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Defending Illusions

Federal Protection of Ecosystems

Allan K. Fitzsimmons

This book examines the science, philosophy, and law of ecosystem management. It shows how efforts to make federal protection of ecosystems the centerpiece of national environmental policy rest on weak science and a worldview that places concern fo the well-being of nature ahead of the well-being of people. The author goes on to suggest how we can improve our stewardship of the land. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 348Size: 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
978-0-8476-9421-1 • Hardback • August 1999 • $114.00 • (£75.00)
978-0-8476-9422-8 • Paperback • August 1999 • $48.00 • (£32.95)
Allan K. Fitzsimmons is currently the president of Balanced Resource Solutions, as well as adjunct scholar, Political Economy Research Center (PERC)
Chapter 1 Introduction: Government and the New Relationship with Nature
Chapter 2 Everyone Knows What an Ecosystem Is...Or Do They?
Chapter 3 Mapping Ecosystems
Chapter 4 Visions of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Chapter 5 Claims of Environmental Calamity
Chapter 6 Nature Worship and the New Paradigm
Chapter 7 Science, Ecosystems, and the Emperor's New Clothes
Chapter 8 The Law and Ecosystem Protection
Chapter 9 Ecosystem Protection Proposals
Chapter 10 Human Consequences of the New Paradigm
Chapter 11 Improving Environmental Stewardship
Chapter 12 Conclusion: Knowledge and Responsibility
This book should be required reading for all ecologists as an example of how they have failed to send any coherent message to politicians, economists, and the general public relative to ecosystem concept.
R. L. Smith; CHOICE

Fitzsimmons argues persuasively that nature in this sense, above the level of the organism, possesses neither organizing principles nor emergent qualities that biologists can study. Fitzsimmons makes a compelling case that this emperor has no clothes; that the popular notion of ecosystem management merely encloses a puzzle within an enigma within a mystery. This well-argued and meticulously footnoted critique makes the case against ecosystem management without proposing a different science as a basis for policy. Fitzsimmons persuasively reveals the intellectual dishonesty that uses fictions about nature to lend scientific credibility to what are essentially cultural, religious, or moral norms.
Mark Sagoff, Institute of Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland; Journal Of The National Academy Of Sciences

The author examines the science, philosophy, and law of ecosystems management. Defending Illusions is an eye-opener about the basis for many commonly held views regarding ecosystems. It is thoroughly footnoted . . . even for those with a different viewpoint, it is a book worth reading on this topic.
Natural Resources and Environment