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Roger Scruton

Green philosophy

In Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet Roger Scruton presents his views on how to deal with environmental, and other, problems which we are faced with.

Global warming is generally thought of as our main problem, and it seems as though tough measures may have to be taken to deal with it, perhaps international agreements on fossil fuel use. Scruton's view is that such solutions begin in the wrong place - they are top-down. He thinks that the best way to deal with problems is bottom-up: small groups of individuals should get together to put forward their point of view, and negotiate with other groups who may have opposing views. Scruton wants people to get back the power to decide how they are going to live - he sees rules such as the EU health and safety regulations as confiscating this power.

So to solve our problems we each need to get into detailed negotiation with others. The trouble is that this book isn't written in that way. Rather is paints a broad brush picture of Scruton's views, but doesn't look in detail at those who would disagree with them. Also, Scruton doesn't seem to me to enitrely consistent. He's a fan of Prince Charle's brainchild Poundbury - but surely thats a classic example of top-down development. More seriously, when he gets on to global warming he sees unilateral geoenineering by the USA as possible solution - so what has happened to the detailed negotiation over contentious issues? The book gives one viewpoint of how to deal with environmental problems, and it's easy to read, but for more serious discussion I would look elsewhere.

Product Description
The environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political Left, which has seen the principal threats to the earth as issuing from international capitalism, consumerism and the over-exploitation of natural resources. In Green Philosophy, Roger Scruton shows the fallacies behind that way of thinking, and the danger that it poses to the ecosystems on which we all depend. Scruton contends that the environment is the most urgent political problem of our age, and sets out the principles that should govern our efforts to protect it. The current environmental movement directs its energies at the bigger picture but fails to see that environmental problems are generated and resolved by ordinary people. In Green Philosophy, Scruton argues that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism. He shows that rather than entrusting the environment to unwieldy NGOs and international committees, we must assume personal responsibility and foster local sovereignty. People must be empowered to take charge of their environment, to care for it as a home, and to affirm themselves through the kind of local associations that have been the traditional goal of conservative politics. Our common future is by no means assured, but as Roger Scruton clearly demonstrates in this important book, there is a path that we can take which could ensure the future safety of our planet and our species.