The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise Examines Global Environmental Impacts of High Consumption, Raw Material Procurement, and Environmental Policies
In a new book The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise, author Jim Bowyer examines environmental policies of the U.S. and other wealthy countries related to raw material extraction which often result in a transfer of environmental impacts to the less wealthy. Bowyer observes that "...contrary to common practice today, high consuming nations need to be asking, 'Why not in my back yard?”
The book begins with a quest to discover the secrets of Paraíso, an imaginary kingdom that is a paradise in both name and appearance. However, this book mostly dwells in the land of pure non-fiction, being an investigation of the actions of the residents of a present-day, real-life paradise as they strive to keep what they have. It is a story of unawareness, denial, hypocrisy, and a great deal of wishful thinking. And, finally, it is a story of needs for change.
In one part of the book, Bowyer assesses actions of a number of U.S. Chief Executives often considered the best environmental Presidents. He observes that they often mandated actions to protect the domestic environment with little or no consideration of high levels of domestic consumption, or the massive importation of raw materials that support that consumption. There is similarly seldom evidence of thinking about how environments of other nations might be impacted as a result of increasing raw material importation. Bowyer notes that this kind of provincial positioning is not limited to the U.S., but characterizes pervasive thinking across society and all levels of government in economically developed countries all over the world.
Prominent reviewers are effusive in their praise.
Dr. Robert Malmsheimer, Professor, College of Environmental Science and Forestry State University of New York, Syracuse – “Dr. Bowyer provides a fact based analysis that allows readers to understand complicated and tough questions that must be confronted by government, industry, and the public if the U.S. and the world are going to address the megatrends that will define our planet’s and specie’s future. I highly recommend the book to everyone who wants to understand the seldom discussed foundational issues that will define our children’s and grandchildren’s world.”
Jennifer O’Connor, President, Athena Sustainable Materials Institute – “Dr. Bowyer turns the lens around to our own often hypocritical or counter-productive behaviors towards sustainability. His compelling and clear message about the role of our consumption in the degradation of the planet ought to inspire every one of us to think about the problem a little differently.”
Dr. David Morris, Co-Founder and Vice-President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Washington, D.C. – “This is a useful and thought-provoking book.”
Dr. John Tilton, Research Professor and University Professor Emeritus, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines. – “[This book] explores in depth the threat that rising population and economic growth pose to the environment and resource availability.”
Dr. John Helms, Professor Emeritus, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley – “This positive-thinking book should be read by all students, general public, and decision-makers seeking enhanced understanding of current environmental and societal issues.”