Reading Matters

Ecosocialist Bookshelf, October 2019

New books for reds and greens. Climate Change Guide; After Geoengineering; Environment & Health; Canada’s Climate Failure; Whose Water is it? Air Travel 


Climate & Capitalism can’t review every book we receive, but this column lists and links to those that seem relevant to our mission, along with brief descriptions. Titles described here may be reviewed in future. Inclusion does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) these books say.


Robert Henson
THE THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE
University of Chicago Press, 2019
I’m constantly on the lookout for clear and up-to-date accounts of the climate change crisis. This book, produced by the American Meteorological Society, is one of the best I’ve found.The sections on Symptoms, Science, and Debates are very good. The discussion of Actions is weaker, but even that section provides a useful summary of mainstream thinking and proposals. Recommended.

Holly Jean Buck
AFTER GEOENGINEERING
Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration

Verso, 2019
A controversial book, worth reading. Buck argues innovative technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere are needed, but that climate restoration also requires social and economic transformation. She suggests a series of possible futures, and rejects the idea that technological solutions are some kind of easy workaround.

Jennifer Thomson
THE WILD AND THE TOXIC
American Environmentalism and the Politics of Health

University of North Carolina Press
Environmental crises and health problems are tightly connected. Addressing them requires mass-based progressive movements against neoliberalism and deregulation, but so long as individualist approaches to health prevail over communal understandings, we will continue to see near paralysis in the face of planetary disaster.

Robert MacNeil
THIRTY YEARS OF FAILURE
Understanding Canadian Climate Policy

Fernwood Publishing, 2019
The leaders of Canada’s two main political parties have been dubbed Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny. They continue three decades of failure to take effective action against greenhouse gas emissions, a delay that MacNeil says is due to a perfect storm of cultural, political and economic factors that have made a serious climate strategy impossible.

Maude Barlow
WHOSE WATER IS IT ANYWAY?
Taking Water Protection into Public Hands

ECW Press, 2019
Renowned water justice activist Maude Barlow recounts her own education in water issues as she and others woke up to the immense pressures facing water in a warming world. She offers a step-by-step guide to gaining community control of water, arguing that ordinary people can effect enormous change.

Hans A. Baer
AIRPLANES, THE ENVIRONMENT & THE HUMAN CONDITION
Routledge, 2019
Baer examines the aviation industry from an anthropological perspective, focusing on the sector’s environmental impact and the challenges facing attempts to shift to more sustainable solutions. He critically examines current efforts to mitigate the climatic impact of the air travel and argues that a significant move away from air transport may only be achieved through a more fundamental change in the world system.

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Posted in Books & Reports, Climate Change, Geoengineering, Health threats, water

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