"The author presents important material that is new to environmental history, to intellectual history as well as to studies of Japan. He shows that Japan has a long history of environmental disasters and gives some sense of why this has been so. His individual case studies (Tanaka, Ishikawa and Kurosawa) are well selected. And his conclusions about the limitations of liberal democracy and of liberalism in any form are illuminating, thoughtful accurate and sobering. Nature does not care whether politicians or a majority of the population they lead recognize the greater frequency of extreme weather–including global warming–or not. These things are happening and surely require a far stronger response than any counter-measures that have been proffered up to now."–James Bartholomew "TLS"