Environmentalism isn't a rising tide, argue Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger -- it's a cyclical trend subject to the same forces affecting every other commodity. During boom times, they claim, consumer interest in green products soars, only to plummet again when hard times make people more self-interested. Some green trends, like conservation, can endure the bubble, but the writers suspect that may have more to do with saving money than saving the planet.

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