Crimes Against Nature: Capitalism and Global Heating


A polemic about global warming and the environmental crisis, which argues that ordinary people have consistently opposed the destruction of nature and so provide an untapped constituency for climate action.

Crimes Against Nature uses fresh material to offer a very different take on the most important issue of our times. It takes the familiar narrative about global warming — the one in which we are all to blame — and inverts it, to show how, again and again, pollution and ecological devastation have been imposed on the population without our consent and (often) against our will. From histories of destruction, it distils stories of hope, highlighting the repeated yearning for a more sustainable world.

In the era of climate strikes, viral outbreaks, and Extinction Rebellion, Crimes Against Nature moves from ancient Australia to the ‘corpse economy’ of Georgian Britain to the ‘Kitchen Debate’ of the Cold War, to present an unexpected and optimistic environmental history — one that identifies ordinary people not as a collective problem but as a powerful force for change.

‘Sparrow is one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals, and Crimes Against Nature is both provocative and deeply considered … Get ready for a myth-shattering call to arms.’

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SKU: 9781922310705


‘Sparrow tells these stories with the lucidity and animation of a true crime podcast. He dissects the reactionary nature of placing mankind in opposition to nature: it not only erases millennia of Indigenous peoples’ relative harmony with the natural world, but seeks to preserve nature for the select few destroying it for everyone else. He is fearless too in his criticism of progressives who write off their fellow citizens as uncaring and complicit in global warming. That corporations invested in such sophisticated public relations campaigns shows they “understand something about ordinary peoples that escapes many environmentalists”: that ordinary people are not “innately greedy or selfish” … Amid the doom and gloom of so much contemporary environmentalism, this is worthy of applause.’

‘I find it difficult to read about climate change at the moment, because the problem feels overwhelming and ultimately fatal to all of us. But Crimes Against Nature: Capitalism and Global Heating promises hope.’

Additional information

Weight 330 g
Dimensions 23.4 × 15.3 × 1.7 cm

Sparrow, Jeff