GREEN RAGE: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization by Christopher Manes

GREEN RAGE: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization

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KIRKUS REVIEW

No, it is not trees rising in rage, though they have cause, but the radical environmental group Earth First! speaking for them and for all of nature against rapacious humans--specifically, it seems here, timber companies and their Forest Service and other government allies. Earth First! maintains that mainstream environmental groups are too close to government agencies and too accommodating toward industry to do their job. And so to harass offenders, raise consciousness, and even help the moderates win compromise concessions, Earth First!-ers engage in direct resistance: ""monkey-wrenching"" ""ecotage,"" such as tree-spiking, tree-sitting, and pulling up survey stakes in old-growth forests slated for the saw. Advocating ""deep ecology""--the right of all of nature to exist for its own sake, not as a resource supply or as a pristine setting for human enjoyment--they are willing to break the law for a perceived higher morality and to damage property being used to destroy the ecology. More controversial is the willingness of some (which Manes, a member and strong apologist, seems inclined to justify) to ""risk unintentional harm to humans so long as every reasonable precaution is taken."" Also problematic: Some also seem to welcome the prospect of a population crash, from AIDS or war, to pave the way for a harmonious hunting-gathering world community. Though few would willingly go all the way with Earth First! (which could take you, per their slogan, ""Back to the Pleistocene!""), Manes' arguments are thought-provoking, his litany of industrial eco-outrages damning, and his characterization of other environmental groups, the Greens included, informative if discouraging: In the present ecocrisis, why must they all, Earth First! included, emphasize their philosophical differences instead of pursuing their common agenda?

Pub Date: May 29th, 1990
ISBN: 0316545325
Publisher: Little, Brown