Foreword Reviews

Environmentalism of the Rich

Presenting an economic analysis of environmentalism, this book argues not only that environmental activism by celebrities and large companies is largely ineffectual, but that global capitalism itself is the most significant driver of climate change.

By relying on historical examples of capitalism impacting the environment, Environmentalism of the Rich attempts to connect the devastation of nature to a factor that more influencers will care about. These influencers, who are individuals or organizations with enough money to actually make a difference in the fight against environmental pollution, are found here to have basically been duped into partnerships with companies like Coca-Cola, to participate in efforts that amount to feel-good exercises. While recognizing that well-applied wealth might yet make a positive difference, the author ultimately encourages a more general “spirit of outrage” as the means of change. Though this makes for a somewhat abstract conclusion, the points that the book makes are solid, and its arguments in favor of change of global production systems are convincing.

Though it occasionally wanders from its main point, usually to become a little too wrapped up in its examples, the book consistently exhibits good analyses of the effect of capitalism on localized environments. Its microcosms of lands and situations ruined by profit-driven systems range from early examples of imperialism on Pacific islands to the persistence of lead in gas as a result of industry manipulation of research data.

Though the book is academic in its style, a broad range of readers will find it accessible. It is clearly written and easy to understand, and its many examples are both engaging and informative. An excellent pick for anyone with an interest in economics.

Reviewed by Anna Call

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Load Next Review