Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environmental Rhetoric Threatens Our Future

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Island Press, Jan 1, 1998 - Political Science - 348 pages
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In this hard-hitting and timely book, world-renowned scientists and writers Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich speak out against what they call the "brownlash." Brownlash rhetoric, created by public relations spokespersons and a few dissident scientists, is a deliberate misstatement of scientific findings designed to support an anti-environmental world view and political agenda. As such, it is deeply disturbing to environmental scientists across the country. The agenda of brownlash proponents is rarely revealed, and the confusion and distraction its rhetoric creates among policymakers and the public prolong an already difficult search for realistic and equitable solutions to global environmental problems.
In Betrayal of Science and Reason, the Ehrlichs explain clearly and with scientific objectivity the empirical findings behind environmental issues including population growth, desertification, food production, global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, and biodiversity loss. They systematically debunk revisionist "truths" and counter the erroneous information and misrepresentation put forth by the brownlash, presenting accurate scientific information about current environmental threats that can be used to evaluate critically and respond to the commentary of the brownlash. They include important background material on how science works and provide extensive references to pertinent scientific literature. In addition, they discuss how scientists can speak out on matters of societal urgency yet retain scientific integrity and the support of the scientific community.
Betrayal of Science and Reason is an eye-opening look at current environmental problems and the fundamental importance of the scientific process in solving them. It presents unique insight into the sources and implications of anti-environmental rhetoric, and provides readers with a valuable means of understanding and refuting the feel-good fables that constitute the brownlash.
 

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Betrayal Of Science And Reason: How Anti-Environmental Rhetoric Threatens Our Future

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Recently, several popular books have concluded that nothing is seriously wrong with the environment. The Ehrlichs label these critics of themselves and other environmental activists as leaders of the ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER 1 A Personal Odyssey
1
CHAPTER 2 Wise Use and Environmental AntiScience
11
CHAPTER 3 In Defense of Science
25
CHAPTER 4 The Good News in Perspective
45
CHAPTER 5 Fables about Population and Food
65
CHAPTER 6 Fables about Nonliving Resources
91
CHAPTER 7 Biological Diversity and the Endangered Species Act
107
CHAPTER 8 Fables about the Atmosphere and Climate
125
CHAPTER 10 Fables about Economics and the Environment
175
CHAPTER 11 Faulty Transmissions
189
CHAPTER 12 How Can Good Science Become Good Policy?
203
CHAPTER 13 One Planet One Experiment
213
APPENDIX A Brownlash Literature
217
APPENDIX B The Scientific Consensus
233
Notes
251
Index
321

CHAPTER 9 Fables about Toxic Substances
153

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References to this book

Requiem for Nature
John Terborgh
No preview available - 1999
Ecocriticism
Greg Garrard
No preview available - 2004
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About the author (1998)

Paul Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies and professor of biological sciences at Stanford University, and author of The Population Bomb. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and past president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Anne H. Ehrlich is senior research associate in biological sciences at Stanford University, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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