Slow Violence And The Environmentalism Of The Poor
Rob Nixon; Harvard University Press, 2013; 280pp; $65.00 (paperback)
At first glance, the title to Rob Nixon’s latest book may baffle casual window shoppers; ‘what has violence to do with environmentalism?’ one could quite reasonably ask. Yet this popular tendency to treat the two concepts as worlds apart is precisely what Nixon seeks to address, and he does so with great vigour and persuasive force.
The central premise of the text is best put in the author’s own words. In his opening chapter, Nixon laments that:
Violence is customarily conceived as an event or action that is immediate in time, explosive and spectacular in space, and erupting into instant sensational visibility. We need, I believe, to engage a different a kind of violence, a violence that is neither spectacular nor instantaneous, but rather incremental and accretive, its calamitous repercussions playing out across a range of temporal scales.