Slavery, fossil fuels, and climate change

The Guardian publishes today (3 February) a piece (“Once, men abused slaves. Now we abuse fossil fuels“), presenting the arguments I have developed in a recent article published in the journal Climatic Change, “Past Connections and Present Similarities in Slave ownership and fossil fuel usage“.

In both articles, I argue that there are many similarities in the way we use fossil fuels today and the way past societies used slaves. The full text of the article can be read on the journal’s website (open access).

An audio podcast discussing the article is also available on the Environmental History Resources (scroll down).

In the last year, I have written several other pieces related to the same subject.

I have further developped these ideas in a book published (in French) in October 2011, and titled “Des Esclaves energétiques: réflexions sur le changement climatique”.

For those who read French, the book is available in the UK on (it’s also available in the US and of course in France). See also the article I have published in the newspaper Le Monde, “Et nos enfants nous appelleront barbares…” (November 28th, 2011).

For more information about the book (reviews, extracts, etc. please see the dedicated page on my website — English or Français)


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