Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet

Roger Scruton

Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet

The environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political Left, which has seen the principal threats to the earth as issuing from international capitalism, consumerism and the over-exploitation of natural resources. In Green Philosophy, Roger Scruton shows the fallacies behind that way of thinking, and the danger that it poses to the ecosystems on which we all depend. Scruton contends that the environment is the most urgent political problem of our age, and sets out the principles that should govern our efforts to protect it. 3.1 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Society, Politics & Philosophy
Format Hardback
Pages 304
RRP £22.00
Date of Publication January 2012
ISBN 978-1848870765
Publisher Atlantic Books
 

The environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political Left, which has seen the principal threats to the earth as issuing from international capitalism, consumerism and the over-exploitation of natural resources. In Green Philosophy, Roger Scruton shows the fallacies behind that way of thinking, and the danger that it poses to the ecosystems on which we all depend. Scruton contends that the environment is the most urgent political problem of our age, and sets out the principles that should govern our efforts to protect it.

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Reviews

The Sunday Times

Simon Jenkins

Agree or disagree, Scruton has written a dazzling book ... He is not a denier but a questioner, a challenger of accepted wisdom ... This is not a right-wing book but rather a tough-minded application of individualist philosophy to a global challenge.

01/01/2012

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The Financial Times

Julian Baggini

Scruton is right to make the links between conservatism and conservation and to stress the role attachment to place can play in environmental protection. But this battle is too big, international and unprecedented for Burke’s “little platoons” to fight it alone.

30/12/2011

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The Independent

Caroline Lucas

... Green Philosophy is beautifully written and ambitious in its scope. But it is also curiously old-fashioned, unashamedly tribal and deeply contradictory … This is an immensely readable book and a valuable contribution to the debate over environmental politics. But the argument that local, national and global environmental challenges can be met by ordinary people acting alone, volunteering in their localities out of a love for hearth and home — while the free market largely corrects itself — is pure fantasy.

13/01/2012

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The Literary Review

John Gray

Mainstream environmentalists often assert that protecting the planet will require a radical shift in the prevailing world view along with far-reaching changes in human behaviour. No doubt rightly, Scruton derides this as being at once alarmist and utopian. Yet his version of environmentalism, in the end, is little different. Focusing much of the time on interior states of the soul, he too is suggesting that protecting the planet requires a radical and improbable shift in human attitudes. Whether because climate change is already too far advanced or because human beings cannot muster the kind of collective action needed to deal with the changes global warming is producing, it may turn out that the worst environmental problems are indeed insoluble. But even intractable difficulties can be well or badly managed, and it is unserious to throw up one’s hands and pin the blame for the predicament we face on the dark machinations of deracinated intellectuals.

01/12/2011

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The Guardian

Jonathan Rée

The distinction between oikophiles and oikophobes may not hold water, but it gives Scruton a launch-pad for some effective polemics ... he ends up calling for government-funded research into carbon capture and solar energy, and argues that Washington ought to get into the business of geo-engineering without waiting for the consent of other countries. If you are wondering how these proposals can be squared with Scruton's lofty objections to state intervention as such, do not worry: with a wave of his rhetorical wand he transforms the faceless nannies of legend into kindly patriots shouldering their inherited responsibility for the homeland that they love.

30/12/2011

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The New Statesman

Richard Mabey

The author scarcely mentions those poor, ravaged regions of the planet — South America, Africa, south-east Asia — where the worst environmental crises are brewing. Yet oikophilia is a global idea. Chico Mendes's rubber tappers, Congolese charcoal-burners, the tree-hugging Chipko women of India, who began their campaign against deforestation in a single village, all changed national policy. But they succeeded because they used the kind of direct political action that Scruton deplores.

02/01/2012

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