The size and severity of the global climate crisis is such that even the most committed environmentalists can drift into a state of denial. The award-winning writers collected here have made it their task to shake off this nagging disbelief, bringing the incomprehensible within our grasp and shaping an emotional response to mankind's unwitting creation of a tough new planet. From T. C. Boyle's account of early eco-activists, to Nathaniel Rich's comic fantasy about a marine biologist haunted by his youth, and David Mitchell's vision of a near future where oil sells for $800 a barrel—these ten provocative, occasionally chilling, sometimes satirical stories bring a human reality to disasters of inhuman proportions.
Royalties from the sale of I'm with the Bears will go to 350.org, an international grassroots movement working to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
In this article, originally published on the Jacobin website, Andreas Malm (author of Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming) argues that ahead of COP21, and with Hollande's clampdown on protests around Paris in the weeks of the conference, that confronting climate change through militant resistence in the streets is more important than ever.
The climate negotiations entered their final day, and we geared up for our most audacious action. Several buses brought four hundred activists to different locations near the conference hall. Adrenaline running, we walked fast toward the gates and the guards. After a week of discussing sea level rise, eating vegan food, blocking car traffic, and marching in the streets dressed as polar bears and turtles, we were out to make a real difference.
This week's COP21 conference on climate change in Paris is being heralded by world leaders as a potential turning point in the Earth's ecological history. At the root of the consensus on the causes of climate change is a conception of man-made change that places humans, as an undifferentiated whole, as the cause of our current ecological plight. The solution which flows from this places the onus on small, ameliorative reforms (carbon trading, small decreases in omissions. etc). Yet, as Jason W. Moore argues in this extract from Capitalism in the Web of Life, to view climate change in this way naturalises inequalities, alienation and violence and lets the ultimate cause of the contemporary crisis, Capitalism, off the hook.
Also see our COP21: climate crisis reading list.