Reading matters

Ecososocialist Bookshelf, January 2019

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Start the new year with these new books for reds and greens. End of the Megafauna.
Brave New Arctic. The Big Heat. The End of Ice. Socialist Register 2019.

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Climate & Capitalism can’t review every book we receive, but this column lists and links to those that seem relevant to Climate & Capitalism’s mission, along with brief descriptions. Titles described here may be reviewed in future.

Please note: Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) these books say.

Ross D.E. MacPhee (author) and Peter Schouten (illustrator)
The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals

WW Norton, 2019
Until a few thousand years ago, gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and 2000-pound crocodiles lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. Many scientists blame human overhunting or climate change for their disappearance, but those theories don’t explain critical features of these extinctions. Combining beautiful illustrations with clear scientific analysis, End of the Megafauna shows how the prehistoric behemoths lived, and proposes new ways of understanding what happened to the megabeasts.

Mark C. Serreze
The Untold Story of the Melting North

Princeton University Press, 2018
In the 1990s, researchers in the Arctic realized that floating summer sea ice had begun receding. The director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows how scientists from around the globe came together to discover what was happening, and argues that the Arctic’s extraordinary transformation is a harbinger of things to come if we fail to meet the challenge posed by a warming Earth.

Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank
Earth on the Brink

AK Press, 2018
The earth has been brought to the brink by a greed-based predatory economic system that chews up anything in its path and spits it out to the bitter end. In this unflinching chronicle of the last fight that really matters, the editors of Counterpunch chart the battle lines for the future of the planet, from corporate villains to corrupt politicians to environmentalist activists.

Dahr Jamail
Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

The New Press, 2019
Travelling the world brought famed war reporter Dahr Jamail to the conclusion that the Earth is in “a hospice situation,” A first-hand chronicle, including photographs throughout of Jamail’s journeys across the world, of the catastrophic reality of our situation and the incalculable necessity of relishing this vulnerable, fragile planet while we still can.

Leo Panitch and Gregory Albo, editors
The World Turned Upside Down

Monthly Review Press and Merlin Press, 2019
For 55 years, the annual Socialist Register has been an essential source of insightful radical analysis of the key issues facing the left. This year, in 17 challenging essays, socialist academics attempt to make sense of a political conjunction defined by Donald Trump’s presidency, the continuing rise of China, and the growth of right-wing nationalism around the world.