36 / CHRONICLESnWalden PondnSocialistsnby Herbert LondonnAn Environmental Agenda for thenFuture; Edited by Robert Cahn;nAgenda Press; Washington, EXD.nNietzsche’s comment that “the enemynof truth is not hes but convictions”ncomes to mind while reading An EnvironmentalnAgenda for the Future, ancollection of statements by leaders ofnmajor environmental organizers. In anbook of scatter-shot propositions, a fewnhits are inevitable: the contributors arensurely right to criticize misuse of resourcesnand to recommend that somenpristine land should be set aside fornparks. But deciding what constitutesnmisuse and how much land should benallocated for parks is actually muchnharder than these self-righteous environmentalistsnseem to realize.nOccasionally environmentalist convictionsnverge on absurdity. For example,none contributor sees “no inevitablensignificant conflict . . . between economicnstrength and environmental protection.”nIf our economy were entirely anmatter of hairdressers and beauticiansnand we had no smokestack industries,nthis might be a plausible assertion. ButnJapan’s best efforts have not yet producednthat reality. Environmental controlsnare a cost of manufacturing andnBOOKS IN BRIEF—SEXnindustry. The justifications for this costnshould not obscure the economic realities.nSome people may choose to paynthe costs for a cleaner environment butnlet no one tell us that pollution controlnis free.nThe authors do little more to win ourncredence when they turn from assessingnthe hazards of oil spills to debating thenprospects of nuclear holocaust. Theynnaively accept the “nuclear winter” hypothesisnof Carl Sagan, Paul Ehrlich, etnal., oblivious to recent scientific experimentsnat Los Alamos which have castndoubts upon this icy scenario. In thisnmatter, as in so many others covered innthis book, a discernible political agendantakes priority over dispassionate analysis.nFor all their professions of objectivity,nthe authors are advocates armednwith indignation.nPerhaps the contributors’ ideologicalncommitment is most transparent on thenpopulation issue. The authors contendnthat 4.8 billion people “are overtaxingnthe capacities of some of the world’snbiological systems to support them, andnare in fact reducing the earth’s productivenresource base at the very time whennstill more resources will be required tontake care of the growing population,”nHow then does one explain the continualnreduction in the price of mineralsnper man-hour of labor? How does onenexplain similar trends for all major foodncommodities? How does one explainnthe rise of middle-class nations on thenAsian rim at the same time these popu-nA Feminist Dictionary by Clieris Kramarae and Paula A. Treichler, Boston and London:nPandora Press; $28.95. A useful and unintentionally hilarious compendium of self-importantnnonsense, e.g., “man-hating: a refusal to suppress the evidence of one’s experience withnmen.”nMost Dangerous Women: Feminist Peace Campaigners of the Great War by Anne Wiltsher,nBoston and London: Pandora Press. The women of Grenham were not the first to want tonroll over and play dead. Wiltsher does a good job of describing the zany antics of World War 1npeaceniks.nWomen-in-Law: Explorations in IMW, Family, and Sexuality, edited by Julia Brophy andnCarol Smart, London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul. A collection of sometimesnuseful, sometimes silly, essays illustrating the history of family law in the UK, includingnpredictable wbines about patriarchal families and the injustice suffered by lesbian mothers.nReproductive Rituals by Angus McLaren, London and New York: Metheun. McLaren setsnout to overturn the old conception that preindustrial man (and woman) exercised no controlnover fertility. Although flawed by trendy ethics—abortion laws indicate a decline in women’snrights—this careful study helps to reinforce what we should already know, that our ancestorsnwere “neither automata nor simply ignorant, abject victims of biological forces.”nThe Destroying Angel by John Money, Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books. John Money is onenof the pioneers in the study of sexual identity, but in recent years his work has increasinglynabandoned any claims of scientific objectivity. In a peculiar pursuit of sexual freedom,nMoney now reveals that Kellogg’s Cornflakes are part of the antiraasturbation conspiracy.nBefore he loses what’s left of his sanity, Monev ought to consider another line of work.nnnlations have increased enormously innthe post-World War II era? The authorsnmake the common error of misinterpretingnthe way in which wealth isncreated. Inert minerals in the groundncreate no wealth. Raw materials constitutenbut a precondition for wealth production.nWealth is generated by capital,nlabor, the application of technology,nand—most important of all—bynhuman ingenuity. Sand has no intrinsicnvalue, but it can be converted intonsilicon crystals, then into glass fibers,nand finally applied within a fiber-opticsncommunication system.nIf we are running out of resources, asnthe authors maintain, the market systemnwill generate financial incentivesnfor alternatives. The present oil glut isndue in no small part to conservationnsteps taken during the 1970’s when thenprice of oil escalated dramatically. AsnJustice Hand once argued, “Every accidentnis in search of a rescue.” Necessitynis indeed the mother of invention. Thenproblem is that some people, particularlynthose who believe they have anmonopoly on solutions, ignore the miraclesnwrought by market pressure andnurge the adoption of new governmentnregulations and programs. As strategiesnin the Energy Department in the 1970’snindicated, markets are smarter thannWashington bureaucrats.nIt would be easier to excuse thenenvironmentalists for their ignorance ofnhistory if they better understood thenpresent. But their defective analysis isntoo fragile to survive collision with anynnumber of facts: that the amount ofnpotable water has increased by one thirdnsince I960; that damage to the earth’snozone layer caused by fluorocarbons isnreversed by the nitrogen oxide emissionsnfrom jet planes; that we producenmore food than ever before at lowernprices and with fewer farmers and withnone-third of all farmland in this countrynintentionally kept idle; that there isnmore than enough food to feed thenworld’s starving people if we could onlynresolve distribution and political problems.nIt comes as no surprise that thenbibliography excludes the works of JuliannSimon, Edith Efron, HermannKahn, Vassily Leontief, and others whonmight mention such unpleasanfly encouragingnfacts. Only in the environmentalistnmovement—where ignorancenmasquerades as “concernednsensibility” and counterarguments arentreated like toxic waste—could a booknlike this get written or purchased,nHerbert London is dean of thenGallatin Division of New YorknUniversity.n