By Rich Kozlovich
For those of who have been reading Green Notes, or this blog, you are aware of how high a value I place on Mr. Driessen’s book, "Eco-Imperialism, Green Power, Black Death".
This is a book that is very readable for the general public and yet has the ability to capture the interest of those who are knowledgeable about scientific and environmental issues. It is a small publication and can be read in a short time. It should also be read more than once. I have just reread this book and I feel compelled to promote it to those who read this blog. In spite of ad hominem attacks and unfounded claims that his book is “unscientific” or that he is a corporate puppet, there are a host of well thought of individuals who have showered praise on this book because of the logic of his arguments and the facts presented. These are listed below. It can be ordered here.
The environmental movement I helped found has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity. The pain and suffering it is inflicting on families in developing countries must no longer be tolerated. This is the first book I’ve seen that tells the truth and lays it on the line. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about people, progress and our planet.” – Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder
“Paul Driessen has given us an amazing tour de force. He explores one of today’s most perplexing problems: the environmentally sensitive rich demanding that the Third World’s poor forego feeding themselves, solving their health and energy problems, and taking their rightful place among the earth’s prosperous people. Eco-Imperialism provides terrific intellectual ammunition and is outstandingly written. Very gripping to read.” – Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Toward Tradition
“Developing countries need to be free to make their own decisions about how to improve their people’s lives. Activists who’ve never had to worry about starvation, malaria and simple survival have no right to impose their fears, prejudices and ideologies on the world’s poor. That’s the central message of this book. It’s a message that needs to be spread far and wide.” – CS Prakash, Professor of plant genetics, Tuskegee University
“The time has come to hold these radicals to civilized standards of behavior, end the tolerance for their lethal policies, and demand that they be held accountable for their excesses, and the poverty, disease and death they have perpetrated on the poor and powerless. Eco-Imperialism is an excellent start. Driessen does a masterful job of stripping away the radicals’ mantle of virtue, dissecting their bogus claims and holding them to the moral and ethical standards they have long demanded for everyone except themselves. And he does so with humor, outrage and passion – and always without pulling any punches.
“Every concerned citizen and policy maker should read this book. The environmentalists will hate it. The world’s destitute masses will love it. And everyone will be challenged by it to reexamine their beliefs and the environmental establishment’s claims.” – Niger Innis, National Spokesman, Congress of Racial Equality
(from his introduction to Eco-Imperialism)
“There is a shrill claim today by those that fill the streets to protest globalization, and by the organizations that put them there, that these white, relatively affluent groups are speaking on behalf of the world’s poor and powerless. This unfortunately, is a message that the Western media have bought uncritically – but not Paul Driessen. He cogently shows how the new Green Eco-Imperialists are seeking to impose their will on developing countries, interfering with their efforts to build dams or grow crops or do any of the things which can lift them out of poverty. These are life-and-death matters for the world’s poor, and Driessen is bold and honest enough to challenge the eco-interference in people’s lives as immoral and the cause of death and devastation in countries that are trying to develop and transform their lives. Both those who have bought the Green propaganda line and those who have not would benefit from reading Driessen’s Eco-Imperialism book.” – Thomas R. DeGregori, PhD, Professor of Economics, University of Houston
“Paul Driessen forcefully makes the case that the environmental movement has been needlessly anti-human. The real moral and technical challenge is to save both planet and people, and we’ve been given the intelligence and societal skills to do it. Hopefully, with the human population surge now ending, we’ll feel free to be humane again.” – Dennis Avery, Hudson Institute, author of Saving the Planet With Pesticides and Plastic
“The Developing World is developing! As a South African living and working in South Africa, I see every day the interaction between the modern, very advanced world of international corporate business, and the world of transitional rural people moving up the development ladder from a grass hut existence. This process is complex, and some first world people propagating their own extremely personal agendas ‘to save the world’ frequently do more harm to developing economies than a genuine caring society realises. Paul Driessen has done a superb job of seeing the picture from our side of the ocean.
“A developing country does not need First World ideological oppression. It needs to develop towards its own goals by means of its own self-respect. Driessen makes this clear, with facts and imagery tempered with passion and humour.” – Kelvin Kemm PhD, CEO: Stratek Business Strategy Consultants, Pretoria, South Africa.
“Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death is a no-holds-barred critique of what author Paul Driessen calls ‘ideological environmentalism.’ But unlike other books, it challenges eco-activists on what up to now has been the primary source of their strength: their bald assertion that they represent all that is noble, ethical, socially responsible, ‘sustainable,’ and even ordained by God. Rarely mincing words, Driessen demonstrates that – far from being moral – radical Green policies, principles and pressure tactics perpetuate poverty, misery, disease and premature death for hundreds of millions of people.” – Alan Caruba, National Anxiety Center, author of Warning Signs
“Just as environmental groups have blocked proper forest thinning and contributed to the devastating fires in California, the groups have also played a dominant role in denying access to basic tools for protecting and bettering lives of the world’s poorest people in developing countries. The complicity and devastating consequences of environmental NGO actions are clearly and unambiguously documented in Paul Driessen’s book, Eco-Imperialism: Green power - black death.
“Driessen is absolutely correct in his assessment that the actions of environmental groups are accountable to no standard of scientific accuracy, no standard of ethical behavior, no law, and no government. Environmental groups took their model for social/political action from the mode of environmental activism in the 1960s and 1970s, when the wildest claims of environmental damage were accepted without critical analysis. That approach to environmental activism brought about great changes. Some were good, but others were devastatingly wrong.
“The DDT story is one example of environmental activism taken to an extreme and horrific outcome. The model of environmental activism consisted of fabrications, selective use or outright misuse of science, legal actions, intimidation of scientists and corporations, civil disobedience, and an absolute conviction that all political, covert and unethical methods were justified in order to achieve a greater good. The same model is used today, even as the horrible consequences of environmental actions become increasingly apparent. Driessen is correct. It is high time that environmental organizations be held to standards already demanded of for-profit-corporations: namely, ethical conduct, respect for scientific accuracy, accountability and transparency.” – Donald R. Roberts, PhD, professor of tropical public health
Driessen clearly and skillfully shows how many false green claims even become government policy in the first world, resulting in the death of people in the developing world. In essence, the message of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power • Black Death is: It is time that businesses stopped being so afraid of the extreme greens that they fall all over themselves to be greener-than-thou, and beg forgiveness for doing business.
Business must be socially responsible, and under no circumstances should it have a don’t-care attitude about the environment. But it should not spread extreme green paranoia amongst the public, either. Driessen roundly tells the first world governments and company boardrooms not to sacrifice black lives in the interests of promoting a politically correct green image. – Green & Gold Forum, Pretoria, South Africa
“The world’s poor billions used to suffer from imperialists who ‘exploited’ labour and natural resources in colonies. But they did so by investing in factories and mines, and providing technology and skills. Thus, enriching themselves at least meant that conditions improved in the colonies. Modern imperialists, appropriately called ‘eco-imperialists’ in this seminal book, are much worse. They no longer exploit colonies directly. Instead they ensure that ‘developing countries’ don’t develop. What started in the post-colonial world as the unsustainable ‘limits to growth’ movement has become a quagmire of sustainable nonsense in defence of elaborate stratagems to curtail prosperity in poor countries on the pretext that sustained development is not ‘sustainable.’
“This is one of the few Western books to expose eco-imperialism for what it is. It addresses health, economic and environmental issues from a refreshing developing country perspective. It takes on the anti-prosperity eco-establishment, the EU and other forces that impose their will, standards and distorted ethical principles on the world’s poor.
“Telling destitute people in my country, South Africa, and in countries with even greater destitution, that they must never aspire to living standards much better than they have now – because it wouldn’t be ‘sustainable’ – is just one example of the hypocrisy we have had thrust in our faces, in an era when we can and should grow fast enough to become fully developed in a single generation. We’re fed up with it, and gladdened that Driessen and others are taking up our cause. This book could mark a watershed event in environmental politics, and should be read (and absorbed) by all decent people who truly want to be ‘socially responsible.’” – Leon Louw, executive director, Free Market Foundation of South Africa
“Ideas and ideologies have consequences. Horrid ideas and ideologies have lethal consequences.” This is the central premise of the book Eco-Imperialism - Green power, black death. The lethal consequences of the idea that environmental values take precedence over the value of human lives is its central theme. And it documents these consequences in all their chilling detail…. What Paul Driessen documents in his book is that, by fanatically seeking to impose their agenda upon the whole of society, especially in the developing world, eco-imperialists are directly responsible for advocating policies that literally result in the deaths of countless millions of poor and desperate people about the globe.– Don Newman, senior policy analyst, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
“After listening to you on the Dennis Prager Show, I am compelled to go out and purchase your book, one which should be read by every single non-White and low-income White in America – notably those who largely vote Democrat. The reason I make this statement is that eco-imperialism, although horrendous in Third-World countries, also has an impact here in the United States.
