How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire (Paperback)
  • How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire (Paperback)

How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire (Paperback)

Paperback 208 Pages
Published: 05/01/2021
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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.

Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781839760259
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 184 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 10 mm


A powerful sketch of a political theory for a time of climate change. - David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth

The definitive deep history on how our economic system created the climate crisis. Superb, essential reading from one of the most original thinkers on the subject. - Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

The best book written about the origins of global warming ... Like Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything, Fossil Capital trenchantly demonstrated that capitalism and capitalists are responsible for climate change. - Michael Robbins, Bookforum

How to Blow Up a Pipeline is a challenge to the left, and an important one. - John Foster, The Battleground

A short and gripping manifesto which aims to wrench the climate movement out of its complacency - Bright Green

Timely ... Malm delivers the essay in his usual lucid and fiery style - Ecologist

One of the most important things written about the climate crisis. - Wen Stephenson, LARB

A profoundly necessary book - Scott W. Stern, LARB

Advocates powerfully against despair and powerlessness. - Tatiana Schlossberg, New York Times

Written passionately...Malm argues that it may be too late to avert climate crisis, but it is far from too late to ameliorate suffering. - Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Bangkok Post

Malm offers a critical, passionate and hopeful assessment of where it might go next. Malm's refreshing humanist ethos combined with his Marxist radicalism make him one of the most exciting contemporary writers on the climate crisis, this forceful new entry into his repertoire is no exception, though perhaps a different beast from his more academic work. - Political Economy Research Centre

Refreshing and provoking - It's Freezing in LA

How to Blow Up a Pipeline makes a strong case for looking beyond non-violent activism - VICE

A humble and nuanced case... it's hard to read this book without daydreaming about sabotaging the private jets of the ultra-rich. - Tim DeChristopher, Yes Magazine

While the book does not live up to its titular promise of providing instructions to detonate a pipeline, it does make an unflinching case for carrying out such activities in advanced capitalist countries. - James Wilt, Canadian Dimension

Malm [has] captured the rising fury of climate activists - Pilita Clark, Financial Times

Impossible to dismiss - David Wallace-Wells, Times Literary Supplement

Malm is right. Shunning all violent acts will only prolong the worst. No new fossil fuel infrastructure can be created, and we need, as a society, to dismantle what we already have - Devi Lockwood, VICE

By ruling out direct action, the climate movement robs itself, in Malm's view, of its only serious means of leverage. - Adam Tooze, London Review of Books

Bracing - Financial Times

If you want to do something about the climate crisis instead of wallowing in despair, there's no better place to start than Andreas Malm's short treatise on the virtues of eco-sabotage. Provides a radical sort of hope. - Abigail Weinberg, Mother Jones

Malm calls for the formation of a radical flank to the popular climate movement...[he] finds the peaceful discipline of the climate movement to be remarkable but stifling in its single mode of action, calling it gentle and mild in the extreme. - James Mumm, Social Policy magazine

An impassioned argument for climate activists to move beyond non-violent protests...Even for those who disapprove of How to Blow Up a Pipeline, it is a useful guide to the noisiest climate activist voices. - Economist

A seductively well-written and well-researched book that argues climate activists should abandon their longstanding "commitment to absolute non-violence", and instead "escalate" their campaign by "physically attacking the things that consume our planet", such as fossil fuel infrastructure. - Andy Beckett, Guardian

Dynamite - David Hughes, Time Out

[A] persuasive and optimistic rebuttal of climate fatalism - Glasgow Guardian

A rousing case for property destruction as a tactic in the pursuit of climate justice. - Simran Hans, Guardian

This is a book as weapon, a manifesto for forcing change framed by the legacy of the suffragettes' direct action, civil rights movement protests, anti-apartheid boycotts, national liberation armed striggles. - Philosophy Football

How to Blow Up a Pipeline ... makes a historically persuasive case for the need for disruptive social movements to create transformative change. It convinced me that we can no longer leave the problems of our time to simmer on the low flame of gradualism. - Roman Krznaric, New Statesman

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