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Enemies of Progress: Dangers of Sustainability (Societas) Paperback – 1 May 2008

3.1 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

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Product details

  • Paperback : 120 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1845400984
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1845400989
  • Dimensions : 13.61 x 1.32 x 20.52 cm
  • Publisher : Societas (1 May 2008)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer reviews:
    3.1 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

Product description


"Offers some interesting insights and questions to explore if we are to properly understand the stranglehold sustainability has over society... and how we might cut loose from it. For those excited about the potential of humanity to shape the world, Williams' book is a refreshing and useful polemic."

-- Tony Gilland ― IPA Review

"A well argued humanist alternative to the present conformist consensus - a very persuasive contribution by a thoughtful subversive."

-- Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at University of Kent, and author of 'Politics of Fear' and ‘Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone’

"A much needed diagnosis of the bleak anti-human pathology sometimes described as environmentalism."

-- Dominic Lawson, columnist for The Independent

"Austin Williams has a gift for lobbing well-directed grenades."

-- Philippe Legrain, author 'Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them'

"This is not a book about climate change, which is refreshing. It's too easy to see environmentalism as a political movement that has generated its own momentum, albeit preying on fears by amplifying facts from environmental science. Instead, the book shows that it is 'the poverty of ambition in political life' that the dynamic driving the sustainability agenda."

-- Ben Pile ― Culture Wars

"Serve[s] as a corrective to unthinking acceptance of green arguments."

-- David Lorimer ― Network Review

"Williams... identifies radical environmentalists as 'enemies of progress' who have fundamentally turned away from human development and advancement."

-- Peter Pesic ― Times Literary Supplement Published On: 2008-09-19

"Whatever your opinions on building sustainably, this book is a must-read, questioning the march towards carbon zero and giving a refreshing alternative to the green agenda."

-- Lucy Dixon ― Professional Housebuilder and Property Developer Published On: 2008-10-03


This polemical book examines the concept of sustainability and presents a critical exploration of its all-pervasive influence on society, arguing that sustainability, manifested in several guises, represents a pernicious and corrosive doctrine that has survived primarily because there seems to be no alternative to its canon: in effect, its bi-partisan appeal has depressed critical engagement and neutered politics. It is a malign philosophy of misanthropy, low aspirations and restraint.This book argues for a destruction of the mantra of sustainability, removing its unthinking status as orthodoxy, and for the reinstatement of the notions of development, progress, experimentation and ambition in its place. Al Gore insists that the 'debate is over'. while musician K.T. Tunstall, spokesperson for 'Global Cool', a campaign to get stars to minimize their carbon footprint, says 'so many people are getting involved that it is becoming really quite uncool not to be involved'. This book will say that it might not be cool, but it is imperative to argue against the moralizing of politics so that we can start to unpick the contemporary world of restrictive, sustainable practices.

Customer reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5
11 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 May 2008
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