It may be said that political economy has produced its own antithesis in the movement for conservation. At the same time the structural pro cesses undermining the environment are frequently ignored in favour of less ‘political’ explanations o f poverty and dependency in the South. Environmentalism lacks a coherent political direction. T he central paradox considered in this book is that while development threatens the environment in very tangible ways, we are left without the moral or intellectual equipment to meet the challenge. Or are we? T his chapter examines some of the ways in which the development and environmental discourses are currently being conducted, and suggests a num ber o f new directions which these discourses could take.