Extreme Environment promises to provoke fresh - and spirited - debate about the modern environmental movement and the many ways in which environmentalism, media, economics, public policy and the politics of liberty intersect.

In order to reduce poverty and continue to raise living standards, a sensible, balanced approach to a healthy, productive environment is required. No country, but especially not those in the developing world, can afford to be manipulated by the self-interested moralising and alarmism perpetrated by some special interest groups. Exaggeration by environmentalists, many journalists and even some scientists causes undue fear and anxiety among those who don't already dismiss the green lobby for crying wolf. Worse, misinformation affects regulation and policymaking in ways that actively harm developing economies.

Starting with well-researched work questioning the claims of opponents to shale-gas drilling, or 'fracking', Ivo Vegter argues that public opinion and policy ought to be informed by accurate data and reasoned argument. Using a wide range of examples, from nuclear accidents and oil spills to food additives and agricultural chemicals, he demonstrates why we should be just as sceptical of the emotive rhetoric of environmentalists, which often turns out to be alarmist, or even false, as we are of corporate spin.

Globally relevant, but offering a unique perspective from a developing country - South Africa - this book is a must-read for every thinking person who cares about the world we live in.