A Contract with the Earth

Newt Gingrich, Author, Terry L. Maple, Author, Edward Osborne Wilson, Foreword by
Newt Gingrich, Author, Terry L. Maple, Author, Edward Osborne Wilson, Foreword by . Johns Hopkins Univ. $20 (222p) ISBN 978-0-8018-8780-2
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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.)

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