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April 11th 2012 print

Little Green Lies

Sometimes people bend the truth because they believe they are protecting others from the harm caused by environmental decay. Others do it for personal gain.


Timely new book from Connor Court. 


Little Green Lies: An exposé of twelve environmental myths

by Jeff Bennett

The natural environment matters a lot to many people. Their views on issues such as recycling, population control, economic growth and renewable energy are often held strongly and emotionally. But some of these views are best described as ‘little green lies’.

Sometimes people bend the truth because they believe they are protecting others from the harm caused by environmental decay. Others do it for personal gain. But unlike ‘little white lies’, telling ‘little green lies’ is not harmless. If they become so widely accepted that they form the basis of government policies, our society can be worse off for them.

They can even end up causing environmental damage. 

 

Ron Duncan, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University:

 “This tremendously valuable book faces a huge task in attempting to help recent generations of school students to become better informed about the “little green lies” that they have been told. As the book shows clearly, the economic logic behind many environmental issues is complex and simple approaches such as the “little green lies” serve no one well.” 

Gary Johns, Associate Professor, Public Policy Institute, Australian Catholic University

 “At last, the intellectual firepower to cut through the “little green lies” told by environmentalists. Professor Bennett turns his mind to twelve key propositions at the core of green ideology, and demolishes them all. This book must be on the bookshelf of every person concerned for a better environment and a better society.” 

Terry L. Anderson, Executive Director of PERC and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

 “If you are an environment zealot whose views are not swayed by reason and evidence, this book is not for you. However, if you truly want to improve the environment, this book will sharpen the way you think about policy and add to your arsenal of tools for making our natural world a better place for humans and their fellow travellers on the planet.”

 

From the book:

There are twelve propositions addressed in the twelve chapters of this book.

1: ‘Peak Oil’ has been reached.

2: Renewable energy production should be stimulated.

3: Consumption choices need to be informed by products’ ‘food

4: World population should be capped.

5: Economic growth and trade are bad for the environment.

6: No waste should go to landfill.

7:Water and energy should be used ‘efficiently’, whatever it costs.

8: The environment is of infinite value and must not be harmed.

9: We must reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to avoid global climate change.

10: The care of the environment cannot be entrusted to the private sector.

11: Agriculture and mining are always in conflict with the environment.

12: Decisions regarding the future of the environment should be made using the ‘precautionary principle’.

 

Author: Jeff Bennett is Professor of Environmental Management in the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Jeff lectures, researches and consults on the economics of environmental policy issues. 

 

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