Portions of the following essay were adapted from the new book Earth Rising: American Environmentalism in the 21st Century. "Politics," said Will Rogers, "has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with." And that was in the 1930s. The green stuff. Politics today is a lot more expensive. In the 1997-1998 fiscal year, which included an off-year national election, political action committees shelled out $230 million. Of that amount, nearly $150 million came from business organizations and $392,000 came from environmental organizations. And that is only the tip of the iceberg because it does …