Increasingly, the most powerful voices on the planet - heads of state, corporations, global economists - are speaking in the name of environmentalism. Strange and scary days for an ecology movement that was conceived in fierce opposition to power. Fractured, as ever, by divisions and competing agendas, the movement must now confront the dangerous tendency of those in power to invoke nature's laws as a model for social well-being. Partly as a result of ecology's influence, biologism is back, and the specters of social Darwinism and Malthusian ideas about natural scarcity have begun to reinforce, if not translate into, calls for a reduction in rights and freedoms in our civil society. Andrew Ross's latest book of social and cultural criticism, The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life, questions the evangelical asceticism of much environmentalist thought, and calls for a renewal of the libertarian, post-scarcity tradition. With his sharp eye for the crucial cultural phenomena of our times, Ross's wry take on the contradictions of green politics is tempered by his commitment to dispel the ecology movement's public image as an anti-libertarian politics that always "says no," and preaches self-limitation rather than promising social fulfillment. He sees an ecological future of public affluence and not voluntary poverty, a world where nature is a participant in our social plans, and not an authority locking us into some incontrovertible fate.