cover image Eco-Scam: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse

Eco-Scam: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse

Ronald Bailey. St. Martin's Press, $19.95 (228pp) ISBN 978-0-312-08698-5

PBS producer Bailey, a former Forbes science writer, explodes shibboleths of the environmental movement in an unsettling, thought-provoking polemic that is certain to stir controversy. Arguing that global food production continues to expand much faster than population, he blasts ``population alarmists'' Paul Ehrlich and Lester Brown whose predictions of widespread famines have proven untrue. Thinning of the ozone layer is ``less a crisis than a nuisance,'' Bailey maintains, citing evidence to support his contention that the risks to humans and to ecosystems from increased ultraviolet sunlight have been greatly exaggerated. As to the alleged global warming crisis, he reminds us that just 15 years ago ``eco-doomsayers'' were predicting the advent of a new ice age. In a relentlessly disputatious critique, he also challenges Carl Sagan's computer-based scenario of nuclear winter after a ``limited'' nuclear war, attacks critics of biotechnology and shows that air and water quality in the U.S. have improved markedly over the last 20 years. (Feb.)