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Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism (New Atlantis Books) Hardcover – April 3, 2012


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Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism (New Atlantis Books) + The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must
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Product Details

  • Series: New Atlantis Books
  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594034761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594034763
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book is replete with scientific studies and facts, though it’s Zubrin’s view on the people and history behind antihumanist movements that’s the most disturbing. Whether pointing out that the first Green Party was founded under the leadership of August Haussleiter, a former Nazi SS officer; that Fujimori’s genocide in Peru was funded by international aid; or that Qian Xinzhong was given the first United Nations Population Award (together with Indira Gandhi) after forcing thousands of Chinese women to abort their children, Zubrin paints a dark and disturbing picture of antihumanism that’s worth everyone’s time to read." —Publishers Weekly

“Robert Zubrin’s masterful study…makes for riveting reading. Merchants of Despair is a cautionary tale of what happens when powerful, unprincipled elites are not only alienated from the mass of their fellow men, but come to see them as a barrier to imagined social, evolutionary, or environmental progress.” —Steven W. Mosher, President, Population Research Institute

Merchants of Despair is an extraordinary and important book….This fascinating volume carefully traces developments of the Malthusian hypothesis right up to the present: through eugenics to population control and genocide; through the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth and extreme environmentalism to climate change and the myth of global warming apocalypse. Robert Zubrin has my nomination for a Pulitzer Prize.” —S. Fred Singer, Chairman, Science and Environmental Policy Project, Author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years

“I believe no one to date has so clearly explained the thread of the antihuman movement throughout history. To read this book is to become a warrior in the battle against it.” —Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute

“The most devastating account and refutation of antihuman environmentalism ever written.” —Gregory Benford, Author of Chiller

About the Author

Robert Zubrin is the author of several highly successful books, including Energy Victory, a powerful and hugely popular work on achieving energy independence, and The Case for Mars, a 100,000-copy bestseller on space exploration and the human future. He frequently writes, lectures, and gives radio and TV interviews on a wide range of policy questions as a fellow of the Center for Security Policy, the president of the Mars Society, and a contributing editor to The New Atlantis. A scientist and engineer by training, with advanced degrees in aeronautics and astronautics and nuclear engineering, he has nine U.S. patents granted or pending.


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Customer Reviews

And the book is very well written and very informative.
Crosslands
I highly recommend this book for anyone who already read Steven Mosher and Jacqueline kasun books.
sarath
I started reading the book and couldn't believe half of the things I was reading could be true.
Citizen Erased

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 95 people found the following review helpful By William L. Brown VINE VOICE on April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Zubrin has produced a carefully documented analysis of the people who, from positions of power, have developed the art of using fear as a means for controlling whole populations and maximizing their power over the direction of government policies. The result has been, instead of a utopian Garden of Eden as promised, the destruction of hundreds of millions of human lives and the throttling of progress in disease control and human economic improvement.

Armed with mathematical models and supported by politicians, popular authors and a gullible media network, these "nattering nabobs of negativism" (to borrow a phrase from Spiro Agnew) convinced themselves in the 1970s that overpopulation would soon overwhelm the world's natural resources and lead to mass deprivation and starvation. Today, they claim that Climate Change will cause the Earth to overheat, leading to a crisis of epic proportions. As a result of these beliefs, they view death and destruction of populations as a positive good, since it will reduce the number of mouths to feed and reduce our ultimate "carbon footprint."

[I realize that this sounds extreme, but Zubrin produces documented evidence showing that such positions have actually been supported by presumably expert scientific leaders over the past few decades.]

Zubrin shows how persons with limited scientific credentials have taken over positions of leadership in the administrations of US presidents as well as in the halls of the United Nations. A classic example is John Holdren who, as a neo-Malthusian "science advisor" with no real scientific experience, has exercised considerable power in the United States as well as worldwide via the United Nations.
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful By James F. Mcenanly on April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been following Dr. Zubrin's work since the early 1990's. Usually his writings deal with the exploration and of the Planet Mars, such as The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must. In this book, he takes on what he considers to be an enemy of Mankind, an enemy that , with intellect cold and vast and unsympathetic, looks to be the master of all who live. They go by many names, but Dr. Zubrin refers to them as Malthusians, after Thomas Malthus, who, on his Essay on the Principle of Population, noted that while food supplies increase arithmetically, population grows exponentially. to this end, Malthus and his followers have proposed increasingly drastic methods to control populations, and also human activity and thought.
This book lays out the history of the movement in frightening detail. To these people, all men are not created equal, but rather some are born to be masters and the rest cattle. To them, human ingenuity, which increases our quality of living, is an unaffordable luxury."
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By b.elseware on February 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most or all of the "anti-human" campaigns Zubrin delves into have the negative impacts he cites--perhaps to a lesser extent. His heavily-footnoted work seeks to demonstrate this. What I have issue with is his assumption that there is an overarching conspiracy behind this. I can't footnote my thoughts--but in all liklihood the majority of people sucked into any one or more of these questionable or downright destructive programs aren't malevolent Malthusian anti-humanists. Rather, they have bought some concept that is appealing, but fundamentally flawed. They are the dupes of the leadership, many of whom understand the shortcomings of their teachings, but pursue them for fame and fortune (i.e. power).

So this book--well worth reading--is to me a parable about what a critical mass of people can be hornswoggled into believeing.

I've also read other reviews that deny Zubrin's premise that continuous growth and expansion is good or even possible. They want to align him with "Greedy Corporate Capitalists", who are another enemy of the power-hungry. [too bad there are enough capitalists who are actually amoral to make their accusations seem plausible]. They have not grasped that the future for humanity is beyond the earth, and that the galaxy is large enough for millenia of spreading out.

The true crux of this is whether the visionaries can wrest the mind of humanity away from the elitists who deceive.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Craig Burton on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am almost finished reading this book. It explains how antihumanism (being against humans) is growing very rapidly in western culture.He names names and goes into detailed history of population controllers, nuclear haters and even the Nazi excuses of getting back to nature by clearing out the human trash. Modern examples cited, with chapter and verse, are Paul Ehrlich, Paul Krugman, Al Gore, Mr. Obama's science czar (John Holdren), and more.

Zubrin lays much of the blame for this misanthropism, which he prefers to label antihumanism, at the feet of the Church of England clergyman Rev. Malthus. Zubrin's arguments are cogent and because he chooses not to explore the pathological, or religious question (the why of it all?) he will get a wide reading. Indeed Zubrin does seem to allude to the religious issues behind environmentalism, but generally steers clear. Those interested in deep exploration of the religious question of why, and why so hot and heavy now would be well advised to read "Resisting the Green Dragon" by physicist James Wanliss. This quickly covers the same ground as Zubrin but is more interested in the more painful and searching question "Why?"
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