Consistent with its mission to inform, educate, and inspire action on behalf of wild nature, the Foundation for Deep Ecology launched, soon after its founding, an in-house publishing program. Between its first title, Clearcut: The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry (published by Sierra Club Books in 1993), and its latest, ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth (fall 2012, in collaboration with Watershed Media and Post Carbon Institute), the foundation has conceived, produced, and funded a series of books on ecological issues. In the tradition pioneered by legendary conservationist David Brower who used exhibit format books to support the Sierra Club’s advocacy work in the 1960s, FDE staff and colleagues have modernized the genre, producing award-winning books to bolster activism.
Widely divergent in their focus, the FDE-produced campaign books all share a common perspective: the assaults on wild nature, whether from industrial forest clearcuts or monoculture farming or mountaintop-removal coal mining, are symptoms of a globalized industrial growth economy that everywhere is chewing up the planet’s beauty and biodiversity. All of these atrocities stem from a flawed worldview and the social and economic systems it has spawned.
Doug Tompkins, during his years building Esprit into a leading fashion company, had developed two exhibit-format books that won awards for their innovative design. When he became immersed in conservation activism, he recognized how a large-scale combination of dramatic photographs, attention-grabbing captions, and informative essays could draw attention to previously overlooked environmental battles. More than simply an effective campaign tool, the foundation’s publishing program aims to raise the level of activism on conservation issues through systematically laying out the arguments against various deleterious practices and industries and bearing witness to the widespread destruction they create. Two decades of experience now confirm the effectiveness of this format.
The foundation's publishing team has also produced beautiful, celebratory books such as Wildlands Philanthropy and Corcovado: Chile's Wilderness Jewel, intended to promote parklands conservation. Several other similar book projects are currently in development, including volumes that will celebrate Monte León National Park and Perito Moreno National in Argentina. The FDE publishing program is also developing new activism-oriented titles, including books on human overpopulation and the social and ecological consequences of militarism.
Click here to read more about our published books.