Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism

Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism

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by Robert Zubrin
     
 

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There was a time when humanity looked in the mirror and saw something precious, worth protecting and fighting for—indeed, worth liberating. But now, we are beset on all sides by propaganda promoting a radically different viewpoint. According to this idea, human beings are a cancer upon the Earth, a horde of vermin whose aspirations and appetites are

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Overview

There was a time when humanity looked in the mirror and saw something precious, worth protecting and fighting for—indeed, worth liberating. But now, we are beset on all sides by propaganda promoting a radically different viewpoint. According to this idea, human beings are a cancer upon the Earth, a horde of vermin whose aspirations and appetites are endangering the natural order. This is the core of antihumanism.

Merchants of Despair traces the pedigree of this ideology and exposes its pernicious consequences in startling and horrifying detail. The book names the chief prophets and promoters of antihumanism over the last two centuries, from Thomas Malthus through Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore. It exposes the worst crimes perpetrated by the antihumanist movement, including eugenics campaigns in the United States and genocidal anti-development and population-control programs around the world.

Combining riveting tales from history with powerful policy arguments, Merchants of Despair provides scientific refutations to all of antihumanism’s major pseudo-scientific claims, including its modern tirades against nuclear power, pesticides, population growth, biotech foods, resource depletion, and industrial development.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this look at the rise of “antihumanism”—an ideology that argues that humans are a cancer on the earth—scientist Zubrin (Energy Victory) charts the troubling shift from one’s “unalienable rights” and “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” to forced mass sterilization, eugenics, and Nazism. Zubrin finds within Thomas Malthus the foundation for “justifying human oppression and tyranny.” From Malthusianism, he continues to Darwinism—“human compassion toward the unfortunate is not merely useless (as per Malthus) but actually morally wrong”—following the path eventually to eugenics. The book is replete with scientific studies and facts, though it’s Zubrin’s view on the people and history behind antihumanist movements that’s the most disturbing. Whether pointing out that the first Green Party was founded under the leadership of August Haussleiter, a former Nazi SS officer; that Fujimori’s genocide in Peru was funded by international aid; or that Qian Xinzhong was given the first United Nations Population Award (together with Indira Gandhi) after forcing thousands of Chinese women to abort their children, Zubrin paints a dark and disturbing picture of antihumanism that’s worth everyone’s time to read. Agent: Adam Keiper, the Center for the Study of Technology and Society. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

"The book is replete with scientific studies and facts, though it’s Zubrin’s view on the people and history behind antihumanist movements that’s the most disturbing. Whether pointing out that the first Green Party was founded under the leadership of August Haussleiter, a former Nazi SS officer; that Fujimori’s genocide in Peru was funded by international aid; or that Qian Xinzhong was given the first United Nations Population Award (together with Indira Gandhi) after forcing thousands of Chinese women to abort their children, Zubrin paints a dark and disturbing picture of antihumanism that’s worth everyone’s time to read." —Publishers Weekly

“Robert Zubrin’s masterful study…makes for riveting reading. Merchants of Despair is a cautionary tale of what happens when powerful, unprincipled elites are not only alienated from the mass of their fellow men, but come to see them as a barrier to imagined social, evolutionary, or environmental progress.” —Steven W. Mosher, President, Population Research Institute

Merchants of Despair is an extraordinary and important book….This fascinating volume carefully traces developments of the Malthusian hypothesis right up to the present: through eugenics to population control and genocide; through the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth and extreme environmentalism to climate change and the myth of global warming apocalypse. Robert Zubrin has my nomination for a Pulitzer Prize.” —S. Fred Singer, Chairman, Science and Environmental Policy Project, Author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years

“I believe no one to date has so clearly explained the thread of the antihuman movement throughout history. To read this book is to become a warrior in the battle against it.” —Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute

“The most devastating account and refutation of antihuman environmentalism ever written.” —Gregory Benford, Author of Chiller

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594034763
Publisher:
Encounter Books
Publication date:
04/03/2012
Series:
New Atlantis Books
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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Meet the Author

Robert Zubrin is the author of several highly successful books, including Energy Victory, a powerful and hugely popular work on achieving energy independence, and The Case for Mars, a 100,000-copy bestseller on space exploration and the human future. He frequently writes, lectures, and gives radio and TV interviews on a wide range of policy questions as a fellow of the Center for Security Policy, the president of the Mars Society, and a contributing editor to The New Atlantis. A scientist and engineer by training, with advanced degrees in aeronautics and astronautics and nuclear engineering, he has nine U.S. patents granted or pending.

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Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Willis_Shirk More than 1 year ago
This is a riveting and lucid analysis of the seamy history behind the fundamentally flawed thinking that drives so many radical environmentalists to portray humanity as a cancer upon the earth. The author grounds his artful prose with sound mathematical and scientific evidence that demolishes the claims of those who assert that global warming is something to be feared, or that increased world population is a threat. His arguments deserve a wide audience and invite vigorous debate on their merits. This book not only challenges many of the assumptions of the more radical environmentalists, such as Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren and Al Gore, however, but also dismisses the arguments of those on the political right who ignorantly dismiss the evidence for the theory of evolution or the fact that the global climate actually is at the moment actually getting warmer. While acknowledging that of course evolution by natural selection is true, and of course the planet is currently getting mildly warmer, the author invites his readers to think deeply and more creatively about the significance of those facts. While his training may be as a nuclear and aerospace engineer, Dr. Zubrin is also a highly insightful and very gifted historian. His work deserves a wide audience, especially at a time when so much political charlatanry on these subjects is being perpetrated by those on both the extreme left and the extreme right of the political spectrum.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't say I double checked any of the facts presented in the book but Merchants of Despair was a whole new perspective on things for sure. I really enjoyed this book; it was very interesting.
Randy-Hillier More than 1 year ago
great read. Zubrin does a marvelous job connecting the dots that are the foundations of today's Malthusian environmentalists. 
jpocsr More than 1 year ago
Great read to understand "how we got it here"!