The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment

The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment

The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment

The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment

Synopsis

From reviews of the first edition (1994): "Extraordinarily well written... "
--Contemporary Sociology

"A readable chronicle aimed at a general audience... Graceful and accessible... "
--Dollars and Sense

"Has the potential to be a political bombshell in radical circles around the world."
--Environmental Action

The Vulnerable Planet has won respect as the best single-volume introduction to the global economic crisis.

With impressive historical and economic detail, ranging from the Industrial Revolution to modern imperialism, The Vulnerable Planet explores the reasons why a global economic system geared toward private profit has spelled vulnerability for the earth's fragile natural environment.

Rejecting both individualistic solutions and policies that tinker at the margins, John Bellamy Foster calls for a fundamental reorganization of production on a social basis so as to make possible a sustainable and ecological economy.

This revised edition includes a new afterword by the author.

Excerpt

I was slow in committing myself fully to the environmental cause. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, an area known for the quality of its environment. During the first Earth Day in April 1970 I was a fairly complacent participant. It was natural, I thought, that those living in L.A. or along the Great Lakes should be disturbed by the destruction of the environment. But in the Northwest we were as yet comparatively free from such worries. My chief concern at that time was the Vietnam War. As long as napalm was being used on the people of Indochina, the issue of the health of the environment seemed an unaffordable luxury.

From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s the most important questions seemed to me to be those of economic crisis and third world underdevelopment. As a public intellectual in the Reagan era, my efforts were devoted primarily to resisting the attempt by the powers that be to shift the burden of economic stagnation . . .

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