Roger Scruton, a British author, spent the better part of a year accumulating the background information for this book. The result is an extremely rewarding and educational treatise on what works and what doesn't work in terms of getting people to change their behavior to improve the environment.
Much of the book is based around the concept of oikophilia, which is roughly translated as "love of home." Human beings have a difficult time relating to things that are far removed from their everyday experience. International treaties, for example, mean little or nothing to them, whereas protecting their property from things that might cause damage is readily comprehended.
Regulations made by bureaucrats at the European Union, or even by our own Environmental Protection Administration, engender little in the way of warm feelings that can be translated into individual action. Rules that forbid taking measures to improve one's private property (such as rules against filling in "wetlands") elicit frustration and anger; why not improve your land so as to make it more habitable to yourself and your heirs?
Scruton shows that many government regulations are counterproductive. For instance, regulations requiring packaging of food products leads to proliferation of non-biodegradable plastics that pile up in spaces where they will degrade the environment for generations to come. The author asks why local farmers cannot present their wares for sale in local (mom and pop) grocery stores, without wrapping everything in plastic? The advent of supermarkets has improved access to food while simultaneously contributing to an environmental disaster.
Essentially, the conservative approach to environmental issues is predicated on taking into account the natural tendency of people to love their home, and want to protect it. Governments have tried to take the easy road of grinding out regulations that are neither appreciated or understood. The little platoons, such as neighborhood improvement associations, bring people together with their neighbors to deal with common concerns. Big government is more likely to drive out these organizations by legislation and administrative regulations, which do not work overall.
I doubt that anyone will be able to "speed read" this book and get much out of it. My own experience was to read every sentence and reflect on its meaning at length. We owe a debt of appreciation to this scholar from across the Atlantic, and I hope that his efforts will be well rewarded by an improved approach to conservation of our resources.