Slavery & climate change

What are the links between fossil fuels, slavery and climate change?

The Guardian published on 3 February 2012 my article (‘Once, Men abused slaves. Now, we abuse fossil fuels‘), presenting some of the arguments I have developped in a recent article published in the journal Climatic Change: “Past Connections and Present Similarities in Slave ownership and fossil fuel usage“.

In this article, 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 in 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 French readers, 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).


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