Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial-A Graphic Novel” as Want to Read:
As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial-A Graphic Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial-A Graphic Novel

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  815 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
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 f ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Seven Stories Press (first published November 6th 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about As the World Burns, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about As the World Burns

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,354)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 18, 2008 jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2008
i wish that someone had handed this to me when i was a 19-year-old environmental science major. i was sick and tired of developing recycling programs for schools, talking about the implications of pollution of global fashion, the World Bank's latest irrigation project, and discussing how long it really takes for compact fluorescent bulbs to burn out. and then there is this, satirical comics and hilarious illustrations that are simple enough to let the dry wit shine.

the plot is funny enough. robo
Self-righteous doesn't even really scratch the surface. At first I thought I was going to love this b/c it opened with talking about how futile recycling is, and how it accomplishes basically nothing other than making people feel good about themselves, which is so true, cuz omg I fucking hate recycling. But it quickly becomes apparent that the nutbags who wrote this book are just WAY more extreme.. like the environmentalist version of PETA. What's it called, EarthFirst? Like those people. Their ...more
Mar 25, 2008 Sadie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gnnt-nominations
While I agree that the problem is bigger than everyone just taking shorter showers, I fail to see how one book (created from chopping down trees AND in a factory AND shipped by gasoline belching trucks to the stores) that's self-righteous, sarcastic, has no offered solutions beyond beating down hippies and burning down factories is going to help either.

I think the book is as narrow minded as the people they despise. Blech.

Also, a quick search of Medline reveals that the link between aluminum an
Jan 13, 2009 Damien rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book, so full of promise and hype, was really stupid. It almost could've been cute, if you try to think of it as total camp, what with the posi hippy girl constantly being emotionally pulverized by the gothy type girl. Alien robots that shit gold is also kind of funny, including an army of wild forest creatures fighting back. Yeah, it is true that recycling is not going to "save the planet", nor is full spectrum light bulbs, but unfortunately neither is Derrick Jensen or his literary fans. ...more
Mar 13, 2008 Marisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, Katigreen. I thought this book was silly. I asked the crows and the trees if they wanted to engage in armed battle against corporations with me and they said "No." Furthermore, I don't think that "civilization" is inherently evil, and the world doesn't have room for 6 billion hunter-gatherers. I do agree that compact florescent light bulbs will not save the world.
Aug 10, 2011 Chezzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of people wouldn't give this book a chance because of how radical it is. They would automatically stop listening because they don't want to accept that we have a problem -- a major problem. Their response is, "Ridiculous! None of this happpens in our great country of America!" When what's being said in this graphic novel is all true. So true. All of it. I have to admit that I did raise my eyebrows at battling rabbits and tenderhearted bears, and that the narration came off as haughty at ti ...more
Jan 05, 2008 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Graphic Novel by Stephanie McMillan (Minimum Security) and Derrick Jensen is great to read aloud and view with a good friend.

Alien Robots come to earth, shit gold, give said shit to the President of the US in exchange for written permission to eat every tree, fish, mountain, etc. (except 12 trees, 7 fish, etc.). The two protagonists argue the finer points of eco-friendly corporate cooptation, Social activists hand over power to power all too easily, and the wild revolts, bloodily.

It's funny
I just read this book in one sitting at Helia's, and I really WANTED to like it. I did. It was on th the right path for a few pages. But it spent too may pages making bad jokes about how stupid politicians are, and got way off track. And then there was page 154. only person of color in the book comes out of the trees for a minute to tell them to be better with the earth and then disappears. hell no.
UPDATE - i have been contacted by several Derrick Jensen fans saying that I got it wrong, that the
Mar 17, 2009 Anina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a scary and informative* comic about how you are totally going to die from global warming no matter what any one does. Which is a theory I do subscribe to but I just realized I never ever want to read about again.

