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Academic & Professional Books  Environmental & Social Studies  Economics, Politics & Policy  Sustainable Development: General

How the Rich are Destroying the Earth

By: Hervé Kempf
124 pages, no illustrations
Publisher: Green Books
How the Rich are Destroying the Earth
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  • How the Rich are Destroying the Earth ISBN: 9781900322416 Paperback Nov 2008 Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
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About this book

A best-seller in France, Herve Kempf's "How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth" now appears in its first English edition. In this important primer on the link between global ecology and the global economy, Kempf makes the following observations: First, that the planet's ecological situation is growing ever worse, despite the efforts of millions of engaged citizens around the world. And second, despite environmentalists' emphasis that 'we're all in the same boat', the world's economic elites - who continue to benefit by plundering the environment - have access to 'lifeboats' that insulate them from the resulting catastrophes. Societies have not been able to effectively combat the expanding ecological crisis because it is intimately linked to the social crisis in which the ruling form of capitalism has been organized to impede democratic initiatives.

This link explains the failure to make progress against the greatest emergency of our time, because in this relationship the oligarchy plays an essential and destructive role. For this reason, solving the ecological crisis depends on disrupting the power of the world's elite. We cannot understand the entwined ecological and social crises, Kempf argues, if we don't see them as the two sides of the same disaster - a disaster that comes from a system piloted by a dominant social strata that has no drive other than greed, no ideal other than conservatism, no dream other than technology. But Kempf also calls for measured optimism: 'Despite the scale of the challenges that await us, solutions are emerging and - faced with the sinister prospects the oligarchs promote - the desire to remake the world is being reborn'.


Foreword by Greg Palast. Catastrophe - and then what? Environmental crisis, social crisis. The powerful of this world. How the oligarchy exacerbates the ecological crisis. Democracy in danger. Emergency and optimism. Epilogue: at the Planet Cafe.

Customer Reviews


Since 1988 Herve Kempf has specialized in environmental and ecological reporting. He created the environmental magazine Reporterre, and has written for scientific and economic newspapers. He is the Environmental Editor of the influential French newspaper Le Monde.
By: Hervé Kempf
124 pages, no illustrations
Publisher: Green Books
Media reviews
A fact-filled, concise, hard-hitting, highly rational, and much needed analysis of the crises we face, and of the need to both reduce and redistribute global material consumption - John Perkins, bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man andThe Secret History of the American Empire.
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