cover image STRANGELY LIKE WAR: The Global Assault on Forests

STRANGELY LIKE WAR: The Global Assault on Forests

Derrick Jensen, George Draffan, , foreword by Vandana Shiva. . Chelsea Green, $15 (160pp) ISBN 978-1-931498-45-6

Jensen (The Culture of Make Believe) and Draffan (A Primer on Corporate Power) are both pessimistic and angry about the state of the world's forests. In the U.S. only five percent of native forest remains; forests on a global level are also under attack, with one estimate claiming that two and a half acres are cut every second. International deforestation causes the extinction of plants and animals in addition to driving human forest dwellers, like the Karen of Burma, the Mapuche of Chile and the Penan of Malaysia, from their homelands. The destruction of forests also results in flooding, erosion and landslides. Production of paper products releases highly toxic chemicals into both the air and water. The authors provide many instances of collusion between industry and government, which has led to a U.S. commercial timber and logging industry permitted to destroy forests almost without restriction. Environmental agencies such as the Sierra Club or the Environmental Defense Fund, according to Jensen and Draffan, are more interested in raising money than in raising discomfort among the economically powerful. Globalization, they argue, is a network of financial, legal and political structures that operate for the benefit of the economic elite, allowing those in power to consume the natural resources of other nations. Although the text is occasionally overwrought, the authors have carefully documented worldwide deforestation, as well as the serious environmental and human consequences, and point a finger at those responsible. (Oct.)