Books: Storm Warnings Ahead

In Red Sky at Morning, the ultimate insider offers a devastating critique of global environmental efforts

A cynic picking up Red Sky at Morning (Yale University; 299 pages) might wonder why the international community should do better protecting the earth's life-support systems than it has done preventing nuclear proliferation, terrorism or the piracy of Britney Spears CDs. The answer, according to James Gustave Speth's book, which has the quiet, seething tone of an insider who believed in the system but witnessed only steady decline, is that a habitable planet is a prerequisite for dealing with all the other problems.

Speth either created or ran many of the most important environmental institutions of the past 30 years, including...

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