I recently finished Hannah Holleman’s Dust Bowls of Empire: Imperialism, Environmental Politics, and the Injustice of ‘‘Green’’ Capitalism. It’s an urgent and captivating book that discusses the dust bowl era as a product of capitalism and settler colonialism. It’s fascinating because the parallels between climate change and soil erosion are clear, both in terms of their root causes but also in the sense that they were clearly forewarned. It’s really eerie reading accounts by people who understood the threat posed by soil erosion decades before the dust bowl began and knew techniques to manage it, but were unable to use them due to predatory institutions that forced farmers to prioritise profits over sustainability.
Without moving too far into territory that probably deserves its own thread, I think this book has changed my feelings towards the New Green Deal? Holleman makes a convincing argument that because the New Deal, which addressed the symptoms of poverty and environmental decay, did nothing to meaningfully challenge the systems of exploitation (such as capitalism and white supremacy) that enabled them to continue, there’s good reason to be wary of legislation that models itself after the original New Deal if it promises anything less than the total abolishment of capital.
I also read through My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagato Kabi. I don’t have much to say worth sharing, except that I’m glad I made the time for it. Parts of it are deeply relatable, and I’m excited to check out her other works when I get the chance!