New Book: Andreas Malm’s, How to Blow Up a Pipeline

Latest from Andreas Malm moves from his initial work in history (Fossil Capital), to the polemical conceptual book (Progress of this Storm) to a call for civil disobedience.

From the Publisher’s website:

9781839760259Property will cost us the earth

The science on climate change has been clear for a very long time now. Yet despite decades of appeals, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and peaceful demonstrations, we are still facing a booming fossil fuel industry, rising seas, rising emission levels, and a rising temperature. With the stakes so high, why haven’t we moved beyond peaceful protest?

In this lyrical manifesto, noted climate scholar (and saboteur of SUV tires and coal mines) Andreas Malm makes an impassioned call for the climate movement to escalate its tactics in the face of ecological collapse. We need, he argues, to force fossil fuel extraction to stop–with our actions, with our bodies, and by defusing and destroying its tools. We need, in short, to start blowing up some oil pipelines.

Offering a counter-history of how mass popular change has occurred, from the democratic revolutions overthrowing dictators to the movement against apartheid and for women’s suffrage, Malm argues that the strategic acceptance of property destruction and violence has been the only route for revolutionary change. In a braided narrative that moves from the forests of Germany and the streets of London to the deserts of Iraq, Malm offers us an incisive discussion of the politics and ethics of pacifism and violence, democracy and social change, strategy and tactics, and a movement compelled by both the heart and the mind. Here is how we fight in a world on fire.


  1. I suspect there are many reasons revolution will happen. Besides climate change, there is skyrocketing inequality, worsening corruption, destabilizing forces of technology, and much else. I don’t think we can avoid revolution at this point. My sense is that no one really wants revolution. But it is irrelevant what anyone wants. Revolution is not a cause but an effect, a consequence of choices made, paths taken.

    We had many opportunities to seek reform within the system that would have prevented revolution. For whatever reason, we were unable or unwilling to take the needed action. Revolution will do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves, force transformative change. We have sealed our own fate. Revolution is inevitable at this point. That isn’t to say it will be successful or beneficial. We are simply beyond the point of no return.

    • Ben! It’s been so many years since we last communicated. It’s Michael (from the SR blogging, Archive Fire days). Do you have a twitter account? Would love to connect.

      • It’s been a long long time. I just now jumped over to your blog. After perusing some of the titles, I became one of your followers.

        I’ve been feeling a bit on the ‘radical’ side lately. My tolerance for the reactonary has grown ever more thin. And it seems pointless to debate so many issues when the divides of opinion are stark. Communication seems impossible.

        That fits the mood of this post here about how do we seek actual change that so desperately needed when so many other courses of action failed again and again. I don’t know that I have a good answer, but one way or another we need to show effective strength.

        I do have social media accounts, including Twitter. But I’ve mostly given up on social media. I’ve become a blogging hermit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: