By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.
To mark the publication of Leonard Cohen's final book, The Flame, McClelland & Stewart is proud to reissue six beautiful editions of Cohen's cherished early works of poetry, many of which are back in print for the first time in decades. A freshly packaged new series for devoted Leonard Cohen fans and those who wish to discover one of the world's most adored and celebrated writers. Originally published by McClelland & Stewart in 1972, The Energy of Slaves is Cohen's fifth collection, and one of his most controversial. A dark and intense book, described by one critic as "deliberately ugly, offensive, bitter, anti-romantic," Cohen considered it a document of his struggle--"I've just written a book called The Energy of Slaves," he told an interviewer at the time, "and in there I say that I'm in pain." Bracing, challenging, and equally beautiful and off-putting, it remains one of his most compelling and complex works.
In Art & Energy, Barry Lord argues that human creativity is deeply linked to the resources available on earth for our survival. By analyzing art, artists, and museums across eras and continents, Lord demonstrates how our cultural values and artistic expression are formed by our efforts to access and control the energy sources that make these cultures possible.
The 2008 financial crisis has come to be known as the Great Crisis. Just when the world thought that, with the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Marxism would die and be buried, the Great Crisis of the first decade of the 21st century, has triggered a renewed interest in Marxism. This book looks at Marx’s seminal work – Capital, A Critique of Political Economy – from an energy perspective. By combining the thoughts of this great thinker with those of scholars on energy, both past and present, this book serves to enhance the scientific thought of Marx, by using energy as a conceptual and analytical tool. With the capitalist economy taking repeated beatings since 2008, mainstream economic science is also under critical scrutiny for the unpredictable manner in which it has thus far analysed the global capitalist system. The invisible hand and self-interest theses of Adam Smith and his adherents are proving to be unworthy of their 250 year ideological grip on mankind and the natural environment. The 500 year-old capitalist system itself is showing signs of wear and tear, and so are its sciences that have thus far attempted to analyse it, if not uphold it. With the growing acknowledgement of energy as a central entity in all of aspects of life, disciplines such as economics are giving rise to interdisciplinary sciences such as econophysics; and sociology may see a revival of its founding discipline – sociophysics. All disciplines, it seems, will have to incorporate energy as a field of study in their curricula. Marx’s thoughts in Capital are an amalgamation of science, philosophy, history, sociology, political economy, and anthropology, among others. Capital: An Energy Perspective provides a fresh look at the physical workings of the capitalist economy – by using Marx’s Capital as a framework of interpretation and analysis.
Spanning the past two hundred years, this book offers an alternative history of modernity that restores to fossil fuels their central role in the growth of capitalism and modernity itself, including the emotional attachments and real injuries that they generate and command. Everything about usâ€”our bodies, minds, sense of self, nature, reason, and faithâ€”has been conditioned by a global infrastructure of carbon flows that saturates our habits, thoughts, and practices. And it is that deep energy infrastructure that provides material for the imagination and senses and even shapes our expectations about what it means to be fully human in the twenty-first century. In Mineral Rites, Bob Johnson illustrates that fossil fuels are embodied today not only in the morning commute and in home HVAC systems but in the everyday textures, rituals, architecture, and artifacts of modern life. In a series of illuminating essays touching on such disparate topics as hot yoga, electric robots, automobility, the RMS Titanic, reality TV, and the modern novel, Johnson takes the discussion of fossil fuels and their role in climate change far beyond the traditional domains of policy and economics into the deepest layers of the body, ideology, and psyche. An audacious revision to the history of modernity, Mineral Rites shows how fossil fuels operate at the level of infrapolitics and how they permeate life as second nature.
These studies of Canadian authors fulfill a real need in the study of Canadian literature. Each monograph is a separately bound study of about 55 pages. Each contains a biography of the author, a description of the tradition and milieu that influenced the author, a survey of the criticism on the author, a comprehensive essay on all the author's key works, and a detailed bibliography of primary and secondary works.
The Metaphor of Celebrity is an exploration of the significance of literary celebrity in Canadian poetry. It focuses on the lives and writing of four widely recognized authors who wrote about stardom – Leonard Cohen, Michael Ondaatje, Irving Layton, and Gwendolyn MacEwen – and the specific moments in Canadian history that affected the ways in which they were received by the broader public. Joel Deshaye elucidates the relationship between literary celebrity and metaphor in the identity crises of celebrities, who must try to balance their public and private selves in the face of considerable publicity. He also examines the ways in which celebrity in Canadian poetry developed in a unique way in light of the significant cultural events of the decades between 1950 and 1980, including the Massey Commission, the flourishing of Canadian publishing, and the considerable interest in poetry in the 1960s and 1970s, which was followed by a rapid fall from public grace, as poetry was overwhelmed by greater popular interest in Canadian novels.
At Trickle Creek in northern Alberta, Wiebo Ludwig thought he’d buffered his tiny religious community from civilization, but in 1990 civilization came calling. A Calgary oil company proposed to drill directly in view of the farm’s communal dining room. Ludwig wrote letters, petitioned, forced public hearings, and discovered the provincial regulator cared little about landowners. After the oil company accidentally vented raw sour gas, Ludwig’s wife miscarried. Hostilities against the oil company began with nails on the roads, sabotaged well sites, and road blockades. They culminated in death threats, shootings, and bombings. The RCMP recruited a Ludwig acolyte as an informant, and in an attempt to establish the man’s credibility the police themselves blew up an equipment shack. Ludwig was charged with 19 counts of mischief, vandalism, and possession of explosives, and he was later convicted on five charges. This taut work of nonfiction, first published in 2002, won both a Governor General’s Award and the Arthur Ellis Award for True Crime Writing. With the escalation of oil and gas extraction over the past decade, the unsettling questions Saboteurs raises about individual rights, corporate power, police methods, and government accountability are more relevant than ever.