ECO-HEROES by Aubrey Wallace


Twelve Tales of Environmental Victory
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 Profiles in courage from the environmental front, as Wallace (ed., The New Environmental Handbook--not reviewed) presents a remarkable group of individuals whose efforts on behalf of the planet have earned each of them a $60,000 Goldman Prize for environmental activism. The individual stories assembled here form a patchwork of problems from around the globe, ranging in scale from the relatively localized Love Canal catastrophe to details of international plans to develop Antarctica, now temporarily held in abeyance by the dogged determination of people like New Zealand economist Catherine Wallace--who, with like-minded supporters, successfully turned a closed-door decision-making process into an increasingly public debate. Out of Africa comes an account of Wangari Maathai and her grass-roots campaign in Kenya, the Green Belt Movement, responsible for the planting of more than 10 million trees since 1977; meanwhile, the efforts of anthropologist Beto Ricardo and his Center for Ecumenical Documentation and Information in Brazil, formed to protect the Amazon region and the rights of its indigenous population, suggest an encouraging development in the on-going struggle between small groups and national or multinational interests. At the same time, however, the summaries of trials and tribulations faced in each case--including harassment, torture, imprisonment, and official stonewalling at every turn--make plain that the way of environmental activism is never easy. Informative and solid--if not especially gripping--and a valuable reminder that despite the extent of world environmental crises, motivated women and men can still make changes for the better. (Photographs.)

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1993
ISBN: 1-56279-033-1
Page count: 224pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993