“Notice how radical environmentalists in this country often oppose development. You may even hear some of these folks talk about ‘Affordable Housing’ – yet at the same time they lobby endlessly for regulations and restrictions that are often injurious to the majority of Black and Latino Americans. For example, The Bay Area, due to high taxation and land-use restriction, is one of the most prohibitive areas for minorities to reside – they simply cannot afford to live there. Because of their paranoid fear of sprawl, the elitist eco-imperialists virtually prevent upwardly-mobile people of color from improving their lot in life – only we, the wealthy and privileged, they seem to insist, can live in ‘nice’ homes and safe neighborhoods.
“I look forward to reading your eye-opening account.”– LaTonya Bethea, Southern California
“I recently purchased and read your book Eco-Imperialism. I just wanted to say I was amazed, appalled and disgusted with how the environmental groups have absolutely no regard for human life. Your book helped me realize some things I already knew and gave me much more detail and insight on things I didn’t know about how these environmental policies hurt MILLIONS of people in third world countries. I always believed that environmentalists’ attitude about ‘save the trees not the people’ was wrong. One of the things I learned from your book was how accurate and horrific that quote really is.
“I was completely unaware of the global ban on DDT. I was unaware how un-transparent many of these eco groups are. I also had no knowledge of the CSR practices used by for-profits and NGOs. I also had no knowledge about the debate over GM foods.
“I had been reading your book (in part) during trips to the local Starbucks coffee shop where I live. I'm a regular customer and most of the employees there know me. After a few days of reading and drinking coffee, several of them (some who are pro-eco-group types) began to ask me questions about what I was reading (they thought from the picture it was a book about starvation, which in a way is accurate). There was one girl working there in particular who I thought was going to cry when I started giving her the FACTS about how many children die each year as a result of environmental policy in third world countries. During our talk, it became clear how much the Greenpeace-type-endorsed ‘eco education’ had brainwashed her.
“I also realized that the mission work my local Catholic church does is much more important than I realized in relation to bringing clean water and sewage systems to villages in South America. I’ve truly enjoyed your book and will continue to share my reading experience with other people.” – Mark Allan, San Francisco Bay Area
Millions were left to starve [after Zambia rejected U.S. food aid] because of the unscientific bias of a few relatively wealthy environmentalists. The case is not an isolated one. Such blatant disregard for human life to promote the eco-environmental agenda is common throughout the Third World. To learn more about the havoc caused by environmental extremism the world over, get a copy of Paul Driessen's book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death. This important work clearly illustrates how environmentalists have taken their crusade a step too far. – Plain Facts, “Green policies starve Africa”
It has to be hoped the efforts of Driessen and Innis bear fruit. The moral bankruptcy of the modern environmental movement must be exposed, and their work is a good start. – Business Day, South Africa
Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death is a powerful indictment of environmentalism's many deadly impacts upon millions of struggling people in the Third World. Paul Driessen exposes the horrific body counts in developing nations that mount from green opposition to fossil fuels and hydroelectric power, biotechnology, modern agricultural methods and pesticides. His book convincingly demolishes any “idealistic” pretenses of the environmental movement. – Robert Bidinotto, writer, former Reader’s Digest staff writer (http://www.econot.com/)
Paul Driessen is the author of the book Eco-Imperialism. Green Power, Black Death. As its title suggests, the book illustrates how a putative concern for protecting ecosystems and preserving the planet under the banner of “corporate responsibility” results in just the opposite, not to mention the malnutrition, disease and deaths of millions of third world people. Read the compelling FrontPage.com interview with Paul Driessen in its entirety. Here’s a teaser [excerpts from the interview] There’s a lot more here, and it’s all worth reading. – Brian O’Connor, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology (retired)
In this masterful and important work, Paul Driessen illustrates how green activists couched in their world of plenty impose their untenable ideas on the Third-World and in the process create suffering and death. – ConservativeBookstore.com
“If you want to listen to the voice of the poor on environmental issues, read Eco-Imperialism. The poor of the world are tired of being led and dictated to by do-gooders who seem determined to keep them mired in poverty for their own selfish ideological and fundraising reasons. This book offers a platform for the voiceless and kicks off a debate that will help facilitate homegrown solutions to Third World problems.” James Shikwati, Inter-Region Economic Network Kenya
“There is no greater way to underline the point of Paul Driessen's brilliant and meticulously footnoted book than to read the [Amazon.com] review that blindly criticizes it (from a brave anonymous reader). Just for a start, the book and its message are endorsed by the man who founded Greenpeace – and that message is that the radical environmental movement has become so entrenched in dogma and a vision of a world without people that it summarily ignores the suffering, famine, disease and death of millions. These radical groups are incredibly well-funded, untaxed, and totally unaccountable. What's worse is that they flatly refuse to engage in any debate whatsoever. They expect their followers to toe the line or be immediately dismissed as corporate ghouls.
