Saturday, September 13, 2008

Book Review: How the Rich are Destroying the Earth by Herve Kempf

With a title like this, most people are going to love or hate this book before they even crack open the cover. Polarizing and blunt, the name of the book is the bold declaration of Herve Kempf, and he spares no time in explaining in great detail why he believes this to be true.

The book is slim, a mere 105 pages, with another 17 pages on end notes. But he wastes no time with meandering prose or rampant speculation. Instead, he packs every page with scientific data, researched information, and educated predictions as to where these trends and figures will lead us if they are allowed to continue without intervention.

Some may call such a tome alarmist, but this will not be received negatively, for Kempf is indeed attempting to raise the alarm. His fear is that the rich and powerful of this increasingly global nation are not only depleting and destroying the finite natural resources and life sustaining ecosystem, but the fragile economic balance that keeps the majority of its citizens from being plunged into hopeless poverty and financial ruin.

The message is simple; the small percentage of rich and powerful billionaires who own the majority of the world's wealth are doing everything they can to amass even more, and at the detriment of every living thing on the planet except themselves. It doesn't matter the consequences, they live by three simple rules: Get It, Keep It, then Get More. It is an increasingly unpopular message, especially in an age where unfathomable wealth is easily promised with the click of a mouse, but Kempf does his best to spread the word. He demonstrates not only what damages they wreak upon the Earth and its populace intentionally and with disregard for human life and well being, but also the unintended results that greed and arrogance allow them to overlook.

Yes, most people will indeed judge this book merely by its cover. But that very may well be the point in the first place. If the title of this book angers you, then perhaps you are the one that should be reading it. You might just find yourself surprisingly enlightened.

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