March 13, 2021
From Climate And Capitalism
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Ecosocialist Bookshelf is an occasional feature. We can’t review every book we receive, but we will list and link to any that seem relevant to Climate & Capitalism’s mission, along with brief descriptions. Books described here may be reviewed in future. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) these books say.


Jason Hickel
LESS IS MORE
How Degrowth Will Save the World

Windmill Books, 2020
Are ecosocialism and degrowth compatible, or contradictory, or some of both? Hickel’s book bases the degrowth argument firmly in an anti-capitalist framework, and the result is one of the best cases for degrowth we’ve seen. Ecosocialists may not agree with everything he says, but everyone who wants to understand this important radical current in environmentalism should read it.

Michael E. Mann
THE NEW CLIMATE WAR
The Fight to Take Back Our Planet

Public Affairs Books, 2021
Noted climate scientist Michael Mann shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to delay action on climate change, and offers his thoughts on battling the immensely powerful vested interests that are aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo.

Elizabeth Kolbert
UNDER A WHITE SKY
The Nature of the Future

Penguin Random House, 2021
Kolbert won the Pulitzer Prize for The Sixth Extinction. Her new book is about geoengineering — as she says, “about people trying to solve problems created by people trying to solve problems.” Informative and more than a little scary.

Jerry Studebaker
STILL STARVING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
The Hidden Origins of War, Oppression, and Inequality

John Hunt, 2021
An archaeologist argues that war, oppression and inequality originated 6000 years ago in Mesopotamia, and now seem to be permanent features of human nature. “They are not. And if humanity continues to believe they are, we risk the annihilation of our own species.” His solution: erasing starvation and starvation culture.

Maria Baker, Eva Ramirez-Llodra, Paul Tyler, editors
NATURAL CAPITAL AND EXPLOITATION OF THE DEEP OCEAN
Oxford University Press, 2020
The deep ocean, the planet’s largest biome, holds a wealth of potential natural assets. In eleven focused essays, marine scientists examine geological and physical processes, ecology, biology, and biogeography, and how they may be affected by exploitation, management, and conservation.

Jeremy M. Desilva, editor
A MOST INTERESTING PROBLEM
What Darwin’s Descent of Man Got Right and Wrong about Human Evolution

Princeton University Press, 2021
In 1871, in The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin attempted to explain human evolution. Some of his ideas have withstood more than a century of scrutiny while others have been decisively disproven. Twelve scholars and science communicators investigate what Darwin got right and wrong about the origin, history, and biological variation of humans, including the origins of civilization, human races, and sex differences.

Bill Gates
HOW TO AVOID A CLIMATE DISASTER
The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

Penguin Random House, 2021
Here’s a surprise: a technology capitalist thinks that climate change can be solved by … more technology and more capitalism! In his recent review, our friend Martin Empson says this book is valuable for “insights into how the capitalist ruling class thinks about climate change,” but “doesn’t even get to the heart of what that crisis is.” Money talks, so this book is getting lots of publicity, but it is not on our recommended reading list.




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