NR Digital

Green Shift

by Steven F. Hayward
How to Think Seriously about the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism, by Roger Scruton (Oxford, 457 pp., $29.95)

This review should begin with a confession: I badly underestimated Roger Scruton.

When I heard two years ago that Scruton was coming to the American Enterprise Institute to write a book about a conservative view of environmentalism, I was skeptical. Though I had long been a fan of his philosophical books, I didn’t think his body of work well suited to a tackling of environmentalism. My skepticism deepened when I discussed his project with him: In addition to describing an approach that sounded unpromising, he seemed unfamiliar with many of the major figures and prominent features of the environmental debate of the last 40 years. After a long conversation, I sent him from my office with a large stack of key books, recommending that he “might look at” a few of them.

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