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Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit.

Since Al Gore pulled out of the presidential race last year, he seems to have spent a lot of time writing a book that assumes a Bush victory in 1992. It may also be the book that bids to make AI Gore the undisputed environmental candidate of a 1996 race against Dan Quayle. Quayle's leadership of the Council on Competitiveness against many cherished environmental laws has set the stage.

What Gore offers for American leadership in world environmental matters is a "Global Marshall Plan," including five goals: stabilizing world population, developing environmentally appropriate technologies, factoring environmental costs into economic decisions, creating new international agreements for environmental action, and worldwide environmental education.

Some environmentalists who blame our problems on western industrial culture will be miffed to find that Gore's plan will be built on "the philosophical victory of Western principles." But they can take some consolation in what appears to be Gore's own confusion about the value of the western tradition.

Monotheism, he speculates, led to modern science. The moral confusion "at the heart of much of modern science" then led to atrocities of Hitler and Stalin. (Somewhere in his theology he forgot about Herod's pre-scientific and industrial slaughter of male children.)

Although it is too easy to poke fun at the book's contradictions and Gore's assumptions and solutions, this politician has put a lot of cards on the table. Note, however, one final irony: The review copy of this book came accompanied by 14 heavy-weight pages of publicity. On one of those pages, Gore writes, "I find excuses for failing to deal with the global environmental crisis more difficult to live with." But maybe not when selling books.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Forests
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kaufman, Wallace
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1992
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