From Publishers Weekly
"Of all the debates in the scientific arena
there is none in which the White House has cooked the books more than that of global warming," argues Kennedy in this harsh indictment of what he sees as the Bush administrations assault on the environment and democracy in general. Kennedys investigation focuses on the undue influence of industry lobbyists (read Halliburton) on environmental standards and the governments alleged suppression of nearly a dozen scientific reports on global warming. He maligns Bush appointees like Interior Secretary Gale Norton ("a champion of corporate welfare for three decades") and offers a cogent analysis of Christine Todd Whitmans departure from the EPA in 2002. Although Kennedy accuses the Bush administration of using a campaign strategy that revolves around "fear-mongering," he uses fear to drive home his own points, noting things like the lethal mercury levels in tuna, pork industry pollution and insufficiently guarded chemical plants. Nevertheless, he competently ties the survival of democracy to sound environmental policy, contending that corporate powerparticularly the power wielded by the oil, beef and lumber industriesmust never supersede democratic institutions. Kennedys argument is strongest when he sticks to the facts and avoids making the kind of angry, sweeping statements that fill the concluding chapter ("Instead of can-do American ingenuity, this is the administration of "cant do." It has constructed a philosophy of government based on self-interest run riot: It has borrowed $9 trillion from our children and looted our Treasury
"). Whether or not one agrees with these accusations, Kennedy makes a passionate case for more effective environmental controls and wraps it up with a practical vision of a free-market future "in which businesses pay all the costs of bringing their products to market," including the costs of environmental safeguards.
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About the Author
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper, and president of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a clinical professor and supervising attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University School of Law. A former assistant district attorney for New York City, he is the coauthor of The Riverkeepers: Two Activists Fight to Reclaim Our Environment as a Basic Human Right.