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Love Your Monsters: Postenvironmentalism and the Anthropocene [Kindle Edition]

Michael Shellenberger , Ted Nordhaus
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 102 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

These are demoralizing times for anyone who cares about the global environment. Emissions trading, the Kyoto treaty, and sustainable development have all failed. And yet climate change, deforestation, and species extinction continue apace. What lessons can we draw from the failure of environmentalism — what must we do now?

In this provocative collection of essays edited by the authors of “The Death of Environmentalism,” leading ecological thinkers put forward a vision of postenvironmentalism for the Anthropocene, the age of humans. Over the next century it is within our reach to create a world where all 10 billion humans achieve a standard of living that will allow them to pursue their dreams.
But this world is only possible if we embrace human development, modernization, and technological innovation

Editorial Reviews


"The best thinking about the implications of the Anthropocene idea that I have seen is found in a new e-book, "Love Your Monsters: Postenvironmentalism and the Anthropocene," published by the Breakthrough Institute." --

Product Details

  • File Size: 678 KB
  • Print Length: 102 pages
  • Publisher: Breakthrough Institute (November 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006FKUJY6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,279 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Air February 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This collection of essays sets out to deconstruct the assumptions that developed within the American environmental movement of the 1960s. Many of the environmental policy ideas of the 90s and 00s were grounded in 60s and 70s visions of looming resource scarcity and Western shame for a colonial/imperial past. Sometimes the ideas took shape as policy, always as rhetoric. These essays address that rhetoric and probe the underlying assumptions of the modern environmental movement.

The volume addresses issues of environmental import at large scales, from social attitudes to technology, to international and domestic energy policy, to how human need and government policy affect land use. At times the tone is academic, at times polemical, sometimes with an edge. The political writing (primarily that of the editors) is strong - informed and compelling. In general, the essays provide a historical perspective of decades and centuries in coming to their conclusions. The ideas presented have political overtones, but they are not pulled from the headlines.

This may pose a problem. On the one hand, the arguments run the risk of being oversimplified - the authors are not advocating "Drill Baby Drill". At the same time, some of the arguments may be too nuanced for the political immediacy they wish to inspire. Taken together however they complement one another and contribute to the roots of an American political movement of techno-optimist-environmentalism, what Stewart Brand calls the Turquoises.

An essay on the 19th century novel Frankenstein provides a title for the book. Its author, Bruno Latour, maintains that the tragedy of the monster was his abandonment, not his creation. He argues that technologies need nurturing, as do children.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative and indispensable December 3, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anyone seeking a realistic and clear-eyed understanding of the essential challenges of our time would be well served to read this important book. While much has been written on the environmental problems that confront modern civilization, this book looks at viable solutions that are well within our grasp as soon as we begin to see the world as it is and not as we might like it to be. It's both a wake up call and a challenge to much of what passes for conventional wisdom among those of us who consider ourselves environmentalists. A powerful and very readable call to arms, full of thought provoking ideas that will likely lead to some stimulating conversation with your friends. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eco-realism! August 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In the important debate on how to best look after the environment this book separates Eco-emotionalism from the realities of actual data and events from history. These include; illegal hunting of orangoutangs rather than deforestation threatening extinction; the the ethical issues of liberal democracy vested in a fair deal for all actually making energy too expensive for poor people; the hi-jacking of the original tree-hugging movement which was about locals keeping control of their managed sustainable forests into a wilderness protection movement.
An interesting read, but likely too be too controversial for some as the hard data and facts often run contrary to preconceived prejudice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gospel of Nature or the Gospel of Progress? March 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
[Here's an excerpt from a published review of LYM (see "Saving nature in the Anthropocene," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, January 2013). Ultimately, those of us comfortable letting go of the gospel of Nature nonetheless fret a bit about what sort of gospel of Progress would be its rightful replacement...though certainly we can only move forward in the Anthropocene.]

The editors, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus of "Death of environmentalism" fame (2005), worry little about challenging the current state of environmental thought: "[W]e need a new view of both human agency and the planet. We must abandon the faith that humankind's powers can be abdicated in deference to higher ones, whether Nature or the Market. And we must see through the illusion that these supposedly higher powers exist in a delicate state of harmony constantly at risk of collapse from too much human interference" (93--Kindle locations used throughout for this e-book). Love Your Monsters was coined from the work of Bruno Latour, one of the contributors. Latour clarifies this odd little phrase by invoking a famous book (and perhaps even more famous movie): "Dr. Frankenstein's crime was not that he invented a creature through some combination of hubris and high technology, but rather that he abandoned the creature to itself" (271-273).

Even in the above, we already have more than one spin on the Anthropocene: for Shellenberger and Nordhaus, it is a mandate to move forward ("to save what remains of the Earth's ecological heritage, we must once and for all embrace human power, technology, and the larger process of modernization" [61-62]), but for Bruno Latour, it is more a duty to love our creation, "...
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