Betrayal of Science and Reason
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6 x 9
Despite widespread public support for environmental protection, a backlash against environmental policies is developing. Fueled by outright distortions of fact and disregard for the methodology of science, this backlash appears as an outpouring of seemingly authoritative opinions by so-called experts in books, articles, and appearances on television and radio that greatly distort what is or is not known by environmental scientists. Through relentless repetition, the flood of anti-environmental sentiment has acquired an unfortunate aura of credibility, and is now threatening to undermine thirty years of progress in defining, understanding, and seeking solutions to global environmental problems.
In this hard-hitting and timely book, world-renowned scientists and writers Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich speak out against what they call the "brownlash." Brownlash rhetoric, created by public relations spokespersons and a few dissident scientists, is a deliberate misstatement of scientific findings designed to support an anti-environmental world view and political agenda. As such, it is deeply disturbing to environmental scientists across the country. The agenda of brownlash proponents is rarely revealed, and the confusion and distraction its rhetoric creates among policymakers and the public prolong an already difficult search for realistic and equitable solutions to global environmental problems.
In Betrayal of Science and Reason, the Ehrlichs explain clearly and with scientific objectivity the empirical findings behind environmental issues including population growth, desertification, food production, global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, and biodiversity loss. They systematically debunk revisionist "truths" such as:
Betrayal of Science and Reason is an eye-opening look at current environmental problems and the fundamental importance of the scientific process in solving them. It presents unique insight into the sources and implications of anti-environmental rhetoric, and provides readers with a valuable means of understanding and refuting the feel-good fables that constitute the brownlash.
Chapter 1. A Personal Odyssey
Chapter 2. "Wise Use" And Environmental Anti-science
Chapter 3. In Defense Of Science
Chapter 4. The Good News . . . In Perspective
Chapter 5. Fables About Population And Food
Chapter 6. Fables About Non-living Resources
Chapter 7. Biological Diversity And The Endangered Species Act
Chapter 8. Fables About The Atmosphere And Climate
Chapter 9. Fables About Toxic Substances
Chapter 10. Fables About Economics And The Environment
Chapter 11. Faulty Transmissions
Chapter 12. How Can Good Science Become Good Policy?
Chapter 13. One Planet, One Experiment
Appendix A - Brownlash Literature
Appendix B - The Scientific Consensus
Betrayal of Science and Reason was a finalist for the 1997 Small Press Book Awards in the science/ecology/nature category.