February 28, 2007
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Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1997
BOOKS AND PROCEEDINGS...
Green Backlash: Global Subversion of the Environmental Movement,
A. Rowell, 504 pp., 1996, $65/£45 hbk., $18.95/£12.99 pbk.
(See related NEWS item on science and policy, this Global Climate Change
Digest issue--Feb. 1997.) This book is the result of a two-year
investigation, commissioned by Greenpeace, into the activities of the "anti-environmental
movement," which the author claims is a coalition of right-wing
organizations, big businesses and governments.
Reviewed by J. Morris (Nature, pp. 325-326, Nov. 28, 1996), who
agrees that the author is right to criticize those who make scientifically
unjustified statements about the state of the world. However, he undermines his
own valiant effort to to condemn these non-scientific claims by littering his
book with statements of dubious validity, and by taking a dogmatic view that
alleged environmental problems, such as man-made global warming, should be seen
as fact, not theory. The book's demand for scientific consensus would preclude
criticism and kill off the very spirit of science.
Another perspective is offered in correspondence to Nature by C.
Bates (ibid., p. 290, Jan. 23, 1997), who disagrees with much of the
Morris review. Bates sees the book as an attempt to examine the way in which
scientific knowledge is translated into a policy response and how this is open
to abuse. Bates argues that proper application of the scientific method
strengthens the case for strong action to respond to climate change. Morris,
according to Bates, is a proponent of alternative hypotheses that attempt to
explain how anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions do not lead to rising
atmospheric concentrations, but these alternative hypotheses are challenged by
plenty of confounding evidence.
Institutions for Environmental Aid: Pitfalls and Promise, R.O.
Keohane, M.A. Levy, 480 pp., 1996, $45 hbk./$22.50 pbk. (MIT).
Draws on research in economics, international relations, development
assistance, and international environmental relations to evaluate the
effectiveness of international institutions that facilitate the transfer of
resources from richer to poorer countries. The author asks if institutions like
the Global Environmental Facility increase concern, improve the contractual
environment, and increase national capacity. Although there is some evidence of
effectiveness in these terms, conflicts of interests within and between states,
and involving nongovernmental and governmental organizations, are frequently
Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor, T. Athanasiou, 385
pp., 1996, £20.50 (Little-Brown).
"Feel good" environmentalism, such as recycling garbage or buying
energy efficient products, makes little difference to the overall global
environmental picture. The core problems, global warming and ozone depletion
among them, can be overcome only through radical social and economic changes.
The environmental crisis lies in the planetary divide between rich and poor.
Principles of Sustainable Development, F.D. Muschett, Ed., 200
pp., 1996, $49.95 (St. Lucie).
Written for professionals in government and industries faced with
environmental issues. Addresses the need for developed and developing countries
to enter into a new phase of global trade and economic development. Included in
the book's features is an analysis of critical elements of sustainable
development, including environmental limits, population, and efficient use of
Nature, State and Economy: A Political Economy of the Environment,
2nd Ed., R.J. Johnston, 312 pp., 1996, £18.50 (Wiley).
The first edition was published as Environmental Problems: Nature,
Economy and State. Provides insight into the problems of society which
explain why environmental problems are getting worse even though they are
ostensibly high on the political agendas of many developed countries.
Environmental Management and Governance, P. May, R. Burby et al.,
254 pp., 1996, US$74.95/Can.$104.95 hbk., US$24.95/Can.$34.95 pbk. (Routledge).
There is a growing recognition of the failures of current environmental
policy mandates, and of the importance for environmental sustainability of
decisions made by local governments about land use and development. At issue is
how policies can be better designed and implemented to increase shared
commitment between different layers of government. This book considers a
different form of policy that uses flexibility rather than prescription and
coercion, and examines these issues by analyzing cooperative policies in New
Zealand and Australia that empower local governments to manage the environment
sustainably. Contrasts this with the more coercive approaches used in
corresponding programs in the U.S.
Environmental Issues and Sustainable Futures: A Critical Guide to
Recent Books, Reports and Periodicals, M. Marien, Ed., 157 pp., 1996, $35
(World Future Soc.).
Summarizes the latest in environmental literature.
UNEP's New Way Forward: Environmental Law and Sustainable Development,
420 pp., 1996, $80 (UN Pubs.).
Addresses the challenges of sustainable development and effective
implementation of the principles of environmental law. Topics include
environmental equity and international law, liability for environmental damage,
and foreign investment and international law.
Just Environments: Intergenerational, International and Interspecies
Issues, D.E. Cooper, J.A. Palmer, Eds., 1995 (Routledge).
A book for students in several disciplines, which attempts to answer
questions about our responsibilities to future generations and to less developed
nations, and how they are to be discharged. Also examines whether we should be
concerned with the impact of our way of life on the rest of the living world.
The Third World in Global Environmental Policies, M.A.L. Miller,
181 pp., 1995, $14.95 pbk. (L. Reiner Pubs., Boulder, Colo.).
This book won the International Studies Association's 1995 Sprout Award for
the Best Environmental Book. Uses regime theory to look at ozone depletion,
waste trade, and biodiversity, taking each case through the three stages:
problem definition, bargaining, and transformation. Reviewed by L.A. Strohm (Environment,
p. 31, No. 9, 1996), who considers this book a most interesting application of
regime theory, highlighting a new "negative power leverage" the third
World can use with common-pool, open-access resources where its cooperation is
required to solve a global problem. Also reviewed by A. Najam (Intl.
Environ. Affairs, pp., 92-95, Winter 1996), who says the book is a welcome
contribution because of the way it poses and answers its central question.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations