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May 06, 2003
Act Now, Apologize Later (Werbach)

Act Now, Apologize Later (Adam Werbach)

We need to move beyond the arrogance of environmentalism. Anyone who wants the basics, like breathing air that won't make you choke, is an environmentalist.
This is the core concept of Werbach's book, published in 1997. (He never seems to have heard of GWBush&Co.)

Corporations pollute more than a thousand families, we all know this. The government, without pressure and action from individuals, isn't going to do anything about it. It's up to every one of us to do, not just 50 Simple Things, but the 100 harder things that come next.

Ordinary people have undertaken to do a lot of these things, and they've had some inspiring success. That's what Werbach has written about - how people have acted and could take action to keep the air and water fit to support life on the planet.

There's also a fascinating section on the different kinds of "environmentalists" out there, from those who view nature as a spiritual source of renewal to those who find nature preferable to humans (as though, in spite of our excesses and errors, we're not also a part of nature).

Not surprisingly, from the president of the Sierra Club, his perspective is largely wound up around what the Club has done in the past. There's nothing wrong with that, though. He's honest about his affiliation and the stories he has to tell are interesting. Maybe not as massively inspiring* as some books I've read but worthwhile reading. (Admittedly, tthe end of the book, where he tells how the Dutch handled the problem of massive pollution in the Netherlands was inspiring.)

I didn't have the urge to run right out and stand in front of a bulldozer, but a good reminder about keeping track of what's going on in our own neighborhoods. If we all did that, maybe no one's neighborhood would be unfit to live in.

You've heard it before. Think globally. Act locally.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:59 PM