In a world careening towards climate chaos, nature is dead. It can no longer be separated from society. Everything is a blur of hybrids, where humans possess no exceptional agency that sets them apart from dead matter. But is it really so? In this blistering polemic and theoretical manifesto, Andreas Malm develops a contrary argument: in a warming world, nature comes roaring back, and it is more important than ever to distinguish between the natural and the social. Only with a unique agency attributed to humans can resistance become conceivable. Deflating several prominent currents in contemporary theory – constructionism, hybridism, new materialism, posthumanism – and submitting the influential work of Bruno Latour to particularly biting critique, Malm shows that action against fossil fuels is best served by a theory that takes nature, society and the dialectics between them very seriously indeed.
Andreas Malm teaches human ecology at Lund University, Sweden. He is the author, with Shora Esmailian, of Iran on the Brink: Rising Workers and Threats of War, and of Fossil Capital, which won the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize.
"Andreas Malm's new masterpiece The Progress of This Storm fills an urgent need, as did his seminal Fossil Capital in 2016. In his earlier book, he demonstrated that the fossil capitalism was not preordained by God or Nature or Technology, and that the answer is system change not climate change. In his new study, he teaches us how we can transcend those fashionable, ecological philosophies, clouding our understanding, that stand in the way of the unity of environmental theory and practice. No more definitive work of its kind exists today."
– John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review, author of Marx's Ecology
"As the global crisis grows, it is more important than ever to understand the complex relationship between society and nature, but much of what passes for environmental theory generates more confusion than insight. Andreas Malm has written another essential contribution to ecological Marxism, a brilliant and clearly written polemic that demolishes constructionism, hybridism, postmodernism and related academic fads, and defends historical materialism as the only credible alternative."
– Ian Angus author of Facing the Anthropocene
"One of the most original thinkers on the subject."
– Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything
"[The Progress of This Storm] is a major contribution to ecological Marxism, and, more broadly, to the development of a climate map that shows both the direction of the storm and the paths we must take to escape it."
– Ian Angus, Climate & Capitalism
"The Progress of This Storm is a furious defense of dialectical thought, and of historical materialism as the theoretical lens appropriate for viewing global warming in all its social and natural complexity."
– Michael Robbins, Bookforum
"Andreas Malm has a deep understanding of climate change, writes clearly, and presents a useful overview of environmental thought. He also introduces some compelling concepts of his own, with provocative implications for political struggle [...] [The Progress of This Storm] is genuinely stirring in his militant calls to action."
– Boston Review
"Andreas Malm's The Progress of This Storm, issues a welcome call to get serious about political agency."
– Alyssa Battistoni, The Nation
"Malm argues with impressive rigour and skill."
– New Socialist
"A powerful sketch of a political theory for a time of climate change."
– David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth