Home Conservation Reviews Book Reviews Strangely Like War – The Global Assault on Forests


Strangely Like War – The Global Assault on Forests

Soldiers aren’t brandishing swords, or pulling pistols out of their sleeves, there are no warheads aimed at enemy states. Yet, we are at war. And the assault is global. And each one of us is right in the thick of it. 
Strangely Like War – The Global Assault on Forests is direct and hard-hitting. The authors address the depressing statistics of diminishing forest cover and their implications.

Though most of the book’s examples of destruction and green wash reflect the current state of affairs in the United States, the stories evoke the ‘state of the forests’ here in India as well. Promises are broken, there is little accountability and law-makers turn into law-breakers. Three-quarters of the world’s original forests are gone and the pace of cutting, clearing, processing and pulping is gathering momentum. From politicians and timber lobbies to the ‘long arm of the law’, everyone seems to be conspiring against wilderness areas.

The book takes us through the various lies that have been perpetrated, how the entire system has been rigged and the rampant corruption that exists. Entire generations have been convinced that the destruction of forests creates jobs, and that we cannot survive without paper and wood products. We are also lulled into a false sense of security when we see that we have saved species from habitat loss. The survival of these species, say the authors, make them nothing more than the ‘living dead’, and is short-term, in any case. Few civilisations or empires have survived the destruction of nature.

The only way to survive our foolishness is to defeat ‘Gilgamesh’. According to an ancient legend, “Enlil, the chief Sumerian deity, entrusted the demi-god Humbaba to defend the forest from invaders. But the warrior-king Gilgamesh killed Humbaba and levelled the forest. Enlil sent down curses on deforesters: May the food you eat be eaten by fire; may the water you drink be drunk by fire.”

Strangely Like War – The Global Assault on Forests is a depressing but necessary chronicle of the corporations destroying the world’s forests. Though the threat to old growth forests in North America has been the subject of many books, this is a valuable addition to the body of work on the perils of multinational, industrial forestry.

George Draffan and Derrick Jensen, Published by: Natraj Publishers, Paperback; 187 pages; Price: Rs. 250/-

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