Joe Biden speaking
Joe Biden. Image credit via Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons.

After four years of Trump, the benchmark for action on the climate and ecological crisis was low. As a result, many have responded to Biden’s early climate announcements with a sense of wonder. This is perhaps underserving given the USA’s role in planetary breakdown.

This guide aims to highlight interesting resources about the USA’s role in climate change for progressive environmentalists.

The USA and climate change – Five books

  • Our History Is the Future by Nick Estes. Both an account of Indigenous resistance to US settlers and the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Estes has created a comprehensive account of how far the US will go to attack Indigenous communities and defend fossil fuels.
  • Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. A foundational work in the history of climate denial, this book traces how a significant number of US politicians and business figures enabled scepticism with dodgy science.
  • Disasters and Social Reproduction by Peer Illner. An extensive account of how the US handled Hurricane Katrina and other disasters, this book explains how communities in America are being left to deal with the effects of climate change alone.
  • Oilcraft by Robert Vitalis. This book attempts to disentangle the relationship between US foreign policy and oil resources, pointing to the common myths supporting US intervention.
  • Amity and Prosperity by Eliza Griswold. America led a boom in natural gas production and this book follows the case of a family’s struggle against gas in their town.

The USA and climate change – Five articles

The USA and climate change – Five videos