Five new books for green lefts and left greens. Cuban science fiction … the birth of the Anthropocene … agribusiness and disease … surviving catastrophe … rising seas … private plunder of public assets.
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 an excerpt from the publishers’ descriptions. Titles listed here may be reviewed in future.
THE BIRTH OF THE ANTHROPOCENE
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.
Agustín de Rojas
THE YEAR 200
Finally available in English! The cult classic from the godfather of Cuban science fiction, Agustín 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
Dispatches on Infections Disease, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science
Monthly Review Press
Rob Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations, juxtaposing 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.
Stan Cox and Paul Cox
HOW THE WORLD BREAKS
Life in Catastrophe’s Path, from the Caribbean to Siberia
The New Press
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.
Orrin H. Pilkey, Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, and Keith C. Pilke
RETREAT FROM A RISING SEA
Hard Choices in an Age of Climate Change
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.
Infrastructure, Financial Extraction and the Global South
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. This book explains how this “licensed larceny” is carried out, and provides insights on how activists can respond.