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Publisher: Basic Books
Hard Green, by conservative engineer-attorney Peter Huber, pulls off a neat trick: redefining the terms of discussion to win by default. Environmentalists will be surprised to learn that green rightfully refers only to conservation of wilderness lands--certainly a noble cause, and just about the only green issue likely to fire up traditional conservatives. Well worth reading by those of all political perspectives, Huber's writing is as clear and thorough as you'd expect from someone with his training. His assertions that shortages of fuel, food, and space for waste will be solved by ingenuity seem dazzlingly hopeful, but ultimately his arguments come down to faith. Much stronger are his discussions of privatizing pollution and wilderness protection, which should open eyes across the board. Moreover, his analysis of recycling programs and their ilk gives a much-needed kick in the pants to complacent types who think their garbage sorting is helping anything but their consciences. While it's unlikely to change the political Green movement, much less supplant it, Hard Green will certainly encourage thinking among the thoughtful--and that might be all we need. --Rob Lightner
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