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A Contract with the Earth [Audio]

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About the Author

Newt Gingrich was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1979 to 1999, serving four years as Speaker of the House starting in 1995. A 2012 presidential candidate, he was named Time magazine's 1995 Man of the Year. Terry L. Maple is president and CEO of the Palm Beach Zoo and a professor of conservation and behavior at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Callista Gingrich is president of the Gingrich Foundation, a charitable nonprofit corporation, and the voice for the audiobook Rediscovering God in America.


Including a foreword by noted scientist E.O. Wilson, former U.S. Speaker of the House Gingrich (Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America) and Maple (president & CEO, Palm Beach Zoo; conservation & behavior, Georgia Inst. of Technology) call for bipartisan environmental stewardship and propose ten commitments to ensure its success. Gingrich and Maple express that climate change and the destruction of ecosystems demand attention; but they believe that market-driven, entrepreneurial environmentalism, in which the government participates as a partner offering incentives, not requiring mandates, is the appropriate response. The authors attempt to broaden their base of support by defining "mainstream environmentalists" to include even those who may not subscribe to their green conservatism. Gingrich and Maple occasionally move too quickly from one point to another, citing interesting examples of private-public partnerships, some of which warrant greater consideration. Footnotes or endnotes would have been helpful. Still, this serves as a useful reminder that the debate about environmental policy is far from over. Recommended for all libraries. [Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger's Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility, LJ 8/07, also stresses market-driven solutions to climate change.-Ed.]-Robin K. Dillow, Rotary International Archives, Evanston, IL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Efforts to cleanse the world's air and water and to put a brake on calamitous climate change aren't exclusive to "one political philosophy," Gingrich and Maple argue in this probusiness call for proenvironment action by politicians, corporations and individual Americans. Though the title echoes Gingrich's hard-right 1994 Contract with America, this more conciliatory contract reflects the former academic's penchant for bullet-point sloganeering, with its "ten commitments" call for politicians to abandon adversarial politics and for businessmen and conservationists to form "compatible partnerships." The authors alternately brand their approach mainstream and entrepreneurial environmentalism-mainstream because it rejects alarmist projections based on what they perceive as activist science and hysterical journalism, and entrepreneurial because they reject the notion that free enterprise and a cleaner world are opposing forces. The authors' concern about the future of the Earth is certainly sincere, but their prescription for action breaks shallow ground. (Nov.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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