NYT's Tatiana Schlossberg (the daughter of Caroline Kennedy): How to Blow Up a Pipeline author Andreas Malm "argues that there should be room for tactics other than strict nonviolence and peaceful demonstrations — indeed, he is a bit contemptuous of those who offer strategic pacifism as a solution — and notes that fetishizing nonviolence in past protest movements sanitizes history, removing agency from the people who fought, sometimes violently, for justice, freedom and equality. Sure. But the problem with violence, even if it’s meant only to destroy “fossil capital,” is that ultimately it’s impossible to control."
Climate Depot note: The website of the publisher of the book, Verso books, asks, "why haven’t we moved beyond peaceful protest?" The publisher website explains: "[How to Blow Up a Pipeline author Andreas] Malm argues that the strategic acceptance of property destruction and violence has been the only route for revolutionary change."
"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."
New York Magazine climate reporter David Wallace-Wells, also provided a featured review of Malm's book: “If a livable world requires an all-over transformation, where and when and how do we start? Perhaps with this book, a provocative manifesto from the pioneering theorist of the climate age.” – David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth
In 2010, NASA's former lead climate scientist also endorsed a similar sounding book. See: James Hansen declared author 'has it right...the system is the problem' -- Book proposes 'razing cities to the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas emissions machine'
2013: Video: Eco-Terror Threats Issued at Rally: Climate Depot attended: ‘We will dismantle the Pipeline’ sign prominently displayed at rally — ‘By any means necessary’
HOW TO BLOW UP A PIPELINE
By Andreas Malm
200 pp. Verso. Paper, $19.95.
In September 2019, millions of people around the world participated in nonviolent demonstrations demanding action on climate change. Over and over again, politicians and business leaders have said that we face an existential threat. And yet, from 2017 to 2019 investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure projects have grown. To become profitable (and then some), these new projects will pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for decades.
Meanwhile, the polar icecaps melt, sea levels rise, hundreds of thousands of species may go extinct, fires rage, hurricanes boil, people continue to suffer and die.
“To say that the signals have fallen on the deaf ears of the ruling classes of this world would be an understatement. If these classes ever had any senses, they have lost them all,” writes Malm, a Swedish professor of human ecology and climate change activist, in his compelling but frustrating treatise.
A proportionate and rational response, Malm argues, should be to target fossil fuel infrastructure: Destroy fences around a power plant; occupy pipeline routes, as protesters did for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines; at coal mines or similar sites, set up climate camps, which Malm believes are effective as laboratories for activism and for shutting things down by putting bodies on the line.
He also advocates powerfully against despair and powerlessness. One of the most satisfying parts of his book comes when he brutally dispatches with “climate fatalists” like Jonathan Franzen, who argue that we should all just give up. “Climate fatalism is for those on top,” Malm writes. “Its sole contribution is spoilage.”
So Malm wants us to fight back (though I should add that there aren’t any actual instructions here about how to blow anything up).
He argues that there should be room for tactics other than strict nonviolence and peaceful demonstrations — indeed, he is a bit contemptuous of those who offer strategic pacifism as a solution — and notes that fetishizing nonviolence in past protest movements sanitizes history, removing agency from the people who fought, sometimes violently, for justice, freedom and equality.
Sure. But the problem with violence, even if it’s meant only to destroy “fossil capital,” is that ultimately it’s impossible to control.
Tatiana Schlossberg is the author of “Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have.”
New York Times Reviews Book Advocating Blowing Up Pipelines to Combat Climate Change – Excerpt: Schlossberg calls it “a compelling but frustrating treatise.” She says, “one of the most satisfying parts of his book comes when he brutally dispatches with ‘climate fatalists.’” (Perhaps when reviewing a book that endorses blowing stuff up, the words “brutally” and “dispatches” should be avoided.) She loves how Malm writes that “climate fatalism is for those on top.” But here’s the poster girl for white privilege, a roving global correspondent born “on top,” promoting violence against energy companies, which provide jobs to Americans in flyover states much less privileged than she is.
