Pascal Bruckner writes about a lot of interesting ideas that are all over the place. His book is an incredibly overstated and repetitive academical rant. He does however, bring up many valid points and makes the reader look at environmentalism in a different way.
Pascal writes about the environment as a religion as radical ecology. He states: “Ecology as a discourse, seeks not so much to save us from the end of the world as to precipitate it” and “Radical Ecology does not fall into same trap as Marxism: promising paradise on earth.” His views on environmentalism and the way people think about the environment are very pessimistic. He calls it anthropegenic pessimism, that the world and environment is already too bad to fix so there is no point in changing behaviors. Bruckner criticizes the environmentalists that talk about climate change as if the world is going to end tomorrow and makes the reader wanting to find a less frantic longer term solution to the worlds problems.
Bruckner has some interesting ideas on democracy, when talking about how fear is useful in a totalitarian regime and how it relates to national security, he says “Destroying democracy in order to save it.” How far can a democracy go in its efforts to keep the country safe that it destroys itself. Also one of the more optimistic quotes from the book that I enjoyed was: “In a democracy, every generation is a new nation.” This is interesting and very true, each new generation has an entirely different set of values and different approach to thinking and solving problems. The choices made freely by one generation becomes the destiny of the next.
I also liked how he talked about having a useful enemy in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They were an enemy that spurred innovation. The US needs a useful rival in the battle against climate change, if two super powers competed to lessen their impact and innovate, it could make a huge difference.