The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

Pascal Bruckner, Author, Steven Rendall, Translator
Pascal Bruckner, trans. from the French by Steven Rendall. Polity (Wiley, dist.), $25 (204p) ISBN 978-0-7456-6976-2
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-0-7456-6977-9
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Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-7456-8007-1
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In his newest work of political philosophy, Bruckner (The Tyranny of Guilt) takes a level-headed look at extreme ecologism and the true practicality of its proponents' most-quoted solutions. He opens with a seemly comparison of religious guilt and the pious posturing for favors from God with the current, widespread tendency to apologize for one's carbon footprint. His is not a condemnation of all "green" efforts—he demarcates the rational from those modes that seek to promulgate human guilt. Bruckner's reigning suggestion is a rarely heard one: that damnation of humans is antithetical to the actual salvation of the earth, as only unprecedented innovation will churn out results big enough to answer the planet's problems. His essays incorporate case studies and effective side notes, including a lexicon of modern platitudes that underlines the superficiality of popular environmental posturing. Though his prose is cutting, Bruckner can be equally poetic, such as when he describes the non-utilitarian branches of the animal kingdom as "the baroque exuberance of the living." As stylistically gratifying as he is intellectually lucid, Bruckner presents a clear alternative to the accepted thought on one of this era's hottest topics. (July)
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