Since the dawn of the modern environmental movement, Frances Beinecke has been on its front lines, leading the charge for clean air, fresh water, healthy wildlife and fertile lands. As she prepares to retire as president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, The World We Create captures the story of her remarkable tenure as head of America’s leading environmental advocacy organization and lays out her vision for the future of the movement and the environmental challenges in the years ahead.
Beinecke (Clean Energy Common Sense), the outgoing president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, calls for significant changes in how the country approaches global warming issues. She cautions against a dependence on fossil fuels, championing alternative resources such as wind and solar power. With collaborator Deans (Reckless: The Political Assault on the American Environment), Beinecke lays out in fairly straightforward terms "the price we are paying and the risks we are facing to support our... catastrophic addiction to oil, gas and coal." For example, Beinecke bemoans the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, which dumped "170 million gallons of toxic crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico," affecting scores of marine animals and miles of natural shoreline, while essentially shutting down the area's three primary industries for months. She also offers a primer on the Keystone XL pipeline, remarking upon how it would pass "through states that together host more than 250,000 ranches and farms" and countless waterways, "from the Yellowstone River in Montana to Pine Island Bayou in Texas." The threats to our land and wildlife, Beinecke contends, are far too great and her work puts into sobering perspective our modern lifestyle's costs to the planet.