Green Gone Wrong

“Well written and exhaustively reported.”

New York Times

“The climate crisis is far too urgent to squander another decade on false solutions. This carefully researched, deeply human, and eminently sensible investigation arrives just in the nick of time. Let’s hope it inspires a radical course correction.”

–Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

“Heather Rogers reminds us with vivid examples that there’s no way we can just subcontract our environmental conscience to the new breed of green marketers. We have a very narrow window to preserve some version of our planet, and we can’t afford the kind of egregious mistakes this volume identifies with such precision. If it’s too good to be true, it’s not true—even if it comes with a shiny green wrapper.”

–Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

"Heather Rogers brilliantly and lethally exposes 'green' capitalism for the chicanery that it is. But while it may be disappointing to find out that 'organic' and even 'fair trade' don't mean squat—not to mention 'carbon offsetting,' which turns out to be even worse than it sounds—these pages make clear what the answer is: stop making colorful excuses for the system that's driving us off the cliff, and instead make shifts in our economic priorities to bring about real change. May Rogers's book guide our feet."

–The Yes Men

"If you're skeptical of the latest green techno-fix, but not quite sure why, read this book. With deft and adventuresome reporting from around the world, Heather Rogers looks beneath the surface of today's market-based "solutions" to our environmental challenges. From green buildings and electric vehicles to carbon offset trading schemes, this book skillfully distinguishes between reality and illusion. Business as usual won't do, Rogers tells us, no matter how much we green it."

–Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff

Rogers “exposes how the ‘green’ movement is failing to live up to the promise of sustainability and stewardship of the environment when the solutions are hijacked by economic and political interests. [Her] clearheaded approach proves effective in uncovering the truths behind the mantle of greenwashing."

Booklist (starred review)

“By going beyond exposé to analysis, Rogers gives a deeper assessment of environmental problems and solutions than the usual global-warming investigative book.”

Publishers Weekly



While world leaders respond to dire environmental ills with one derisory greenhouse gas cap-and-trade proposal after another, growing numbers of consumers are taking the cause into their own hands. Part fashion, part reaction, a popular movement to reduce the average person’s “carbon footprint” has officially arrived.

As individuals turn to environmentally responsible forms of consumption, a new dynamic green marketplace has exploded in the West: the trade in organic food has continued its surge despite the economic downturn; hybrid automobiles and biofuels are now in full production; and an increasing number of companies offer the service of neutralizing consumers’ CO2 emissions. Implicit in these efforts at “going green” is the promise that global warming can be stopped by swapping out dirty products for “clean” ones, with little disruption to daily life. But can earth-friendly goods really save the planet?

This far-reaching, riveting narrative explores how the most readily available solutions to environmental crisis may be disastrously off the mark. Rogers travels the world tracking how the conversion from a “petro” to a “green” society affects the most fundamental aspects of life—food, shelter, and transportation.

Green Gone Wrong takes the reader into forests, fields, factories, and boardrooms around the world to draw out the unintended consequences, inherent obstacles, and successes of the products and practices that pledge to remedy today’s environmental woes. Reporting from a large-scale export-driven organic farm in Paraguay, a super low-energy “eco-village” in Germany’s Black Forest, biodiesel plantations in the slashed and burned rainforests of Borneo, and drought-plagued Southern India where trees are being planted to offset carbon emissions in the United States and Europe, Green Gone Wrong pieces together a global picture of what’s happening in the name of today’s environmentalism.

Expertly reported, Green Gone Wrong speaks to anyone interested in climate change and the future of the natural world, as well as those who want to act but are caught not knowing who, or what, to believe. Rogers casts a sober eye on what’s working and what’s not, fearlessly pushing ahead the debate over how to protect the planet.

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