Cover image for Strategic ignorance : why the Bush Administration is recklessly destroying a century of environmental progress
Strategic ignorance : why the Bush Administration is recklessly destroying a century of environmental progress
Pope, Carl.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Sierra Club Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
303 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HC110.E5 P6 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Examines how the environmental policies of the Bush administration are systematically dismantling a century of progress in natural resource management.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

When even his staunchest allies concede that the environment is Bush's Achilles' heel, writers intent on scrutinizing the president's policies might very well stagger under a preponderance of evidence against an unabashedly antienvironment administration. So challenged, Sierra Club executives Pope and Rauber painstakingly analyze how, where, and why the Bush White House began compiling what is frequently considered the worst environmental record in presidential history. Pope and Rauber are adept at parsing Bushspeak. Unafraid of naming names, they single out specific government officials whose rhetoric does not match the reality of the administration's record of striking down legislation, rolling back regulations, and otherwise manipulating a system to favor contracts over conservation and profits over preservation. By comparing Bush's actions with his expressed environmental doctrine, the authors reveal the administration's short-term strategies and their subsequent long-term implications. Buttressed by carefully annotated and sourced references, this book present a compelling portrait of an administration with a clear-cut agenda. --Carol Haggas Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Americans ought to be madder than they are about the Bush administration's environmental deceit: that's the not-surprising core message of this detailed book, coauthored by Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, and Sierra magazine editor Rauber. That citizens aren't appalled and outraged in greater measure, they write, is thanks to what they cast as the slick rhetoric, obfuscated facts, deliberate disinformation and Orwellian way with words of Bush and his pro-growth cohorts (a Clean Air Act that adds to pollution, a Healthy Forest Initiative that encourages both more logging and more forest fires). In impassioned broad strokes, Pope and Rauber report that Bush and his environment-unfriendly cabinet (Interior, Energy, Agriculture and EPA, in particular but not exclusively) have stripped 235 million wilderness acres of protection from logging and mining interests; funneled billions of dollars in subsidies to giant agribusinesses; rewritten scientific reports to excise unwelcome findings on global warming; defunded Superfund cleanup of hundreds of toxic waste dumps; given near carte blanche to polluting industries to self-regulate; and even lied about the quality of Manhattan's air in the days after September 11. But the real energy of the book comes from its accumulation of small facts to paint the picture-of obsessive secrecy, crony capitalism and (or so the authors claim) the administration's conscious, unabashed commitment to the economic exploitation of the air America breathes, the water it drinks and the earth it walks on. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Pope, current executive director of the Sierra Club, and Rauber, a senior editor at Sierra magazine, argue that the Bush administration's deconstruction of environmental progress is not unintentional. They suggest that a philosophy espousing the economic exploitation of natural resources is at work and that industries and corporations interested in such exploitation sustain the Bush administration. Documented examples show how and why laws have been rolled back, pollution suits dropped, and key agency positions awarded to like-minded thinkers. Perhaps more frightening is the argument that this administration endorses economic growth at all environmental costs and assumes that the public does not know or even need to know what is best for the country. More than a litany of environmental abuses, this is an able demonstration of the robber-baron philosophy at work. One might suspect that a Sierra Club book would be biased, but its arguments are well supported and logically presented, with few editorial asides or coaching. Highly recommended. [See also Robert Devine's scathing Bush vs. the Environment, LJ 6/1/04.-Ed.]-Nancy Moeckel, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 11
1 Red in Tooth and Claw: A Compassionate Conservative Joins the Ruthless Rightp. 15
2 A Work in Progress: America's Compact on the Environmentp. 33
3 Opening Moves: The Wrecking Crew Goes to Workp. 45
4 Let the Breather Beware: The Right's Romance with Riskp. 61
5 Clear Skies and Healthy Forests: Foul Deeds Behind Fair Wordsp. 79
6 Share the Spoils, Postpone the Future: Throwing Good Money After Bad Ideasp. 97
7 This Land Was Your Land: Auctioning Off the Commonsp. 115
8 Alaska: The Great Land or the Last Welfare State?p. 133
9 Strategic Ignorance: Choosing the Facts That Fitp. 143
10 See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: Bush and Global Warmingp. 159
11 Behind Closed Doors: Locking Out the Publicp. 167
12 Be Sued and Settle: The Law as a Partisan Toolp. 179
13 Uncle Sam Turns Scrooge: No More Help from Washingtonp. 197
14 Alone in the World: America as Global Outlawp. 215
15 Progress Is the Best Revenge: Challenging Strategic Ignorance and Reclaiming America's Futurep. 225
App: The Bush Record on the Environmentp. 241
Notesp. 255
Further Readingp. 291
Indexp. 295