Issue: December 1, 2009
Fight for the Bay:
Why a Dark Green Environmental Awakening Is Needed to Save the Chesapeake Bay.
Ernst, Howard R. (Author)
Rowman & Littlefield, hardcover, $39.95. (9780742563230).
Rowman & Littlefield, paperback, $19.95. (9780742563247). 363.7.
Ernst is devoted to elucidating both obvious and subtle aspects of the catastrophic transformation of the
Chesapeake Bay from a vast, fecund “ecological treasure” into a dead zone, first in Chesapeake Bay Blues
(2003), and now in this eye-opening inquiry into the failure to restore the Bay, in spite of the spawning of
600-plus environmental groups and the allocation of huge amounts of money. Taking measure of the gap
between the scientific understanding of what needs to be done and the lack of political will to make it
happen, Ernst decries the demise of mainstream environmental journalism, the public’s habit of “wishful
thinking,” and the government’s tactics of evasion. He also characterizes three key groups. The Dark
Greens believe that the “carrying capacity of nature” should determine land and water use and that strong
regulations are necessary. The Light Greens believe we should try to be good stewards, and the
Cornucopians take a strict economy-first approach. Ernst’s incisive and thought-provoking study pinpoints
the sticking points holding up environmental progress and offers a do’s-and-don’ts primer to effective
— Donna Seaman