Fossil capital : the rise of steam-power and the roots of global warming

by Andreas Malm

Paper Book, 2016


"How capitalism first promoted fossil fuels with the rise of steam power The more we debate about the catastrophic implications of climate change, the more fossil fuels we continue to burn. How did we get caught up in this mess? In this masterful new history, Malm claims that it all began in Britain with the rise of steam power. So why did manufacturers turn from traditional fuels, notably water, to steam? Overturning established theories of the transition and offering a radically new view of our warming world, this study shows how steam was adopted as a superior source of power. Two centuries later, the inheritors of that power continue to profit from "business as usual," as the world heads toward irreversible catastrophe. Malm examines the history of resistance to fossil fuels and surveys the obstacles to the transition to renewable energy so urgently needed today. Then as now, energy choices are determined in struggles over power"--… (more)



Call number



London ; Brooklyn, NY : Verso, 2016.

User reviews

LibraryThing member stillatim
I put off writing my review for too long, because this book was too good and I wanted to say too much. The chapter 'Fossil Capital' is the most gloriously ingenious thing I've read in years, utterly convincing, and horrifying. The climate crisis is undeniably caused by the economic system in which
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those writing and reading this review have thrived. There is no way for that economic system to solve the crisis without transforming itself at the same time.
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LibraryThing member deblemrc
detailed analysis, from a Marxist point of view, of the rise of steam power during the industrial revolution, and the globalisation of steam power after WWII.


Original publication date



1784781290 / 9781784781293
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