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Green Delusions: An Environmentalist Critique of Radical Environmentalism

Overview

Scholars, politicians, and activists worldwide are finally recognizing the severity of the global environmental crisis, yet serious threats to the environmental movement remain. Anti-environmentalists dismiss the very idea of a "crisis" as a mirage. Much less obvious, however, is the more subtle threat masquerading under the mantle of environmentalism itself. It is this threat that Green Delusions addresses. Writing from the standpoint of a committed environmentalist, Martin W. Lewis contends that many of the ...

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Overview

Scholars, politicians, and activists worldwide are finally recognizing the severity of the global environmental crisis, yet serious threats to the environmental movement remain. Anti-environmentalists dismiss the very idea of a "crisis" as a mirage. Much less obvious, however, is the more subtle threat masquerading under the mantle of environmentalism itself. It is this threat that Green Delusions addresses. Writing from the standpoint of a committed environmentalist, Martin W. Lewis contends that many of the most devoted and strident "greens," those who propose a radical environmentalism, unwittingly espouse an ill-conceived doctrine that has devastating implications for the global ecosystem. In this book he distinguishes the main variants of eco-extremism, exposes the fallacies upon which such views ultimately flounder, and demonstrates that the policies advocated by their proponents would, if enacted, result in unequivocal ecological disaster. At once polemic and prescriptive, Green Delusions is an impassioned attempt to defend the environmental movement against extremist ideas that would lead to self-defeating political strategies.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Eco-extremists threaten the environment, Lewis argues, by fueling the anti-environmental countermovement. A professor of geography at George Washington University, he analyzes and sharply criticizes radical environmentalism, charging that it is founded on erroneous ideas fabricated from questionable scholarship and that its proponents ignore history and willfully dismiss economics. He profiles the principal groups of radical greens, pointing out the weaknesses and dangers of their agendas. A liberal moderate, Lewis advocates a Promethean rather than Arcadian approach to environmentalism; he would rely on technology, urbanizaton and Third World development to restore and protect the planet. Such primary problems as population growth and poverty, he argues, cannot be solved by poltical extremism. lewis makes a strong case for solar power and a globally integrated economy in this controversial book, which is likely to stir up a hornet's nest of debate. Oct.
Library Journal
Written by a self-confessed ex-radical now espousing an eclectic ``Promethean'' environmentalism that embraces, among other enviromental bugaboos, capitalism, large-scale government, advanced technology, and big cities, Green Delusions aims to ``distinguish the five main variants of eco-extremism . . . to expose the fallacies on which such views ultimately founder, and to demonstrate that the policies advocated . . . would, if enacted, result in unequivocal ecological catastrophe.'' The author generally hits his target cleanly and forcefully, making the book essential for environmental collections. Its clarity, detail, and solid documentation could also make it a surprise success in general circulation. Though clearly addressed to the academic and environmental communities, it could, given a little attention, gain a sizable audience among those ordinary citizens who find themselves increasingly disquieted by the extremism that currently dominates environmental discourse.-- Linn Prentis, Milford, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822314745
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1993
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Varieties of Radical Environmentalism 27
2 Primal Purity and Natural Balance 43
3 A Question of Scale 82
4 Technophobia and Its Discontents 117
5 The Capitalist Imperative 150
6 Third World Development and Population 191
Conclusion 242
Appendix 253
Notes 257
Bibliography 261
Index 283
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