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As the World Burns

As the World Burns

As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial, a revolutionary graphic novel!

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Two of America's most talented activists team up to deliver a bold and hilarious satire of modern environmental policy in this fully illustrated graphic novel. The U.S. government gives robot machines from space permission to eat the earth in exchange for bricks of gold. A one-eyed bunny rescues his friends from a corporate animal-testing laboratory. And two little girls figure out the secret to saving the world from both of its enemies (and it isn’t by using energy-efficient light bulbs or biodiesel fuel). As the World Burns will inspire you to do whatever it takes to stop ecocide before it’s too late.

 

Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan's As the World Burns is a revolutionary graphic novel decrying the failure of the green movement. We have become a self-congratulatory society of "green" consumers, recyclers, yogi mediators, and letter-writers. Utilizing pigtailed girls, a one-eyed eco-revolutionary bunny, and a wise bird, the authors expose the fallacies of patting ourselves on the back as we continue down an unsustainable consumption path headed straight for world destruction. Some quick math performed by Kranti (a character from McMillan's Minimum Security cartoon) reveals that even if everyone (100% of the US population) changed our light bulbs, recycled half our total waste, cut our driving in half, installed low-flow showerheads, and adjusted our thermostats by two degrees, the end results would be a ONE-TIME 21% reduction in carbon emissions, which given our current rate of growth, would be offset in 10 years. 

The real culprits in our ecocide? Corporations and the government they have in their pockets. And what are they doing? Running marketing campaigns and releasing movies to convince individual consumers to take the blame. In As the World Burns, a former-politician-turned-activist conspires with corporations to distract individuals from the systemic predicament, knowing full well that green consumers will pay more to feel good about themselves. 

As the World Burns is much more than sharp dialogue about the futility of eco-friendly consumerism. Aliens have also arrived on the planet, intent on eating up all Earth's resources, and expecting to have to fight the planet's current residents. To their surprise, the Bible-thumping Dad-worshipping President gladly gives away the planet in exchange for bars of gold, which the aliens know is absolutely useless, not even giving the humans a buzz, but they go gaga for it. The plot thickens even farther as a pill-pushing therapist tries to medicate away our heroine's societal discontent, the one-eyed Bunnista starts his own campaign to free tortured animals, and the government locks bunnies and any suspected bunny sympathizers in terrorist detention centers. 

The authors of As the World Burns argue that modern industrial society is inherently unsustainable, requiring a no-compromise stance from activists who truly want to change the direction of the global population. In the novel, a raccoon advises, "Stop insisting on your growth economy, on acquiring more and more until you consume the entire planet." We can no longer ignore the natural world, but as the wise bird educates us, humans lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years and could learn to again if we were willing.

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