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The Comforting Whirlwind
     

The Comforting Whirlwind

by Bill McKibben, Glenn Edward. Sadler
 
Pointing to the now-familiar consequences of our self-centered environmental practices--the greenhouse effect, the ozone hole, and deforestation--Bill McKibben's mix of modern science and biblical wisdom forces us to acknowledge that growth and economic progress are not only undesirable but downright deadly. If we continue to press the pace of development, we will

Overview

Pointing to the now-familiar consequences of our self-centered environmental practices--the greenhouse effect, the ozone hole, and deforestation--Bill McKibben's mix of modern science and biblical wisdom forces us to acknowledge that growth and economic progress are not only undesirable but downright deadly. If we continue to press the pace of development, we will very soon complete the 'decreation' of our planet, destroying everything on it, including ourselves.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Journalist/environmentalist McKibben ( The End of Nature ) here performs, as a challenge to current thinking about the environmental crisis in the West, a provocative reading of the book of Job. Blaming a prevailing consumer capitalism which claims that ``more is better'' and ``economic growth is unquestionably good'' for humankind's neglect of the natural world, McKibben argues that such a worldview also produces a destructive kind of individualism in which humanity locates itself proudly at the center of the universe. Taking Job's encounter with God in the whirlwind as a model, McKibben urges instead an approach to nature that is grounded in joyous celebration of its wonder and beauty as well as in a humbler perception of our place in it. While this book is marred by repetitive writing and its readings of Job are often narrow, it nonetheless offers a powerful statement. (May)
Library Journal
Arguing that we are entrapped by ``our belief that endless material growth and expansion is both possible and fulfilling,'' McKibben asks, ``How can one believe deeply in God and yet be so cavalier about God's creation?'' An environmentalist, Sunday school teacher, and the author of The End of Nature and The Age of Missing Information, McKibben uses the biblical story of Job to articulate modern assumptions that hide us from the larger perspective of God's grand and glorious creation. In the process, he comments on the modern sins of consumerism, overreliance on automobiles, overpopulation, and placing ourselves at the center. His illustrations of how we are creating a ``managed world'' that will be ``even less hospitable to our religious message than the current one'' are wide-ranging. Recommended for public libraries.-Carolyn Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, Va.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802804990
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
07/28/1994
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.99(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.37(d)

Meet the Author

Bill McKibben is the author of ten books, including The End of Nature, The Age of Missing Information, and Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age. A former staff writer for The New Yorker, he writes regularly for Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Review of Books, among other publications. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, and their daughter.

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