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April 1, 2009
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A Contract with the Earth

Focusing the environmental debate on the principle of common commitment, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and eminent conservationist Terry L. Maple present A Contract with the Earth. They declare a need for bipartisan environmentalism—a new era of environmental stewardship with principles that they believe most Americans will share.

While acknowledging that liberals and conservatives do not see eye to eye on many issues, Gingrich and Maple argue successfully that environmental stewardship is a mainstream value that transcends partisan politics. Their thoughtful approaches to our environmental challenges are based on three main premises: environmental leadership is integral to America's role in the world, technologically savvy environmental entrepreneurs can and should be the cornerstone of environmental solutions, and cooperation and incentives must be dramatically increased to achieve workable and broadly supported environmental solutions.

Gingrich and Maple believe that most people—regardless of how they categorize themselves politically—are weary of the legal and political conflicts that prevent individuals and communities from realizing the benefits of environmental conservation. The foundation of the book—a ten-point Contract with the Earth—promotes ingenuity over rhetoric as the way forward.

About the Authors

Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999 and is widely heralded as the chief architect of the Republican Contract with America. Since his days as an environmental studies professor, he has been involved in a variety of environmental initiatives. Speaker Gingrich was the founding chair of the West Georgia College Chapter of the Georgia Conservancy. He has championed efforts to create the Chattahoochee River Greenway, protect the wild tigers of Asia, and establish the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Terry L. Maple is president and CEO of the Palm Beach Zoo and professor of conservation and behavior at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Maple is a former president of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a coeditor of Ethics on the Ark. He was president and CEO of Zoo Atlanta from 1985 to 2003.


"This serves as a useful reminder that the debate about environmental policy is far from over. Recommended for all libraries."—Library Journal

"'Ten commitments' call for politicians to abandon adversarial politics and for businessmen and conservationists to form 'compatible partnerships.'"—Publishers Weekly

"As a general proposal for protecting the Earth, A Contract with the Earth is a worthy read for the healthy debate it should stir."—Internet Review of Books

"The book could be influential in guiding the public onto a commendable environmental path."—Ecoviews

"A worthy read for the healthy debate it should stir."—Bob Sanchez, Internet Review of Books

"Kudos to Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple . . . Let's hope their ideas take root and grow."—Emmett Duffy, Natural Patriot

"Gore and Gingrich, both enjoying their 'elder' status, now must watch as their White House-hopeful juniors wrestle with their enviro-ideas. But here's a prediction: Those who follow Gingrich's techno-optimism will have an easier time than those who put on Gore's hair shirt."—James P. Pinkerton, Newsday

"Gingrich offers some good ideas."—E Magazine

"Give Newt a chance."—Katherine Mieszkowski, Salon

"Offers a new approach to the challenges of the twenty-first century."—NPR

"The book . . . has already garnered praise from the heads of such organizations as the Nature Conservatory and the Wildlife Society."—Greg Rienzi, Gazette

"Lays out [Gingrich's] earth-saving agenda."—Outside

"The fact that a Republican politician and a zoo executive have coauthored a book extolling the virtues of 'mainstream environmentalism' . . . underscores how much the green debate has shifted. . . A Contract with the Earth is an earnest call to deal with worldwide environmental problems, from disappearing species to ever-expanding roadside landfills."—Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Book World

"A Contract with the Earth is strong in outlining the tremendous proliferation of government/business environmental partnerships and the expansion of strategic, collaborative philanthropy on behalf of conservation."—G. Tracy Mehan III, Weekly Standard

"Emphasizing that American entrepreneurship can best drive environmental solutions."—Wildlife Conservation

"An important little book."—Thomas E. Lovejoy, Bioscience

"Although the authors readily acknowledge the scale and immediacy of the multiple threats facing global biodiversity and do not dispute the science of climate change, their tone is positive, not grave; encouraging, not dispairing."—Peter Ainsworth, Resurgence

"A bold initiative from an iconic conservative, offering proof that we could all stand united across traditional political boundaries as we forge the new ground rules for environmental survival."—Thomas Eisner, National Medal of Science, 1994

"Gingrich and Maple describe a hopeful future for our natural environment based on the dozens of conservation partnerships, acts of profound generosity, and entrepreneurial innovations described in their book. Theirs is a book full of energy, fueled by people and organizations acting on a commitment to nature in their everyday lives."—Steve McCormick, President, The Nature Conservancy

"Gingrich and Maple's A Contract with the Earth is an appeal for America—its government, industry, universities, nonprofit organizations, and citizens—to lead on environmental issues. Theirs is the kind of hopeful vision that has heretofore been missing from the discussion."—Michael Hutchins, Executive Director, The Wildlife Society

"Newt's a guy who has spent a lot of time wrestling with climate change and the environment. He reads about it, he teaches about it, he writes about it. We don't see eye to eye about everything, obviously, but that's what makes for a good debate."—Senator John F. Kerry, author of This Moment on Earth

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