17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet (Hardcover)
This book is very important because it gives a "right-wingers" view on how to save the environment. It rejects global agreements as being socialistic in nature, and suggests that environmental policy should go with human nature rather than against it, if we want it to be successful. Scruton identifies the love of home and respect for ancestors and (thereby) our descendents as that instinct which can be harnessed to get people to protect nature. He doesn't go much further than that - it is about the philosophy rather than the politics of the problem, so it does not say how to turn that philosophical grounding into an alternative political approach.
I think there are some simplifications and there is definitely a lot more that could be said on the topic, but it lays out the groundwork for a right-wing philosophy. Perhaps if right-wing climate change deniers were to read this book, they would feel less uncomfortable about accepting the science of climate change. For it would give them a basis, consistent with their own beliefs, for addressing the predicament.
Scruton exaggerates the difference between right and left wing in this matter. A more germane distinction comes out from his book if you persevere: the distinction between people who want to think big and global, and people who want to think small and local. He favours the latter, for many sound reasons which I agree with. There is a strong tradition (Steiner, Kohr, Schumacher) which describes the folly of big schemes and the wisdom of local ones. Scruton unfortunately does not examine thoroughly whether the small and local approach is adequate in the urgent situation we find ourselves in with climate change.
Even if you don't agree with everything in the book, it is an important read for anyone interested in environmental philosophy and politics. Moreover, because it is written in appealing and natural English it is enjoyable to read. The wide spacing of lines means that the reading is easy and not a struggle, unlike many philosophical books.
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Initial post: 12 Dec 2012 20:42:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Dec 2012 20:44:04 GMT
As The Bustard says in his review, if only one COULD solve all environmental problems at local level. Who would be against that? But common sense tells you it may be a first-class beginning, but it also needs to link in with international initiatives ... to link hands, so to speak. I don't see why this is socialistic: it's simply necessary. Let's all put politics, or at least party politics, to one side - permanently. Let's rise above those differences of emphasis for the sake of this all encompassing issue. There is more than enough common ground to move forward with a unified agenda. Why not prove that this can be done, if we demonstrate the will.
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