Synopses & Reviews
Focusing the environmental debate on the principle of common commitment, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and eminent conservationist Terry L. Maple present A Contract with the Earth. They declare a need for bipartisan environmentalism -- a new era of environmental stewardship with principles that they believe most Americans will share.
While acknowledging that liberals and conservatives do not see eye to eye on many issues, Gingrich and Maple argue successfully that environmental stewardship is a mainstream value that transcends partisan politics. Their thoughtful approaches to our environmental challenges are based on three main premises: environmental leadership is integral to America's role in the world, technologically savvy environmental entrepreneurs can and should be the cornerstone of environmental solutions, and cooperation and incentives must be dramatically increased to achieve workable and broadly supported environmental solutions.
Gingrich and Maple believe that most people -- regardless of how they categorize themselves politically -- are weary of the legal and political conflicts that prevent individuals and communities from realizing the benefits of environmental conservation. The foundation of the book -- a ten-point Contract with the Earth -- promotes ingenuity over rhetoric as the way forward.
"Efforts to cleanse the world's air and water and to put a brake on calamitous climate change aren't exclusive to 'one political philosophy,' Gingrich and Maple argue in this probusiness call for proenvironment action by politicians, corporations and individual Americans. Though the title echoes Gingrich's hard-right 1994 Contract with America, this more conciliatory contract reflects the former academic's penchant for bullet-point sloganeering, with its 'ten commitments' call for politicians to abandon adversarial politics and for businessmen and conservationists to form 'compatible partnerships.' The authors alternately brand their approach mainstream and entrepreneurial environmentalism mainstream because it rejects alarmist projections based on what they perceive as activist science and hysterical journalism, and entrepreneurial because they reject the notion that free enterprise and a cleaner world are opposing forces. The authors' concern about the future of the Earth is certainly sincere, but their prescription for action breaks shallow ground." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A Contract with the Earth
is an earnest call to deal with worldwide environmental problems, from disappearing species to ever-expanding roadside landfills. Its central proposals include: 'demand objectivity' in science, 'educate and inspire' citizens to foster a greater appreciation of nature and 'encourage green enterprise.' This is no revolutionary manifesto. It's Gingrich as Smokey the Bear, rather than as the provocateur he used to play on the national stage." Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post Book World
(read the entire Washington Post Book World review