Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Green Seduction

Green Seduction: Money, Business, and the Environment

Copyright Date: 2007
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Green Seduction
    Book Description:

    Bill Streever has worked in almost every camp involved with the environment. He is a scientist who has worked in both public and private sectors. He brings that wide experience and the perspective of many others like him toGreen Seduction: Money, Business, and the Environment.

    Thirty-five years ago, polluted rivers burned, cities and farms dumped raw sewage into aquifers, highway and dam construction proceeded with little thought to environmental impact, and carcinogens and acids billowed from smokestacks. Today much has changed. Government jobs and university training programs exist in environmental studies. Nonprofit organizations serve as watchdogs on government agencies, buy land for conservation, and offer advice and criticism to the corporate world. Environmental consulting is a profession, and in industry, environmental departments have developed. Since the late 1960s, environmentalism has grown from a radical movement to a mainstream business sector that spends more than two hundred billion dollars each year.

    Following environmental workers on the job, Streever guides readers across a California Superfund site, through the New Orleans water system, into wetlands created in Washington, D.C., suburbs, through a south Georgia carpet plant, and elsewhere. Through these firsthand experiences,Green Seductionoffers a new appreciation of what businesses have invested in the environment and what the benefits may be from that investment.

    Bill Streever has worked as a research ecologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Newcastle in Australia.

    eISBN: 978-1-60473-143-9
    Subjects: Environmental Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-2)
    (pp. 3-13)

    As a younger man, Grant Ferrier dreamed of changing the world. With a Berkeley engineering degree, he hoped to pursue graduate research on solar energy. At the time—this was in the early eighties—he believed that America would look past cost barriers and invest heavily in an alternative to fossil fuels. Although not driven by the pursuit of personal wealth, he foresaw a bright future. He foresaw a career rewiring the nation, pulling the fuse on coal-fired power plants, extinguishing the flames of petroleum fires, and, in the end, leaving the world a better place.

    None of this worked...

    (pp. 14-34)

    The inside of Mike Rolband’s Ford truck smells like wet dogs, and golden retriever sheddings cover the seats and stick to my jacket. Often, the dogs attend site visits with Mike, apparently riding in the front seat, where I sit now, but today the dogs are looking after the office. Mike and I, dogless, drive through a Washington suburb talking about Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc., Mike’s company. We are on our way to Sunrise Valley Nature Park, a wetland park with a boardwalk, made to compensate for wetlands destroyed by the townhouses carpeting this neighborhood.

    Mike does not know...

    (pp. 35-60)

    Things do not always go as one might hope. The Crown Jewel Mine, 160 miles northwest of Seattle, was undeniably controversial. Knowing that it was controversial, the Battle Mountain Gold Company, which owned the Crown Jewel Mine, had retained expertise to gather and interpret the biological facts surrounding the project. And knowing that it was controversial, they were not unduly surprised by the billboards along the road decrying the mine. Likewise, they were not surprised by the standing-room-only crowd at a public meeting about the mine. On the other hand, the people in costumes—six-foot-tall owls and mountains with legs—...

    (pp. 61-90)

    Just behind Gordon Austin, a sizable chunk of the Mississippi River makes a sharp left detour on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. The city of New Orleans siphons off a hundred million gallons a day, sucking it in through six oversized soda straws, the smallest more than big enough to swim through. As the water flows downhill from the river to the city, mud will be removed and chlorine will be added. The cleansed river will wash cars, water lawns, slake thirsts, bathe sweaty bodies, flush toilets, extinguish fires, and dilute cheap liquor on Bourbon Street. After use,...

    (pp. 91-117)

    In the early 1980s, the air stunk around the small mountain of waste. This was not your normal Los Angeles stink, but something more insidious. To the extent that a smell can be sinister, it was. The smell came from the Operating Industries Incorporated Site, more often called simply the OII Site, an abandoned mound of garbage ten miles east of downtown Los Angeles, about midway between the surf beaches and the mountains. In part, the smell came directly from the landfill, slithering down the two-hundred-foot slopes to homes with yards abutting the toes of the mound. But the smell...

    (pp. 118-140)

    I follow Sean Skaling into an office building in Anchorage, Alaska. His task here is to inspect the building, to assess whether or not it measures up in terms of environmental performance. Sean, in his thirties, is boyishly handsome, with thick dark hair and, almost always, with the hint of a smile shining at the corners of his eyes. He runs an organization called Green Star, a nonprofit, like Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Unlike these mega-nonprofits—groups sometimes called Big Green, in reference to their environmental aspirations, their size, and...

    (pp. 141-168)

    Joe Kubsh’s journey into air was direct: He has a PhD from work on smokestack technologies. Dave Foerter’s journey was less direct: He eased into air from biology and toxicology, working at one point on the Chesapeake Bay Program, then moving into a transportation program that carried him naturally into smog. The two men work for sister trade associations, Joe for the Manufacturers of Emissions Controls Association and Dave for the Institute for Clean Air Companies. Both refer to their organizations by acronyms: MECA and ICAC. When they are not traveling—less than most of the time—they share the...

    (pp. 169-189)

    Ray Anderson may be the chief executive officer of Interface Carpet, but everyone, including plant workers, refers to him as “Ray,” as though he had just been by for dinner the night before. And now, in an executive suite twenty floors over Atlanta, this unassuming man draws a rough sketch: a circle surrounded by a box, with three arrows pointing into the circle and three arrows pointing out of the circle. He labels the circle “economy” and the box “environment.” I take the paper, fold it, and tuck it between the leaves of my notebook, not realizing until later that...

    (pp. 190-204)

    Resources for the Future, a nonprofit organization formed during the Truman administration, has its own building fifteen blocks north of the White House. In Truman’s time, people worried that the world was running out of basic resources, things like aluminum and iron and oil. In its early days, scholars at Resources for the Future showed that advances in technology and continued discovery of new materials would more than compensate for resource scarcity, but they recognized that ever increasing use of resources would come with increasing environmental costs. While there might be enough aluminum and iron and oil, there might not...

  12. INDEX
    (pp. 205-211)