Crimes against nature- Capitalism and global heating
By Jeff Sparrow
“We belong to the nature we alter”
Jeff Sparrow, a writer, editor and former socialist activist, writes a polemic novel describing how we have been hoodwinked by big business and capitalism. He argues that humans are dependent on nature no matter the technological advances. Unlike animals who alter nature to survive without conscious thought, our big brains let us choose. For example, we can choose to access water from a lake or build a well. We can build a hut for shelter or build a sky scraper.
The book is not an attack on us, the readers. Not all humans are ruinous, he assures us. “The unmaking of the continent resulted not from human activity so much as the wrong kind of human activity” pg 35. This can be seen through many examples including the evidence of how Indigenous Australians interacted with the land in comparison to the colonists.
Sparrow provides a brief history lesson that outlines some of the biggest tipping points in our journey to destroy the earth we live on. After World War Two, the economy needed to be reignited and so the message sold to us was ‘buy, buy, buy’. It was argued that to move the economy forward, consumption was necessary and that was the message we were sold.
Sparrow takes us through the invention of terms such as planned obsolescence, disposability, the carbon footprint and the jaywalker. His argument is clear: big corporations have been gaslighting the general public for decades- making us feel guilty for the things they have created and urging us to make sacrifices that will ultimately have no positive effect on the climate crisis. In simplified terms; they are pushing consumption while blaming the consumers for the consequences.
Crimes against nature is an enlightening novel that will ignite a passion to fire up against the lies we are being told. Through a calm and measured voice, Sparrow opens our eyes to the marketing tricks of the biggest corporations around the globe.
What's this about?
As a lover of books and a teacher, I read widely. Here you will find book reviews of many genres including picture story, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, women's fiction, short story anthologies, non-fiction and anything else that takes my fancy.