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Can I Recycle My Granny?: And Other Eco-Dilemmas: And 39 Other Eco-dilemmas [Paperback]

Ethan Greenhart
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Oct 2008

'I do love my kids, but not a day passes when I don't tell them what a burden they are to the planet.'

Meet Ethan Greenhart. He favours euthanasia as a solution to the world's over-crowding problems. He is opposed to throwing confetti at weddings because it contains bleach and artificial colourings that leak into the earth, and thus is the 'Wedding Day equivalent of acid rain'. He doesn't travel anywhere that can't be reached by foot. He hectors on every aspect of modern life, from driving to voting, from going on holiday to having children (did you know that the average British child emits 5 tonnes of carbon a year?!)

Based on his hugely popular (and provocative) weekly advice columns for Spiked magazine, Ethan's book promises to answer your most pressing environmental dilemmas.

A forest-friendly, carbon neutral production, it will be written from home, on a computer that is powered by solar energy, or, when the sun goes down, by a water-based treadmill that the author's children power with their feet.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (3 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340955651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340955659
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Ethan Greenhart, an aptly named environmentalist - although the first seven letters of that word might be redundant . . . I would recommend that you go out and buy Can I Recycle My Granny . . . richly comic. (Independent)

a skidmark on the gusset of environmentalism (BBC Focus Magazine)

Taking the imperilled world by storm . . . a book that should be in every Green Party Christmas stocking (Irish Independent)

Book Description

Ethan Greenhart, fictional columnist for Spiked magazine, is so ethical it's scary! In this satirical guide, he answers all your ethical dilemmas and offers a refreshing antidote to a world gone eco-mad.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb satire - hilarious 8 Jan 2010
The purpose, of course, is to show the absurdity of environmentalist thinking, something which at least two reviewers here have failed to grasp. The basic point is a serious one: that green ideology is deeply and scarily misanthropic. This is imaginatively worked throughout and hilariously taken to extremis. This is satire at its best, readable, funny, entertaining and never losing sight of an important message. Ed Miliband should be sent a copy - urgently, as his thinking unfortunately seems to be veering dangerously towards Greenhart's. Fantastic book!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Don't listen to the achingly serious, po-faced miseries who've posted their disapproval of a book that dares to poke a little light fun at environmentalism.

This is a witty look at how a serious issue - environmental protection - somehow gets twisted around into a form of elitism, where the working and lower-middle classes get blamed for just being normal, whilst the professional and upper-middle classes (who as we all know pollute the most) largely exculpate themselves from any blame, as they "carbon-offset" and buy organic, etc, etc.

This is NOT an anti-green book, as some reviewers have suggested. To think this shows a lack of finesse and subtlety and a failure to appreciate the shades of difference between parody, lampoon and satire. It is a witty, but gentle, reproof to environmentalists that understanding and tolerance are essential aspects of being green.

Anyone who cares about both the environment and people (and who is capable of smiling and laughing) will appreciate this little satirical gem. Open your mind, and give it a try.
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10 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is a spoof written by an anti-green 29 Aug 2009
Just for anyone that is not aware, this book is actually a spoof lampooning the green movement written by arch-anti-green, Brendan O'Neill.

Although some aspects of green-ism can be comical and extreme, O'Neill in his writings elsewhere seems to dismiss all green issues completely. He continually rails against a so-called "liberal elite", although he is not exactly clear who these people are, and he continually talks about "the masses" or "the working class", implying that a lot of current arguments and opinions are against them. Thus, O'Neill seems to view any attack or critique of things from cheap flights to violence at football matches as an a attack on the working class, without seeming to realise that things such as global warming and violence affect poorer people more severely than the better off.

O'Neill tends to stereotype poorer people as all sharing a number of negative characteristics, and then implies that any critique of such negative things is an attack on poorer people, or the masses. He doesn't appear to make any allowances for the fact that the less powerful in society might actually be quite diverse, and do not necessarily fall into a stereotype, eg: the tattooed football hooligan.

O'Neill's arguments tend to be very ad hominem, for example, he critices the perceived social standing of those who hold certain views on issues such as green issues, hooliganism, supermarkets, rather than addressing the issues and arguments themselves.

Enjoy this book by all means, but don't take it too seriously. Weigh up the arguments for yourself.
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