Monday, December 19, 2011

"Kivalina: A Climate Change Story"

From Haymarket Books: For the people of Kivalina, Alaska, the price of further climate change denial could be the complete devastation of their lives and culture. Their village must be relocated to survive, but neither the fossil fuel giants nor the U.S. government are willing to take full responsibility.

In this muckraking account of the peril faced by one small village, Christine Shearer unearths the toxic legacy of corporate denial, which stretches all the way back to the turn of the twentieth century. She reveals that Big Oil has hired the same legal firm previously responsible for limiting corporate culpability in the lawsuits that sought compensation for tobacco- and asbestos-related illnesses. Then, as now with the issue of climate change, their strategy revolved around consciously manipulating the scientific consensus and suppressing damaging discoveries. As the ocean slowly engulfs Kivalina, time is running out for the island’s inhabitants.

Christine Shearer is a researcher for CoalSwarm (part of SourceWatch) and the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has previously worked at the KPFA Radio Evening News, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. Her work has appeared in academic and media publications including Race, Gender & Class, Conservation Letters, and Newsweek. She holds a PhD in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara.

“This story is a tragedy, and not just because of what’s happening to the people of Kivalina. It’s a tragedy because it’s unnecessary, the product, as the author shows, of calculation, deception, manipulation, and greed in some of the biggest and richest companies on earth.”—Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“Christine Shearer’s Kivalina: A Climate Change Story is a fast and bumpy ride that begins with the history of outrageous corporate deceptions through public relations and legal campaigns, continuing with building of the coal-and-oil empire to fuel progress in the United States, leading to the horrendous politics of climate crisis, and finally arriving at its destination, a ground-zero of climate refugee, Kivalina — an Inupiat community along the Chukchi Sea coast of arctic Alaska. I was angry when I turned the last page. I urge you to get a copy, read it, share the story, and join the now global climate justice movement.” —Subhankar Banerjee, photographer, writer, activist, and author of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land...

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