Ecosocialist bookshelf: five new books worth reading

August 14, 2016
System change not climate change
System change not climate change.

Five new books for green lefts and left greens — as compiled by ecosocialist site Climate & Capitalism, which is edited by Facing the Anthropocene author Ian Angus.

It features Cuban science fiction, the birth of the Anthropocene, agribusiness and disease, surviving catastrophe, rising seas and the private plunder of public assets.

* * *

The Birth of the Anthropocene
Jeremy Davies
University of California Press

This epochal transformation puts the deep history of the planet at the heart of contemporary environmental politics. By opening a window onto geological time, the idea of the Anthropocene changes our understanding of present-day environmental destruction and injustice. Linking new developments in earth science to the insights of world historians, Jeremy Davies shows that as the Anthropocene epoch begins, politics and geology have become inextricably entwined.

The Year 200
Agustin de Rojas
Restless Books

Finally available in English. The cult classic from the godfather of Cuban science fiction, Agustin de Rojas's The Year 200, takes place 200 years after the Communist Federation defeated the capitalist empire. It is both a visionary sci-fi masterwork and a bold political parable about the perils of state power.

Big Farms Make Big Flu
Rob Wallace
Monthly Review Press

Rob Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations. It juxtaposes ghastly phenomena such as attempts at producing featherless chickens with microbial time travel and neoliberal ebola. Wallace also offers sensible alternatives to lethal agribusiness, some of which are already in practice off the agribusiness grid.

How The World Breaks
Stan Cox & Paul Cox
The New Press

This book offers a new view of crisis and recovery on the unstable landscapes of the Earth's hazard zones. Father and son authors Stan and Paul Cox take us to the explosive fire fronts of overheated Australia, the future lost city of Miami, the fights over whether and how to fortify New York City in the wake of Sandy, the Indonesian mud volcano triggered by natural gas drilling, and other communities that are reimagining their lives after quakes, superstorms, tornadoes and landslides.

Retreat From a Rising Sea
Orrin H. Pilkey, Linda Pilkey-Jarvis & Keith C. Pilke
Columbia University Press

By the end of this century, hundreds of millions of people living at low elevations along coasts will be forced to retreat to higher and safer ground. This big-picture, policy-oriented book explains in gripping terms what rising oceans will do to coastal cities and the drastic actions we must take now to remove vulnerable populations.

Licensed Larceny: Infrastructure, Financial Extraction & the Global South
Nicholas Hildyard
Manchester University Press

This book shows how essential infrastructure in the world's poorest countries — roads, bridges, hospitals, ports and railways — is being captured by finance and converted into a source of guaranteed income for the world's richest corporations and individuals. The book explains how this “licensed larceny” is carried out and provides insights on how activists can respond.

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