Ecosocialist Bookshelf, July 2023

July 19, 2023
Ecosocialist Bookshelf
Graphic: Green Left

Wildfires, deadly heat, climate strategy, sensing the world, anti-science, mining resistance. Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus presents six important new books for reds and greens.

* * *

Fire Weather: The Making of A Beast
By John Vaillant
Alfred A Knopf, 2023
In May 2016, the city Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada’s tar sands industry, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster melted vehicles, turned entire neighbourhoods into firebombs, and drove 88,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. John Vaillant documents what happened and why, and argues that the Fort McMurray fire is a preview of life in a hotter, more flammable world. [Read a review in Green Left here.]

The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet
By Jeff Goodell
Little, Brown & Co., 2023
In June, the daytime temperature in parts of Iran passed 49ºC, the hottest ever recorded, too hot for human survival. Goodell shows how extreme heat, beyond anything humans have ever experienced, is already dramatically changing the world, impacting everything from food supply to disease outbreaks. If it isn’t stopped soon, global heating means global catastrophe.

Who Will Build The Ark? Debates on Climate Strategy from New Left Review
Benjamin Kunkel and Lola Seaton, editors
Verso, 2023
How can we stop global warming from destroying civilisation? In landmark texts first published by New Left Review, a range of radical thinkers debate left alternatives to runaway global heating, capitalist crisis and wider environmental breakdown. An important volume that clarifies the stakes in today’s key disputes between Green New Deal supporters and proponents of degrowth.

Sensational: A New Story of Our Senses
By Ashley Ward
Profile Books, 2023
It was long believed that humans have six senses, but modern science suggests we may have as many as fifty-three. We experience the material world through them — but how do they work, and how do they affect our actions and our interpretation of what happens around us? Blending biology and neuroscience, Ward provides an accessible guide to what we now know about how our senses work and affect our behaviour.

The Parrot And The Igloo: Climate and the Science of DeniaI
By David Lipsky
Norton, 2023
How did anti-science views and policies gain such a grip on American politics? The science of global warming has been well known for decades, but hucksters, zealots, and crackpots have lied about that science in ever more appalling ways. Lipsky traces the evolution of climate denial, exposing how it grew out of early efforts to build a network of untruth about products like aspirin and cigarettes.

The Heart Of Our Earth: Community Resistance to Mining in Latin America
By Tom Gatehouse
Practical Action Publishing, 2023
In recent decades, mining in Latin America has become far more powerful and destructive than anything seen before, expanding into remote and ecologically sensitive areas, transforming landscapes and destroying ancient communities. The victims have not accepted this passively; as Gatehouse shows, resistance has grown everywhere, and has won some impressive victories. An inspiring account of popular movements against capitalist ecocide.

[Reprinted from Climate and Capitalism. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement.]

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