The wrath of capital : neoliberalism and climate change politics / Adrian Parr.

by Parr, AdrianLooking glass.

Series: New directions in critical theory: Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Columbia University Press, [2013]Description: xii, 216 pages ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0231158289; 9780231158282 (hbk..Other title: Neoliberalism and climate change politics.Subject(s): Climatic changes -- Economic aspectsLooking glass | Climatic changes -- Political aspectsLooking glass | NeoliberalismLooking glass
Climate capitalism -- Green angels or carbon cowboys? -- Population -- To be or not to be thirsty -- Sounding the alarm on hunger -- Animal pharm -- Modern feeling and the green city -- Spill, baby, spill.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Although climate change has become the dominant concern of the twenty-first century, global powers refuse to implement the changes necessary to reverse these trends. Instead, they have neoliberalized nature and climate change politics and discourse, and there are indications of a more virulent strain of capital accumulation on the horizon. Adrian Parr calls attention to the problematic socioeconomic conditions 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 viable alternatives. 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.

Decrying what she perceives as a failure of the human imagination and an impoverishment of political institutions, Parr ruminates on the nature of change and existence in the absence of a future. The sustainability movement, she contends, 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 and more promising collective solutions will fail to take root.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Climate capitalism -- Green angels or carbon cowboys? -- Population -- To be or not to be thirsty -- Sounding the alarm on hunger -- Animal pharm -- Modern feeling and the green city -- Spill, baby, spill.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. xi)
  • List of Abbreviations (p. xiii)
  • Introduction: Business as Usual (p. 1)
  • 1 Climate Capitalism (p. 8)
  • 2 Green Angels or Carbon Cowboys? (p. 22)
  • 3 Population (p. 39)
  • 4 To Be or Not to Be Thirsty (p. 52)
  • 5 Sounding the Alarm on Hunger (p. 73)
  • 6 Animal Pharm (p. 88)
  • 7 Modern Feeling and the Green City (p. 111)
  • 8 Spill, Baby, Spill (p. 130)
  • Afterword: In the Danger Zone (p. 145)
  • Notes (p. 149)
  • Bibliography (p. 181)
  • Index (p. 205)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Parr (Univ. of Cincinnati) presents an engaging, hard-hitting critique of neoliberalism, arguing more transformative politics are needed to address climate change and sustainability problems worldwide but that a "Trojan horse" of market mechanisms under the dominant neoliberal paradigm prevents viable alternatives from emerging. Policies such as carbon-offset markets merely perpetuate existing inequalities in the global economy and preserve institutions too weak to challenge the status quo. Over eight chapters, along with an introduction and afterword, Parr claims an emphasis on deregulation, competition, individualism, and privatization are the root causes of climate change and broad environmental degradation. She contends "all individual actions taken to reduce emissions ... are mere theatrics," that installing green roofs on city hall or drinking tap water instead of bottled water are distractions with little impact. While she concedes those such as L. Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen offer "helpful practical options" with adjustments to the manufacturing process and energy efficiency, she argues market mechanisms fundamentally neglect the "violence embedded in capital accumulation." Subsequent chapters then target reproductive rights (chapter 3), drinking water (chapter 4), food scarcity (chapter 5), livestock production (chapter 6), and new urbanism (chapter 7). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections. M. M. Gunter Jr. Rollins College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Adrian Parr is Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Birth of a New Earth (Columbia, 2017) and The Wrath of Capital (Columbia, 2013), among other books.