The War Against the Greens: The Wise-Use Movement, the New Right and Anti-Environmental Violence

Overview

A Shadowy backlash against environmentalists has begun to emerge in America, the most visible element of which calls itself the "Wise Use" movement. Among its stated goals are the unregulated use of timber, oil, gas, minerals, and range land, and the abolition of all environmental laws and agencies. In this first in depth investigation of the "Wise Use" backlash, author David Helvarg visits rallies, conferences, and confrontations that are the fronts in its war against the greens. Helvarg shows the dimensions of ...
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1st Edition, Fine/VG+ DJ rear cover rubbed, o.w. clean, tight & bright. NO ink names, bookplates, DJ tears etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0871564599

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Overview

A Shadowy backlash against environmentalists has begun to emerge in America, the most visible element of which calls itself the "Wise Use" movement. Among its stated goals are the unregulated use of timber, oil, gas, minerals, and range land, and the abolition of all environmental laws and agencies. In this first in depth investigation of the "Wise Use" backlash, author David Helvarg visits rallies, conferences, and confrontations that are the fronts in its war against the greens. Helvarg shows the dimensions of this struggle as it is being waged in the courts; in the media, through popular mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh and sympathetic coverage in influential newspapers such as the New York Times; in the heretical claims of the movement's "counterscience"; and in the growing number of physical confrontations and threats used against environmental activists. Helvarg also documents the failure of the FBI to prevent such violence.

The "Wise-Use Movement" is the euphemistic name for an overzealous, well-financed, anti-environmental movement that arose out of the Reagan era. In hard-htting prose, Helvarg decuments the growth of the movements, its major funding, its growing use of violence against grassroots environmentalists, as well as the failure of the law-enforcement community to address the problem.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dirty tricks, lies and violence are, according to journalist Helvarg, the mainstays of the anti-environmental movement. The picture painted here is a frightening one of death threats, pet mutilation and arson practiced against a wide range of individuals exercising their First Amendment rights on behalf of the environment. Even worse is the role allegedly played by law enforcement officials. Rather than prosecuting violent crimes by anti-environmental fanatics, the police seem more concerned about threats to society from ``eco-terrorists'' who lie down in front of bulldozers, claims the author. Although his worldview may seem extreme to some, anti-environmentalists' own rantings appear to fully support this position. To quote former President Reagan's interior secretary James Watt, ``If the troubles from environmentalists cannot be solved in the jury box or at the ballot box, perhaps the cartridge box should be used.'' Helvarg demolishes the fiction that anti-environmentalism is a grass-roots movement by demonstrating its massive corporate underpinnings. This powerful investigative reporting should find wide readership. (Oct.)
Booknews
Helvarg documents the growing use of violence and terror tactics employed by the "Wise Use" movement, an industry-backed anti- environmental coalition. He profiles its leaders, traces its political connections, outlines its objectives, and substantiates its encouragement of physical violence as a weapon of intimidation against environmentalists. (And now it's hardly an overstatement to suggest it may control Congress.) Chilling but necessary reading. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Mary Carroll
"Far fewer than a hundred thousand" Americans, Helvarg maintains, contribute to or actively participate in antienvironmental groups, yet the Wise Use/Property Rights philosophy these groups espouse has encouraged, if not caused, a "startling increase in intimidation, vandalism, and violence directed against grassroots environmental activists." Helvarg traces historical American attitudes toward the environment and the development, during the Reagan-Bush years, of the Wise Use Movement. He spells out the role in that movement of timber, mining, and grazing interests in the West and land developers in the East, and the Beltway contributions of free-market think tanks, New Right lobbyists, industry-front groups, and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. The success of this antienvironmental backlash in achieving media credibility and its legal tactics--SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation)--and theories (especially Richard Epstein's "takings" doctrine) are among Helvarg's more interesting subjects. His most sensational stories, however, give specifics on the harassment of and the violence against green activists around the country and the sorry tale of the FBI's simultaneous fantasizing about "ecoterrorism" and their reluctance to pursue antienvironmental violence. This is a revealing investigation of the people and the ideas at the heart of the numerically weak but politically strong Wise Use/Property Rights Movement.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871564597
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 9/27/1994
  • Series: Guides
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.58 (d)

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