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American Environmentalism: Philosophy, History, and Public Policy
     

American Environmentalism: Philosophy, History, and Public Policy

by J. Michael Martinez
 

ISBN-10: 1466559705

ISBN-13: 9781466559707

Pub. Date: 07/09/2013

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Protecting the natural environment and promoting sustainability have become important objectives, but achieving such goals presents myriad challenges for even the most committed environmentalist.
American Environmentalism: Philosophy, History, and Public Policy examines whether competing interests can be reconciled while developing consistent,

Overview

Protecting the natural environment and promoting sustainability have become important objectives, but achieving such goals presents myriad challenges for even the most committed environmentalist.
American Environmentalism: Philosophy, History, and Public Policy examines whether competing interests can be reconciled while developing consistent, coherent, effective public policy to regulate uses and protection of the natural environment without destroying the national economy. It then reviews a range of possible solutions.

The book delves into key normative concepts that undergird American perspectives on nature by providing an overview of philosophical concepts found in the western intellectual tradition, the presuppositions inherent in neoclassical economics, and anthropocentric (human-centered) and biocentric
(earth-centered) positions on sustainability. It traces the evolution of attitudes about nature from the time of the Ancient Greeks through Europeans in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the American
Founders, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and up to the present. Building on this foundation, the author examines the political landscape as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry leaders, and government officials struggle to balance industrial development with environmental concerns.

Outrageous claims, silly misrepresentations, bogus arguments, absurd contentions, and overblown prophesies of impending calamities are bandied about by many parties on all sides of the debate-industry spokespeople, elected representatives, unelected regulators, concerned citizens, and environmental NGOs alike. In lieu of descending into this morass, the author circumvents the silliness to explore the crucial issues through a more focused, disciplined approach. Rather than engage in acrimonious debate over minutiae, as so often occurs in the context of "green"
claims, he recasts the issue in a way that provides a cohesive look at all sides. This effort may be quixotic, but how else to cut the Gordian knot?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466559707
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
07/09/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTALISM
Philosophical Ideas and Concepts
Concepts of Nature in the Western Intellectual Tradition
Rights
Natural Rights and Natural Law
Utilitarianism
Kantianism as an Alternative to Utilitarianism
Ethical Egoism and Social Darwinism
Environmental Justice
Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here?
Notes

Neoclassical Economics
The Rise of Neoclassical Economics
Economics, Public Policy, and the Freedom-Authority Divide
Efficiency versus Equity: An Unbridgeable Gulf?
Notes

Environmental Ethics: An Overview
Anthropocentrism, Neoclassical Economics, and the Scientific Method
Weak Sustainability
Strong Sustainability
Ecological Sustainability
Normative Sustainability
Intrinsic Value Theory and Its Discontents
The Ethical Dilemma in a Nutshell
Notes

HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTALISM
Pre-American Attitudes about the Natural Environment
The Ancient Greeks
The Biblical Tradition
Europeans in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Native Americans
Conclusion: The March of Anthropocentric Progress
Notes

The Enlightenment and the American Founders
The Enlightenment Project
John Locke, the Social Contract, and Private Property
American Enlightenment Figures
Humanity and Classification
The Enlightenment: Friend or Foe of Environmentalism?
Notes

The Nineteenth Century
Lewis and Clark and the Advent of Manifest Destiny
John James Audubon—The Ornithologist as Environmental Steward
Henry David Thoreau on Government and Society
The Gilded Age and American Urbanization
Notes

The Twentieth Century
Progressivism and Twentieth-Century Social Movements
John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Preservation-Conservation Debate
From Progressivism to the New Deal: The Evolving Role of Government in Natural-Resource Protection
Environmental Activism Comes of Age
The Rise of the Modern American Environmental Movement
Notes

POST MODERN AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS AND POLICY
Environmental Interest Groups
The Interest-Group Theory of Democracy

Well-Known Environmental Groups in the American Landscape
The Strengths and Weaknesses of the NGO Model
Notes

The Foundations of Twenty-First-Century Sustainability
Famous International Conferences and Agreements
American Environmental Law in a Federal System
Management Systems, Standards Organizations, and Certifications
Environmentalism for Dummies
Notes

Conclusion: The Path Forward
Common Pitfalls
The Quest for Energy and Its Environmental Consequences
Who Pays and Who Plays
Tradeoffs and Choices: Life Cycle Management (LCM)
Notes

References
Index

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