How to Blow Up a Pipeline

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Pub Date 05 Jan 2021 | Archive Date 01 Dec 2020

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Property will cost us the earth

The science on climate change has been clear for a very long time now. Yet despite decades of appeals, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and peaceful demonstrations, we are still facing a booming fossil fuel industry, rising seas, rising emission levels, and a rising temperature. With the stakes so high, why haven't we moved beyond peaceful protest?

In this lyrical manifesto, noted climate scholar (and saboteur of SUV tires and coal mines) Andreas Malm makes an impassioned call for the climate movement to escalate its tactics in the face of ecological collapse. We need, he argues, to force fossil fuel extraction to stop--with our actions, with our bodies, and by defusing and destroying its tools. We need, in short, to start blowing up some oil pipelines.

Offering a counter-history of how mass popular change has occurred, from the democratic revolutions overthrowing dictators to the movement against apartheid and for women's suffrage, Malm argues that the strategic acceptance of property destruction and violence has been the only route for revolutionary change. In a braided narrative that moves from the forests of Germany and the streets of London to the deserts of Iraq, Malm offers us an incisive discussion of the politics and ethics of pacifism and violence, democracy and social change, strategy and tactics, and a movement compelled by both the heart and the mind. Here is how we fight in a world on fire.
Property will cost us the earth

The science on climate change has been clear for a very long time now. Yet despite decades of appeals, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and peaceful...

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How to Blow Up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm differs from other climate change reads because it informs the reader of different climate change movements. With this in mind, this particular book is a heavy movement-based. Thus, would compliment a book that focused on environmental laws to create foundational knowledge on the topic. Not only does this book look into past events but also recent occurrences. Further, the way that the book is written and structured makes it accessible to different levels or readers. More, the reader doesn’t need to have any background knowledge on the various topics because the events are well-illustrated to the reader. Books that revolve around climate change are critical for every reader because it’ll ultimately impact them. However, in the current climate, it is important to start taking global action before it isn’t salvageable anymore. In 2020, the emergence of weather anomalies like fire tornadoes in California had transpired. Meaning, climate change-related occurrences are on the horizon. Additionally, the masses should be informed of occurrences that have transpired and ways to combat them. Thus, the book highlights strategies that the overseas resistance implements to up against imperialist giants and gain their land back from oil development pipelines. Furthermore, this book could be used as a jumping-off point into getting more insight into discussions surrounding climate change or be helpful to a reader needing supplemental information for academic research papers.

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A thoughtful and very convincing take on climate activism and the failures of pacifist corporate appeasement. If you loved (and shuddered at) The Uninhabitable Earth, and think that Jonathan Franzen's climate fatalism is deeply annoying, this book is for you. I was also hoping Malm would critique the inherent classism and racism present in far too many environmentalist groups, and he does (though maybe not as much as I would have liked). Really illuminating read overall, I'll be recommending it to customers.

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