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The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics

Overview

While climate change has become the dominant concern of the twenty-first century, global powers refuse to implement the changes required to reverse these trends. Rather, they have neoliberalized nature and climate change politics and discourse, indicating a more virulent strain of capital accumulation on the horizon. Adrian Parr calls attention to the problematic socioeconomic condition of neoliberal capitalism underpinning the world's environmental challenges, and she argues that, until we grasp the implications...

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The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics

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Overview

While climate change has become the dominant concern of the twenty-first century, global powers refuse to implement the changes required to reverse these trends. Rather, they have neoliberalized nature and climate change politics and discourse, indicating a more virulent strain of capital accumulation on the horizon. Adrian Parr calls attention to the problematic socioeconomic condition of neoliberal capitalism underpinning the world's environmental challenges, and she argues that, until we grasp the implications of neoliberalism's interference in climate change talks and policy, humanity is on track to an irreversible crisis.

Parr not only exposes the global failure to produce equitable political options for environmental regulation, but she also breaks down the dominant political paradigms hindering the discovery of a viable alternative. She highlights the neoliberalization of nature in the development of green technologies, land use, dietary habits, reproductive practices, consumption patterns, design strategies, and media. She dismisses the notion that the free market can solve debilitating environmental degradation and climate change as nothing more than a political ghost emptied of its collective aspirations. Parr decries what she perceives as a failure of the human imagination and an impoverishment of political institutions, and she ruminates on the nature of change and existence in the absence of a future. The sustainability movement, she argues, must engage more aggressively with the logic and cultural manifestations of consumer economics to take hold of a more transformative politics. If the economically powerful continue to monopolize the meaning of environmental change, she warns, new, more promising collective solutions to our problems will fail to take root.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

an engaging, hard-hitting critique of neoliberalism

Choice

an engaging, hard-hitting critique of neoliberalism

Radical Philosophy - Allan Stoekl

This book is a welcome addition to the spate of recent books on the ecological and resource calamities currently facing the planet. Unlike so many others -- one thinks in this context of authors as disparate as Bill McKibben and Richard Heinberg -- Parr analyses the crisis in the context of global inequality and social injustice.

Tom Fisher

I know of no other book in climate change/sustainability literature that applies Marxist thinking in the way this text does. Its greatest strength lies in its seeing how the diverse aspects of climate change and environmental damage all result from the same underlying forces: the neoliberal exploitation of resources and the appropriation of green solutions in order to continue that exploitation in a new guise.

Kenneth Surin

There is no other book like The Wrath of Capital currently available -- it is in a class of its own. It links the analysis of the current environmental crisis with political economy, and this in turn is connected with a certain configuration of the philosophical imagination. In itself this ambition is laudable, but what really matters is that Parr really does succeed in writing a book that establishes these linkages.

Karen Pinkus

Adrian Parr reminds us that even our best intentions as planetary stakeholders exist under the regime of neoliberalism -- a regime that the devastations of climate change and climate capitalism are only rendering more powerful day by day. Our will to do good is as subject to commodification as fossil fuels or carbon offsets, and those beautiful narratives of modernity are as distracting from authentic and radical change as any free market 'solutions' to the climate crisis. The Wrath of Capital wrenches us from the pleasant daydream of environmental ethics and reminds us, relentlessly, that any thought of greenhouse gas emissions as 'externality,' or of economics as distinct from the social and political, is pernicious.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231158282
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/4/2012
  • Series: New Directions in Critical Theory Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,419,984
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Adrian Parr is associate professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design and at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of Hijacking Sustainability, Deleuze and Memorial Culture: Desire, Singular Memory, and the Politics of Trauma, and New Directions in Sustainable Design (coedited with Michael Zaretsky).

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsList of AbbreviationsIntroduction: Business as Usual1. Climate Capitalism2. Green Angels or Carbon Cowboys?3. Population4. To Be or Not to Be Thirsty5. Sounding the Alarm on Hunger6. Animal Pharm7. Modern Feeling and the Green City8. SpillAfterword: In the Danger ZoneNotesBibliographyIndex

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