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The Making of a Conservative Environmentalist: with Reflections on Government, Industry, Scientists, the Media, Education, Economic Growth, the Public, the Great Lakes, Activists, and the Sunsetting of Toxic Chemicals

The Making of a Conservative Environmentalist: with Reflections on Government, Industry, Scientists, the Media, Education, Economic Growth, the Public, the Great Lakes, Activists, and the Sunsetting of Toxic Chemicals (Hardback)

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'Too often, environmentalism in this country is seen as incompatible with conservatism. Gordon Durnil argues that the opposite is true. He is right. All conservatives who happen to be environmentalists, or vice versa, and are concerned with the apparent conflict in their belief should read this book' - William Ruckelshaus, Chairman of the Board, Browning Ferris Industries. 'When a child molester molests again, we ask, 'Why was he out on the streets? Why didn't people keep him away from our kids?'But when the executive of some large conglomerate violates the laws by discharging some noxious substance into the water, or air, or onto the ground, we pay little attention. We don't ask why he wasn't kept away from chemicals. We don't ask why he wasn't required to keep those unmanageable substances away from our kids. Science tells us of bad effects that certain kinds of discharges can have on our children, born and unborn, but we don't seem to see the analogy between a perverted individual sexually molesting a child and an industrial discharge affecting the basic sexuality of a child. I wonder why' - Gordon Durnil.As the U.S.Chairman of the International Joint Commission under the Bush administration, a semi-autonomous international organization, Durnil was charged with overseeing the quality of the environment of the Great Lakes region.

In the course of this service, he changed from being blindly pro-business to being an avid, active environmentalist. For most of the world, the term 'conservative environmentalist' is an oxymoron. In this fascinating account of his conversion to environmentalism, Gordon Durnil demonstrates how and why the saving of our environment is fundamentally a conservative issue.In the first half of the book, he traces his background growing up in rural Indiana in the forties and fifties and the kind of conservative philosophy his parents lived by. Chapters 2 through 5 deal specifically with the Joint Commission and some of its goals, including a toxin-free Great Lakes Basin. Why, Durnil asks, if governments know what toxic substances cause deformity, illness, and death, do they let industries discharge these same materials into the environment and even sell the rights to do so? Always demonstrating why his positions are conservative, he provides a penetrating analysis of the actions of government, industry, organized environmental groups, scientists and health care professionals, the media, education officials, the public in general, and others.

He concludes with an outline for conservative environmentalism. This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the Great Lakes region or who cares about the survival of our species.

History & PoliticsPolitics & governmentCentral governmentCentral government policiesHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPolitical ideologiesNatural World & The EnvironmentThe environment Publisher: Indiana University Press Publication Date: 01/06/1995 ISBN-13: 9780253328731  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Gordon K. Durnil is a lawyer, diplomat, politician, and conservative environmentalist. From 1981 to 1989 he was Indiana Republican State Chairman and a member of the Republican National Committee. In 1989 President Bush appointed him as United States Chairman of the International Joint Commission, the U.S.-Canadian organization charged with maintaining the quality of the environment in the Great Lakes region. He served in this post until 1994. In June of 1992 he was Head of Delegation for the International Joint Commission to the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, where he addressed the plenary session. Durnil is also the author of Is America Beyond Reform? and Throwing Chairs and Raising Hell: Politics in the Bulen Era.

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