BY ROBERT BRYCE
In a simplistic and tedious new book, Andreas Malm argues that full Communism is the only cure for global warming.
Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, by Andreas Malm (Verso, 496 pp., $29.95)
Andreas Malm longs for the good old days. In his new book, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, Malm, who teaches human ecology at Lund University in Sweden, pines for a time when manufacturing depended on waterwheels instead of steam engines. Indeed, Malm spends more than 300 pages— about 75 percent of the text—discussing why English manufacturers abandoned waterwheels and replaced them with coal-fired steam engines. It’s worthwhile history. But in the hands of an avowed Marxist like Malm, it’s tedious sledding. In Malm’s view, the rise of the steam engine was little more than a ploy by evil capitalists to subjugate workers, and because of that, we are now all going to die from global warming.
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