14 May 2021 — Origin: Climate & Capitalism
Seven new books about capitalist environmental destruction and the fight to save the earth
Ecosocialist Bookshelf is a monthly column, hosted by Ian Angus. Books described here may be reviewed at length in future. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that C&C agrees with everything (or even anything!) these books say.
Kill the corporation before it kills us
Manchester University Press, 2020
In face of devastating climate change, the business plans of fossil fuel giants assume a five-degree increase in global temperature, an increase that will kill millions, if not billions. Whyte argues that the problem won’t be solved by tinkering around the edges, and proposes a plan to end the corporate death-watch.
The Red Nation
THE RED DEAL
Indigenous action to save our Earth
Common Notions, 2021
A program for Indigenous liberation, life, and land The Red Deal insists that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable. Not a response to the Green New Deal, it’s an appeal to the humble people of the earth, a pact to strive for peace and justice, and a declaration that movements for justice must come from below and to the left.
Andreas Malm and the Zetkin Collective
WHITE SKIN, BLACK FUEL
On the danger of fossil fascism
The first systematic inquiry into the political ecology of the far right in the climate crisis. Focusing on Europe but extending to the US and Brazil, it examines how a far-right “environmentalism” is coming to prominence in this time of planetary danger. What would it mean to live in a world that is both hotter and further to the right? How can the growing threat of fossil fascism be stopped?
The Everglades and Big Sugar
John Hopkins University Press, 2021
A century ago, the Everglades, one of the largest wetlands in the world, covered over 3 million acres. Today, it is half that size and shrinking. Efforts to stop the destruction are resisted by the big sugar corporations whose profits depend on wrecking the wetland ecosystem. The Everglades are both a model and a warning for environmental restoration efforts everywhere.
Thomas Robertson, Richard Tucker, Nicholas Breyfogle, & Peter Mansoor, Editors
NATURE AT WAR
American environments and World War II
In World War II, the US military-industrial complex drove a quantitative and qualitative leap in resource use, with lasting implications for American government, science, society, health, and ecology. Twelve essays contribute to an in-depth understanding of the the roots of the Great Acceleration and the Cold War.
NOT ON MY WATCH
How a renegade whale biologist took on governments and industry to save wild salmon
Penguin Random House Canada, 2021
An insightful and passionate account of a life well-lived. As a scientist, Alex Morton has led in documenting the infectious diseases and parasites that pour from fish farms on Canada’s west coast, and proving their disastrous impact on wild salmon and the entire ecosystem. As an activist over three decades, she has played a key role in the uprising of Indigenous societies against governments that wouldn’t obey their own court rulings.
Jocelyn C. Zuckerman
How palm oil ended up in everything and endangered the world
New Press, 2021
Palm oil production has nearly doubled in the last decade and some form of it lurks in half the products on U.S. grocery shelves. The palm oil revolution has been built on stolen land and slave labor; it’s swept away cultures and devastated the landscapes of Southeast Asia. Planet Palm blends history, science, politics, and food as seen through the people whose lives have been upended by this hidden ingredient.