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.
Five new books
CLIMATE CHANGE IS RACIST
Race, Privilege and the Struggle for Climate Justice
Icon Books, 2021
When we talk about racism, we often mean personal prejudice or institutional biases. Climate change doesn’t work that way. It is structurally racist, disproportionately caused by majority White people in majority White countries, with the damage unleashed overwhelmingly on people of colour. A short, urgent journey across the globe, from Kenya to India, the USA to Australia, to understand how White privilege and climate change overlap.
Andy Haines & Howard Frumkin
Safeguarding Human Health and the Environment in the Anthropocene
Cambridge University Press, 2021
We live in an epoch when human activities are driving multiple environmental changes including climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution of the air, soil and water. The authors explore the many environmental changes that undermine progress in human health, and discuss specific policies, technologies, and interventions that are needed to achieve the scale of change required.
Jacob Darwin Hamblin
THE WRETCHED ATOM
America’s Global Gamble With Peaceful Nuclear Technology
Oxford University Press, 2021
After the Second World War, the United States promoted civilian nuclear power as a peaceful and safe technology that would would cure diseases, produce new foods, make deserts bloom, and provide abundant energy for all. It was an immense gamble, and it was never truly peaceful. While the US promised peace and plenty, it planted the seeds of dependency and set in motion the creation of today’s expanded nuclear club.
Averting the Insect Apocalypse
An award-winning entomologist and conservationist explains the importance of insects to human survival, and offers a clarion call to avoid a looming ecological disaster caused by the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides. Goulson explores the intrinsic connections between climate change, nature, wildlife, and the shrinking biodiversity and analyzes the harmful impact for the earth and its inhabitants.
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A MINKE WHALE IN THE AMAZON
and Other Stories of the Brazilian Rainforest
Milkweed Editions, 2020
Intimate stories of life in the rainforest and its surrounding cities during an age of raging wildfires, mass migration, populist politics, and increasing deforestation. The people interviewed are often torn between ties with their ancestral territories and a push toward capitalist gains. Zuker captures the friction between their worlds and the resilience of movements for autonomy, self-definition, and respect for the land.
Four important articles
Three recent C&C book reviews