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Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism

Overview

In this provocative, widely-discussed book, Gregg Easterbrook asserts that far more environmental progress is being made than today's doomsayers would have us believe. Easterbrook explains why he believes pollution is almost over in the Western world, and why a truly "green" future it coming.

Heralding the next wave of environmental concerns, Easterbrook has written a powerful book charting a surprising and fundamental shift toward the positive in environmental ...

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0670839833 Only 1 copy left! Clean, unmarked copy. Hardcover, with dust jacket- In excellent shape! I can send expedited rate if you chose; otherwise it will promptly be sent ... via media rate. Have any questions? Email me; I'm happy to help! Read more Show Less

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Overview

In this provocative, widely-discussed book, Gregg Easterbrook asserts that far more environmental progress is being made than today's doomsayers would have us believe. Easterbrook explains why he believes pollution is almost over in the Western world, and why a truly "green" future it coming.

Heralding the next wave of environmental concerns, Easterbrook has written a powerful book charting a surprising and fundamental shift toward the positive in environmental events. He shows us how to view abuses from nature's own resilient perspective, and how we must work with nature in our present moment on the Earth to create a nobler future for humankind.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
At last, an optimistic view of environmental progress! On the 25th anniversary of Earth Day there is cause for celebration, argues the author; we have achieved solutions for many problems. There has been vast improvement in air and water quality, industrial pollution has lessened and we have virtually stopped ocean dumping. A contributing editor for Newsweek and the Atlantic, Easterbrook offers a comprehensive survey of ecological progress since 1970; he suggests that pollution in the West has already peaked and will be satisfactorily ameliorated within decades. He first looks at earth history, noting that the planet has always recovered from cataclysm. Part two analzyes the major issues: acid rain, toxic waste, radiation, global warming, air, water, land, economics, population and politics. Easterbrook finds some problems less severe than predicted, with corrective measures less expensive than expected owing to unanticipated technical discoveries and free-market innovation. He chides doomsayers of the environmental movement for their scare tactics and calls for activists to move from toxin-ringing to rationality.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Journalist Easterbrook's optimistic account of humanity's impact on the environment, in which he argues against ecological doomsayers. (Apr.)
Library Journal
A contributing editor to Newsweek and The Atlantic, Easterbrook offers a new approach to environmental thinking characterized by confidence in the ability of human reason and technology to work with nature to create a healthy habitat for humans, plants, and animals. He contrasts his optimistic approach, termed "eco-realism," with the pessimism and doomsaying he finds in current environmentalism. In the first part, Easterbrook attempts to look at the condition of the modern earth from the perspective of a personified nature, reassuringly resilient and resourceful through eons of time. The second part assesses in separate alphabetized chapters the current status of various environmental problems, while the brief third section explores a me'lange of visionary futures for life on Earth and in space. Although Easterbrook supports valid criticisms of alarmist environmentalist tactics, particularly in cases of radiation dangers and chemical safety, his book is likely to provoke controversy because, especially in Part 1, his stance is polemic, his language often satiric, and the viewpoints of environmental spokespersons oversimplified and sometimes distorted. The journalistic practice that omits complete documentation of sources also undercuts the effectiveness of Easterbrook's arguments. Still, this may prove to be an influential book that libraries with environmental collections should consider acquiring.-Joan S. Elbers, formerly with Montgomery Coll., Rockville, Md.
Brenda Grazis
Another environmental four-alarm? Hardly. Easterbrook, a "Newsweek" reporter, discusses with unabashed optimism virtually every environmental issue, from water pollution to the World Bank. His contention is that technology, or nature itself given sufficient time, will negate any environmental calamity--only extinctions are irreversible, and they are part of nature's design. Despite a relentlessly upbeat perspective, his endless tweaking of "enviros" grows tiresome and is often gratuitous. For example, he derisively recounts the predictions of "Silent Spring", yet acknowledges that such prophecies have remained unfulfilled because "society heeded Carson's warning." References are inadequate (generally, merely titles), and odd inaccuracies, such as claiming that the insect-eating "robin remains as ubiquitous as backyard feeders," or crediting the principle of uniformitarianism to Lyell rather than Hutton, suggest a nonrigorous inquiry and questionable qualifications. Easterbrook's "ecorealism" will appeal to predisposed "ecorealists" of all stripes, but environmentalists may conclude that Easterbrook just doesn't get it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670839834
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Pages: 768
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 2.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregg Easterbrook
Gregg Easterbrook

Gregg Easterbrook is the author of six books, including The Progress Paradox. He is a contributing editor to The Atlantic, for which he has written more than a dozen cover stories, and The New Republic. His articles have appeared in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, as well as on the covers of Newsweek and Time. He has appeared on Today, Larry King Live, Nightline, CBS Morning News, All Things Considered, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The Diane Rehm Show, and The O’Reilly Factor.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note
Preface: Why the Good News Shouldn't Scare You
Pt. 1 The Long View: Thinking Like Nature
1 The Dance of the Ages 3
2 The Green Fortress 25
3 Time as the Ultimate Resource 46
4 Is Humanity a Special Threat? 54
5 Is Humanity a Mistake? 65
6 The End of Nature: Not a Moment Too Soon 89
7 Does Nature Have a Soul? 104
8 Does Nature Have Values? 114
9 Does Nature Have a God? 130
10 The Case Against Nature 140
Pt. 2 The Short View: Thinking Like People
11 Acid Rain 161
12 Air Pollution 181
13 Case Study: The Spotted Owl 211
14 Chemicals 228
15 Clean Tech 257
16 Climate I: Global Cold 268
17 Climate II: Global Warmth 277
18 Economics 317
19 Energy I: Today's Power 334
20 Energy II: The Renewable Future 356
21 Enviros 369
22 Farms 386
23 The (Industrial) Forest 396
24 Genes 418
25 Land 433
26 Politics 446
27 Population 473
28 Radiation, Artificial 492
29 Radiation, Natural 528
30 Species 551
31 The Third World 577
32 Toxic Wastes 601
33 Water 627
34 The Ecorealist Manifesto 647
Pt. 3 The Green Future: People and Nature Learning to Think Together
35 The Balance 655
36 The New Nature 667
37 The Heavens 683
38 The River of Life 692
Notes 699
Bibliography 713
Index 733
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