Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Hijacking Sustainability

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Hijacking Sustainability

Article excerpt

Review: Hijacking Sustainability By Adrian Parr Parr, Adrian. Hijacking Sustainability. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009. 209pp. ISBN: 0262013061. US$24.95, hardbound. Recycled paper.

Hijacking Sustainability is a needed addition to environmental literature field due to the fact that there is limited information available on the attack on and the greenwashing of sustainability. The book operates from the premise that "sustainability" has become the new buzzword of popular culture. Parr begins by defining sustainability as being understood as the "development that meets the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations" (p.1). Throughout the book she "examines the new culture of sustainability and how these hegemonic relations are challenged in an effort to revitalize collective life" (p.9) by documenting how sustainability became mainstream and how corporate entities, the government and the military are co-opting the term for their own purposes.

The book is organized into two sections which are further divided into individual chapters. The first half deals with "The Popularization of Sustainability Culture", which focuses on five examples of sustainability being hijacked. The second half examines the "Challenges to Sustainability Culture" which includes chapters on trash, disaster relief, slums, and poverty. While Hijacking Sustainability begins promisingly it soon corkscrews into an obtuse examination of such disparate topics as the greenwashing of junkspace, the energy policies of Carter and Reagan, and the 2007 Academy Awards. This does not mitigate the extensive research work the author did, represented by the impressive bibliography and index included at the end. …

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