Nordhaus, 41, and Shellenberger, 36, didn't set out to infuriate their former colleagues. On the contrary, they were good Berkeley citizens — partial to black clothing, into biking (Nordhaus) and yoga (Shellenberger), fluent in pinot noir. Above all, they were passionate about the environment. For the better part of a decade, they toiled in the green movement as consultants and political strategists, each hoping to change the world. Instead, the climate crisis changed the rules: It demanded a new way of framing the debate, and the pair became disillusioned when the environmental establishment stubbornly refused to adapt. That led to their fateful essay, with the not-so-subtle title The Death of Environmentalism. Overnight, the two became pariahs. And now, with the October publication of their first book, Break Through: From "The Death of Environmentalism" to the Politics of Possibility, they are going to face the full fury of enraged environmentalists. Pope, who has read the book, predicts that the reception from the movement "will be harshly negative."You can buy the book from Amazon.com:
Break Through is a fascinating hybrid: part call to arms, part policy paper, part philosophical treatise. (Name another book that gives equal time to Nietzsche, cognitive therapy, and fuel-economy legislation.) It takes aim at some of the environmental movement's biggest lions, including Kennedy and Al Gore. It belittles the Kyoto Protocol; it rips into best- selling social critics like Thomas Frank and Jared Diamond. But it also dismisses free marketeers who believe that unfettered markets alone can solve our carbon-emission woes. "If this book doesn't piss off a whole lot of conservatives and a whole lot of liberals, we've failed," Nordhaus says.
Saturday, September 29, 2007