Jenny Price, historian, artist, author, and Ivy League academic, thinks most environmentalists are sabotaging their own cause. Shouldering their tote bags through the organic aisle at the grocery store, they miss the bigger problem tearing the planet to pieces: the same system that is the source of their own affluence.
Price’s new book Stop Saving the Planet! An Environmentalist Manifesto, is a slim broadside, the sort of thing you can whip through in a few hours. Unlike her previous book, Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America, which is a carefully nuanced examination of the strange way Americans think about nature, this one is a furious polemic, leavened with humor. Price acknowledges, in passing, that the fossil fuel industry and its backers are the biggest reason environmentalists haven’t made more progress, but all the rest of the blame in this story goes to the environmentalists themselves.
Price’s basic argument comes from the long-established observation that many people see the environment as something distant and beautiful that they need to save, the mountains where they go backpacking, the jungle in a David Attenborough docume... Read more