Radical ecology typically brings to mind media images of ecological activists standing before loggers' saws, staging anti-nuclear marches, and confronting polluters on the high seas. Yet for more than twenty years, the activities of organizations such as the Greens and Earth First! have been influenced by a diverse, less-publicized group of radical ecological philosophers. It is their work - the philosophical underpinnings of the radical ecological movement - that is the subject of Contesting Earth's Future. The book offers a much-needed, balanced appraisal of radical ecology's principles, goals, and limitations. Michael Zimmerman critically examines the movement's three major branches - deep ecology, social ecology, and ecofeminism. He also situates radical ecology within the complex cultural and political terrain of the late twentieth century, showing its relation to Martin Heidegger's anti-technological thought, 1960s counterculturalism, and contemporary theories of poststructuralism and postmodernity. An early and influential ecological thinker, Zimmerman is uniquely qualified to provide a broad overview of radical environmentalism and delineate its various schools of thought.
He clearly describes their defining arguments and internecine disputes, among them the charge that deep ecology is an anti-modern, proto-fascist ideology. Reflecting both the movement's promise and its dangers, this book is essential reading for all those concerned with the worldwide ecological crisis.
Michael E. Zimmerman is Professor of Philosophy at Tulane University and author of Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity (1990) and Eclipse of the Self: The Development of Heidegger's Concept of Authenticity (1981).