Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism Released by Polaris Books


New York, New York (December 9, 2016): Polaris Books has just released Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism, co-written by NAS director of research projects Rachelle Peterson and NAS president Peter Wood. Sustainability, which was originally released as an NAS report in March 2015, is now available as a print-on-demand book, ready for purchase on and at bookstores nationwide.

This book offers the first in-depth critical account of the campus sustainability movement. “Sustainability” is a key idea on college campuses in the United States and the rest of the Western world. To many, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism. But the word has come to mean something much larger: an ideology that demands new limits on economic, political, and intellectual freedom as the price that must be paid to ensure the welfare of future generations. 

Sustainability offers an inside look at the origins of the sustainability movement and its foothold on college campuses. The book has been well received by early reviewers.

Robert Bryce, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute, and author, most recently, of Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong:

“Sustainability” is a squishy term that reeks of political correctness, corporate speak, and rent seeking. In this worthwhile book, Peter Wood and Rachelle Peterson have ably documented the on-campus sustainability fad – and not a moment too soon.

Myron Ebell , Director, Center for Energy and Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute:

Peter Wood and Rachelle Peterson’s book is an outstanding survey and analysis of one of the most bogus intellectual fads to infect American universities in recent decades—the so-called sustainability movement.  Their recommendations for dealing with this destructive claptrap should be discussed at all institutions that still value liberal learning.   

Steven Hayward, Visiting Scholar, University of California – Berkeley, Institute for Governmental Studies:

"Sustainability" is popular because of its vagueness. It's not even the environmental equivalent of Justice Potter Stewart's famous line about pornography—"I can't define it, but I know it when I see it." Sustainability has no rigorous definition or analytical precision, which is why no one objects to it—no one, that is, except for people who value serious thinking over feel-good trivializing, like the National Association of Scholars.

Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism is the prequel to Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels, released by the National Association of Scholars in November 2015.

Rachelle Peterson, co-author of Sustainability, commented, “’Sustainability’ is a key term in contemporary culture, and all informed Americans should understand its implications. I am grateful to Robert Zubrin and Polaris Book for making this book available to a wider audience.”

To purchase a copy of Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism, please visit

Contact: Rachelle Peterson, director of research projects, National Association of Scholars, and co-author, Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism / (917) 551-6770 /

About the National Association of Scholars: The National Association of Scholars upholds the standards of a liberal arts education that fosters intellectual freedom, searches for the truth, and promotes virtuous citizenship. To learn more about NAS, visit

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