“Driessen’s review of their history and tactics is accurate, verifiable and horrifying. Anyone in politics, the media, or even the environmental movement itself ought to read this book and consider what it says. Driessen gives a voice, and a platform, to the people who are actually affected by decisions made by world bodies, NGOs, and pressure groups. What these people speak is the truth as they live it – not conjecture from 2000 miles away.
“Eco-Imperialism is a shocking, profound and desperately needed account of what happens when the privileged Western world decides the fate of millions of people whom they never have to see or hear. Driessen sees and hears, and shares it all.” Sterling Rome, freelance television writer and producer, United States
“I am watching your University of Wisconsin presentation on C-SPAN 2 ‘Book TV.’ I am a Liberian and a graduate of UMASS Boston with a degree in Management Information System. I will buy your book. Your position on how to help poorer countries of the world develop is just what we need!!!! As you know, we are just recovering from 14 years of civil wars, but some of the material you just talked about on TV could go a long way toward helping my people, especially with our great need for electricity, modern farming and education about these issues. I will also recommend you book to other Liberians, so that we can work together using some of your ideas. Maybe someday when Liberia is stabilized, we will invite you to speak at the University of Liberia.” Wilmot Bright, Liberia
“Though a quick read at 163 pages including footnotes, Eco-Imperialism is packed with more facts per square inch than anything I have read in a long time. Even the footnotes are full of interesting tidbits. The book doesn’t pull any punches either, identifying specific governments and corporations that should know better, yet carry out the environmentalist agenda with green blinders on.
“Not only does Driessen accurately delineate the principles, the problems and the players, he then offers up workable solutions. For instance, he demands that we hold the environmentalist non-government organizations (NGO’s) to the same high standards and laws of honesty, integrity, transparency, disclosure and accountability that have long been demanded from the corporate world.
“If you are a modern day environmentalist, you will hate this book. But if you are on the side of humanity and the world’s destitute masses, this book will shock, anger and enlighten you, as it disputes the current accepted wisdom about environmental ethics.” Rolf Penner, Canada (South-East Agripost)
“I enjoyed your book very much. You cover a lot of ground in such a limited frame, but your arguments are coherent and you do not pull your punches. This is particularly true of chapter eight on climate change.” David Knight, United Kingdom
“I happened to catch the discussion of your book Eco-Imperialism this past weekend on C-SPAN. I immediately ordered a copy for myself. It was interesting to see that several of the audience displayed that typical, irrational mindset the environmental movement has taken on – where reason and compromise are not an option. Your responses were calm, measured, and rational. Excellent. I’m sure I’m not the only one appalled at what ‘political correctness’ and the ‘environmental movement’ have wrought for the unfortunate innocents in the third world. Hopefully, your book will provide the education of a broad enough audience to begin the roll-back of these disastrous policies.” Don McGuire, United States
“I saw your U of Wisconsin presentation on C-SPAN this weekend and just wanted to say I can’t wait to read your book, and I applaud your common-sense approach to many Third World problems. Your arguments seem compelling and difficult to ignore. I’ve been waiting for a book exactly like yours to come along. I recently ordered The Skeptical Environmentalist, but I think I’ll read yours first.” John Silver, United States
“It has to be hoped the efforts of Driessen and Innis bear fruit. The moral bankruptcy of the modern environmental movement must be exposed, and their work is a good start.” Business Day, South Africa
“Paul Driessen has written an extremely powerful book that condemns the anti-people, genocidal tactics of ‘big green’ environmentalists. Driessen effectively sheds light on the environmental movement that sees NGOs, large corporations and environmental activists working in concert, under the guise of corporate social responsibility (CSR), to impose the environmental views of wealthy, well-fed people from developed nations onto poor, starving people in third-world countries – leading to prolonged suffering.” Eat First! United States
“My Lord! This is one of those books that has such an immediate and gut wrenching impact that it is hard not to lose your balance after each chapter. The modern, mostly American, environmental movement has gotten it all wrong. Hearing the logic of Doctor Norman Borlaug, who has concluded that organic farming will never be able to feed more than 4 billion people (6.6 is our current population, folks), or that good old fashioned malaria is killing a million people in Africa each year, left me cold. I’ve enjoyed the huge comeback of migratory wildfowl and raptors in the U.S. since we eliminated DDT, but I forgot to appreciate the benefit of not dying of malaria. We eliminated this disease, but won’t let others use the same method.” DB, helicopter pilot, United States (first published on Amazon.com)
“Paul Driessen’s challenging new book recalls the final words of Anna Bramwell’s little 1994
masterpiece, The Fading of the Greens: the environment ‘...is the “Northern White Empire’s last burden, and may be its last crusade.’”Philip Stott, emeritus professor of biogeography, University of London
“The premise of Paul Driessen’s sobering ‘Eco-Imperialism’ is as straightforward as it is chilling: the increasingly radical agenda of the so-called green movement is stifling economic development in the third world and, worse, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of millions. Is argument is presented with clarity and fact – as well fed affluent bureaucrats of the EU, UN, US and any number of environmental protection groups force their unfounded radical views on developing nations – the basic steps of economic evolution in these nations are being denied, virtually eliminating any hope for improvement.
