THE ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMIC REVOLUTION by Michael Silverstein

THE ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMIC REVOLUTION

Reality, Prosperity, and the New Environmental Economics
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A provocative, intelligent defense of the science of ``enomics''--defined as a new and growing set of links between ``green'' thinking and corporate profitability--by Silverstein (The Environmental Factor, 1989--not reviewed), former advisor to the Clinton/Gore campaign. The author's argument is cheering: Whereas in the past economic growth meant creating mounds of ``backend waste,'' the disposal of which wasn't accounted for in most economic models, today's economic assumptions cause backend products--discarded tires, glass and plastic products, even emissions--to be financially feasible only if they are minimized or built to be reused. Hence, two happy developments: a boom in ``green'' technology, trades, and industry; and a world in which--slowly, as competitive advantage becomes partly a matter of environmental efficiency--upper-class ``nature lovers'' and lower- and middle- class job-growth advocates need no longer be at one another's economic throats. Silverstein surveys the ways in which ``green'' practices--often adopted simply to limit legal liability--are creating jobs while environmentally transforming mining, pulp and paper manufacturing, petrochemicals, defense industries, even real estate, banking and insurance. He also explores the new industries (waste disposal, recycling) and marketing strategies (less packaging) that green consciousness is giving rise to. His conclusion: Although some painful retooling remains to be done, the era of upper-class ``frothy sentimentality'' about the environment is over; the time of solid, sound, economically driven real change is at hand. Unlike many well-intentioned books on the subject, this is cogent, clear, jargon free--a pleasure to read.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09797-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993




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