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Ignoring the Apocalypse: Why Planning to Prevent Environmental Catastrophe Goes Astray

By: David Howard Davis

Praeger Publishers

Hardback | Jun 2007 | #169888 | ISBN-13: 9780275996635
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NHBS Price: £44.00 $62/€50 approx

About this book

Environmentalists often predict an Apocalypse is coming. The earth will heat up like a greenhouse. We will run out of energy. Overpopulation will lead to starvation and war. Nuclear winter will kill all plants and animals. During the past fifty to one hundred years, there have been many such prophecies of doom, such as the Club of Rome report predicting the world economy would "crash" about the year 2020. These do not come as complete surprises without any warnings. Sometimes governments simply ignore the threats, but other times they make plans to prevent them. This provocative book begins by asking whether planning is different for dangers that are truly apocalyptic - ones that could end life on the planet or at least modern economic prosperity. Focussing on planning in the U.S., it goes on to ask why the government ignores so many problems like the greenhouse effect or an oil shortage or nuclear war, problems that have been forecast many times. And on those occasions when plans are made, why do they so often go astray?

"Davis provides a critical assessment of how Americans go about understanding environmental catastrophes, including the formulation of plans for averting or mitigating the expected outcomes. He examines the reason why Americans often ignore impending dangers, even apocalyptic ones based on rigorous scientific and mathematical analysis, and why government solutions and policies often fail to deal realistically with their potential consequences for future generations of people and ecosystems....This is an important book to read in order to learn how people, Americans in particular, go about framing or avoiding issues that have dire consequences for the quality of human life. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections." -


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David Howard Davis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toledo. He has been an energy consultant in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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