Issues ranging from alternative energy source, genetically modified food, sweatshop labor, global warming and others are reviewed in enough detail to make the points, sparing the reader of the often endless graphs, charts, and minutia that often accompany books of this type. In an interesting twist, Driessen does not limit this criticism to the political bureaucrats and radical activists, but also points a finger at global corporations. On one hand, rather than standing up to the junk science and extreme positions of the radical green movement, most large corporations are simply rolling over, acquiescing to these economically dangerous demands. On the other hand, a number of corporations – most notably BP, to which Driessen delivers some well-deserved body blows – are allowing the Greens to play into their hands, duping the public into believing their pro-environmental purity, while in fact simply spinning clever PR smoke. BP, for example, would profit greatly from acceptance of the Kyoto accord through their natural gas business, while continuing to grow oil revenues and profits.
“Drinkers of the Green Kool Aid will undoubtedly dismiss ‘Eco-Imperialism’ out-of-hand, falling back on their tired and tiresome accusations of Driessen as simply another ‘corporate pawn.’ However, as Driessen so forcefully articulates, it is in fact the fat cat bureaucrats, environmentalists and politicians who are profiting at the expense of struggling third world nations. This proactive and chilling expose should be required reading in all US public schools, if for no other reason than to balance the steady diet of green pabulum our students are fed today.” Gary Griffiths, USA (first published on Amazon.com)
Before reading this exceptional primer on the negative effects of modern environmentalism, I was clueless of the far-reaching costs that group's policies have had on the Third World. Driessen documents at length the effect radical environmentalism has had on Africa's struggling poor, who want nothing more than to benefit from the same energy sources and standard of living the First World takes for granted. He shows how DDT saved thousands of lives in Africa by protecting families from malaria, while radical Greens fought to eliminate the benign chemical because of a theoretical risk it posed to birds. When families were restricted from using the chemical on their huts in Africa, malaria deaths shot through the roof. Driessen lays the blame for those thousands of deaths at the doorstep of the Sierra Club and other like-minded groups who would rather maintain a politically correct notion of what good environmentalism is rather than save actual lives.
Driessen goes on to show how environmentalists keep the Third World populations in poverty by fighting against the use of traditional, affordable sources of energy like coal and fossil fuels. Instead, Greens think other sources like wind and solar should be the only option for these people, disregarding the fact that the technology is nowhere near advanced enough to provide the energy needs these populations need to pull themselves out of poverty. Ironically, it would take over 10,000 acres of windmills to generate the same amount of electricity a 2-3 acre fossil fuel plant produces. So much for "saving the land."
Driessen does not endorse using fossil fuels forever and ever, amen. In fact, he wants nothing more than for the world to develop and invest in alternative energy because he knows as well as everyone else the day will come when we have no other choice. He simply believes (and rightly so) that, in the mean time, the problems of the Third World are real and not theoretical like so many Green "concerns," and that First World governments should not be intimidated by radical Greens and NGOs in their efforts to employ free-trade and responsible investment in these areas. One of the book’s biggest themes is how unfair it is that NGOs are not held to the same standards of accountability and transparency that they constantly demand from for-profit corporations.
The only problem with the book is that it is poorly edited, which takes away from its overall intellectual package and gives it a slightly amateur vibe. I came across way too many punctuation errors and word omissions for this to be a serious book for serious readers.
But the arguments are strong and the evidence is solid. Anyone interested in understanding why the Third World continues to fail at modernization should read this book. Amzon.com reader, North Carolina, USA
(NOTE: The errors mentioned here have been corrected in the second printing, and spelling errors in the original review were corrected before it was posted here.)
I heard you on Book TV today. Thank goodness for your book. It is what I have been waiting for for years – someone to expose the environmental idiocy that has been an affront to human intelligence and common sense. I intend to do all I can to promote your book. Anne Grossman, USA
Eco-Imperialism, Green Power, Black Death can be ordered here.