Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor

Tom Athanasiou, Author
Tom Athanasiou, Author Little Brown and Company $24.95 (385p) ISBN 978-0-316-05635-9
Paperback - 385 pages - 978-0-8203-2007-6
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From NAFTA to America's consumer culture and from the ecological imperialism practiced by the developed world over the developing world to the disappointing environmental record of the Clinton administration, Athanasiou rails against environmental abuse and injustice worldwide. He presents much thought-provoking material. For example, foreign aid for environmental projects is not only often environmentally destructive but makes recipient countries more-rather than less-dependent. ""[I]n 1993, the world's forty poorest countries paid $19 billion more in debt and interest than they received in aid."" And America's consumerism, in addition to its environmental impact, has dramatic effects on everyday life: ""Americans... spend, on average, about six hours shopping each week. This is more time than Russians spent in the late 1980s, when Soviet shopping queues were world famous."" Overall, the book's breadth becomes distracting with topics shifting rapidly. The prose itself is often academic and thus difficult to follow. Author tour. (Apr.)
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