tim Gieseke applies is, I believe, the start of something big…I suspect it will gather steam slowly and be real and long term rather than a fast fad... really good thinking and base presentation...a. tremendous job - very well done!"

Robert O’Donnell
General Manager, AquaNexus
New York


"EcoCommerce 101 provides a wonderful entry point for those interested in where our economy is right now and where it should go. With an amazing level of research, this book takes you by the hand and shows that the old system need not be broken in order to bring more sense into it. This book should be in many libraries and I would definitely recommend it and I will put it on the shelf where I keep my useful books."

Ronny Daniel
M.Sc. Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability
Blekinge Institute of Technology
Karlskrona, Sweden


"EcoCommerce 101 is a seminal body of work. Tim Gieseke has thoughtfully and thoroughly pulled together a grand concept and a mechanism to make it work. Mr.Gieseke's book is an excellent study about combining the economic and ecological systems into a unified program that promotes and encourages appropriate use of Natural Capital. Students, faculty, policy makers and the general public will be enlightened and enriched by absorbing the compelling case presented by Tim Gieseke in EcoCommerce 101".

Eric Jackson
Senior Carbon Expert
Environmental Change Institute
University of Illinois
Urbana, Illinois


"EcoCommerce 101 offers a concrete vision and pragmatic approach to understanding the emergence of markets for payments for ecosystem services (PES). With agriculture as a prime example, author Tim Gieseke makes use of actual and visionary examples of how cooperation between leaders in business, agriculture, government and ecology can lead to the emergence and generalization of ecoservices markets. EcoCommerce principles applied to urban ecosystems and other business activities, such as retailing or water services, could mean the emergence of a truly-green global economy; one which would be based on investing in ecosystem management and restoration."

Joël Houdet
PhD AgroParisTech
Consultant - Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services Specialist
President of Synergiz
Vincennes, France


"EcoCommerce 101 is a deep dive into the mechanics of U.S. agriculture policy from the point of view of a man who has seen it from many angles -- as a farmer, government employee, now policy consultant. Gieseke examines the notion of conserving ecosystem services on agricultural lands and assesses how current policies tend to obstruct efforts integrate broader ecological purposes into farm subsidies. Updated policies are needed to improve the integration of disparate and separate government programs, to offer conservation incentives based on resource needs rather than the needs of agencies, and to support the development of consistent, multi-scaled and standardized measurements for ecosystem services. Gieseke observes that water quality trading programs as currently structured are not likely to restore public waters, in part because of high transaction costs. He also emphasizes that markets are developed in isolation at the institutional level, and do not effectively address a broad spectrum of ecoservices. He contrasts the commodity title in the Farm Bill, which has met its objectives, with the conservation title, which has not, and attributes that in part to a failure to develop useful measurements. Quoting Sally Collins, former director of the U.S. Office of Environmental Markets, the author highlights five themes for ecomarkets: Its more than carbon; we need unified standards; stakeholders must be involved, we can learn from experience, and cross-government cooperation is key. The constituency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture used to be the farmer. Now its a broader spectrum of non-profits, agencies, and companies requesting outcomes from farmers. The only disappointment in the book is its skimpy treatment of biodiversity, a major environmental challenge on agricultural lands."

Sara Vickerman, Defenders of Wildlife
Senior Director
Biodiversity Partnerships


"The last ten years or so have seen spirited debate about the role markets and market–based instruments can play in protecting and improving our natural resources, from clean air and water as far as moderating changes in the earth's climate. EcoCommerce 101 ably stakes out the maximalist position in this debate. Tim Gieseke argues, at length and in detail, that the "bio-economy" can be seamlessly woven into the market economy; in essence, that monetary values can be attached to the various aspects of ecological sustainability, and this end achieved through trade among private parties. Even those unpersuaded that this reasoning can be taken as far as Gieseke does, should make themselves familiar with it, because the straitened financial circumstances of governments in the United States and throughout the developed world make experiments in spreading the cost of environmental protection essential."

Joseph Britt
Agricultural Incentives Director
Sand County Foundation
Monona, Wisconsin


Tim Gieseke on
EcoCommerce 101 provides a foundation for an analysis of environmental economics from the perspective of a theorist and a practitioner. The author makes a compelling yet simple argument that 21st Century wealth creation must be grounded in the reality of an ecologically sound natural resource management system proven through sound supply and demand modeling.

Gabriel Thoumi, Project Developer, Forest Carbon Offsets LLC, provides forest carbon project development and sustainable finance consulting integrating both the carbon and capital markets. He has consulted on 20 forest carbon projects globally applying multiple forest carbon standards and methodologies, and he frequently lectures and publishes on the same topics globally.


Tim Gieseke in The Land
The Land talks about opportunities offered to farmers in EcoCommerce 101.


Tim Gieseke on
Jon Harsch of Agri-Pulse writes: Minnesota farmer, researcher and entrepreneur Tim Gieseke tackled a demanding goal: “to turn agriculture’s traditional environmental liabilities into ecological assets that return value back to the farm.” The result is his 426-page about-to-be-published blockbuster EcoCommerce 101: Adding an ecological dimension to the economy.


EcoCommerce 101 in the New Ulm Journal
A New Ulm resident is raising international attention with his new book that attempts to solve sustainability issues by using free-market influences.


EcoCommerce 101 article & interview with author Tim Gieseke.
EcoCommerce the culmination of 20 years of seeking solutions to the ecological and economical balance needed within agriculture; the second Green Revolution, he notes, must embrace natural capital values and the values associated with ecoservices, to the extent that it improves the capacity of both on-farm and off-farm resources.
Interview by Willi Paul and co-presented by Magazine &


EcoCommerce 101 in the Western Farm Press
EcoCommerce 101, The Emergence of an Invisible Hand to Sustain the Bio-Economy a new book by Tim Gieseke, is "the culmination of 20 years of seeking solutions to the ecological and economical balance needed within agriculture." The second Green Revolution, he notes, must embrace natural capital values and the values associated with ecoservices, to the extent that it improves the capacity of both on-farm and off-farm resources…