NY Times Keeps Reporter On Energy Beat Despite Tweet Linking Industry to ‘White Supremacy’
Energy and Race: The Media’s New Intersectionality – ‘Before Trump, Republicans were losing the energy war by not fighting it’ – Rupert Darwall: Before Trump, Republicans were losing the energy war by not fighting it. “Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil,” President George W. Bush declared in January 2008. The transition from the Bush to the Obama presidency was well-nigh seamless in this regard. “We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy,” President Obama said in his first address to Congress.
NYT climate reporter: ‘I’ve been thinking a lot about fossil fuels and white supremacy recently’ – At the beginning of this month, the reporter, Hiroko Tabuchi, tweeted: “I’ve been thinking a lot about fossil fuels and white supremacy recently. Almost every single oil executive, lobbyist, spokesperson I’ve dealt with is white and male. It’s difficult not to see the link.”
In a tweet in June, she observed that the industry is white and, therefore, that’s a problem. In September she linked police violence and the oil and gas industry. Ten years ago, she tweeted that “Toyota sucks.”
It is important to know that Ms. Tabuchi covers the oil and gas industry for The Times, as climate change is her specific beat. Given the centrality of oil and gas to this election, that seems very important. It is a clear conflict of interest, and one that the editors have known or should have known about for some time.
Lund University academic: ‘To Halt Climate Change, We Need an Ecological Leninism’ – ‘State power should definitely be used’ to ban SUVs & private jets
Andreas Malm is in the human ecology division at Lund University: “The whole strategic direction of Lenin after 1914 was to turn World War I into a fatal blow against capitalism. This is precisely the same strategic orientation we must embrace today — and this is what I mean by ecological Leninism. We must find a way of turning the environmental crisis into a crisis for fossil capital itself.” …
“There was a moment in March 2020 when many of us in the climate justice movement felt a degree of surprise to find that governments in Europe and elsewhere were prepared to basically shut down their entire economies in an effort to contain the pandemic. This is striking, given that the same states had never contemplated undertaking any kind of intervention in the economy for the sake of the climate crisis.”
COVID ‘is an opportunity”: “This is an opportunity in the sense that it has brought about a temporary cessation of many of the most environmentally damaging activities, mass aviation has been suspended, carbon emissions have declined, fossil fuels are remaining in the ground, and so on. This is a moment where we can say to governments: “If you were able to intervene to protect us from the virus, you can intervene to protect us from the climate crisis as well, the implications of which are much worse.” The current juncture therefore provides us with an opportunity to oppose the return to business as usual, to push for the transformation of the global economy and the launch of something like a Green New Deal.”…
“State power should definitely be used to prevent luxury emissions perpetrated by the rich — private jets should be banned outright, as should SUVs and other vehicles that consume completely indefensible amounts of fuel. This is low-hanging fruit for the climate justice movement, as these sources of emissions are among the least socially necessary.” …
“Some forms of consumption will indeed have to be limited or abolished outright — this cannot be done through markets or appeals to ethical consumption, but only through state regulation.” …
“While it may seem utopian at this stage, it is important to make the proposition of closing down institutions designed to survey and control populations and repurpose them to attack capital, closing down the sources of global warming and zoonotic transmission. In the book, for example, I propose that we abolish border agencies and turn them into institutions for cracking down on the wildlife trade.”
The Socialists’ Plan for ‘Ecological Leninism’
The world is heating up and we face a global pandemic. Neither of these assertions is to be questioned, says Malm. “Science” tells us that they are true, and that is that. What causes these problems? The answer, you will not be surprised to learn, is capitalism. Marx long ago predicted that capitalism would collapse because capitalists, greedy for profit, would expand production to a greater extent than the market could absorb. The revisionist Marxist Eduard Bernstein objected that capitalism had so far surmounted its crises and hadn’t collapsed, but Rosa Luxemburg, another heroic figure for Malm, had high hopes for future disaster.