*possible punk rock propaganda, small press & not sure where they are getting their statistics, of which there are many and not a single cited source
Robert Wildwood
Mar 09, 2008 Robert Wildwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The human characters in this book are not compelling. The experience of the one eyed bunny is what its all about, and these are the parts that might make you cry. The ending is super cheezy, cause the good guys win, which isnt realistic at all.
Oct 28, 2009 Britt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had hope that this book would have something more interesting to say about how to be good stewards of the earth, other than reduce, reuse, recycle, etc. I may not be as actively against our consumer culture as the characters in this story, but I have long been frustrated by the greed and selfishness of government/corporations/individuals who don't really care what kind of effect their actions have on their environment. I was encouraged to see this book mention that it would take more than peop ...more
Jason Crane
Jul 26, 2015 Jason Crane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had conversations over the years with other progressive friends where I've expressed a lukewarm concern for things like recycling individual cans or bottles, or turning off all the lights. My progressive friends are usually horrified if I'm not 100% in favor of this kind of personal behavior. Yesterday I finally read a graphic novel that eloquently makes the point I've less eloquently made over the years: Sure, it's fine to recycle and turn off your lights and take short showers and not eat ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Lara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
The other day I was rinsing out my cans for the blue box when it occured to me that I was washing my garbage. And I wondered what the point of it was, when washing the cans consumes water. Then, don't forget, there are entire populations of continents who don't recycle at all and without 100% compliance can recycling programs even work? While living in Central America I came to realize that a lot of countries are consuming at a first-world rate, but their waste management is '60s era. They actua ...more
Oct 27, 2013 Vineeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this book.

Funny as hell.
While some reviewers (and the back of the book) see the book as a wake-up call that'll inspire readers to stop ecocide, I got a different message from the book.
The take home message that I got was that we are all fucked.
I remember watching the Inconvenient Truth in middle school and being to "shut up" and "stop being rude" because I was being critical about the suggestions presented in the movie. I was saying it wasn't enough.(DANO GAVE ALL OF US EXTRA MATH HOMEWO
Nov 21, 2008 Craig rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who cannot think critically
Recommended to Craig by: a lot of people, sadly enough
It was funny and entertaining, but I couldn't help but be disturbed by the ideas presented. Don't get me wrong, I'm big on environmentalism. I'm at least 60% hippy. But the author is a tad extreme for me. Not only does he explicitly condone eco-terrorism, but he is guilty of many of the things he seems to condemn the "evil corporations" of, such as manipulation for one.
Let's get one things straight here folks: corporations are not by definition evil. Sure, there are some, actually many, bad one
This graphic novel connects the capitalist machine to ecological destruction, which I do think needs to be done in engaging ways for readers. It's a bit short on posing solutions though. It diagnoses the problem but doesn't truly offer a way forward. In that way, it's both helpful and frustrating.

Some thoughts a week later...

Okay, so initially I wrote that the book doesn't offer a way forward. But maybe it does. And maybe that solution is just too drastic for people (including myself, admittedl
Apr 28, 2008 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little graphic novel version of Derrick Jensen's basic points: The world is being destroyed by industrial civiliation, which has built up, madly, systems to expidite that destruction. There are some aliens, in a sort of ... satire I guess, or maybe just an additional lens through which to view the situation... I guess the aliens are a metaphor. Anyway. The basics will be familar in detail to those who are familiar with Jensen and in broad scope to those who are paying attention. Nothing actual ...more
Oct 09, 2008 Alan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Such promise, for what it was: Ohm-ing changes nothing but your insides, which are small comparatively. "We will go quietly, meekly, to the end of the world if only you will allow us to believe that buying low energy light bulbs will save us."
All this excoriation of denial to devolve into a Noah's Ark, Noble Savage, animist fantasy in which all the animals and rocks and wind and shit tell the humans how to live, and then join forces with them to kill the earth-eating aliens. You'd think a graphi
Larry-bob Roberts
I bought this from the AK Press table at SF Zine Fest. It seemed like it was pushing my buttons a bit with its criticisms of liberal environmentalist half-measures, so I thought I'd check it out. As other reviewers have pointed out, its solutions aren't really any more practical. The dialogues come off more like straw-man arguments. Still, it was somewhat through-provoking. But if these folks can't even take over the town of Eugene, Oregon, I don't really see how they're going to move beyond a v ...more
Aug 18, 2008 Morgan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people whose appetites for change are appeased by recycling or not flushing the toilet
This book had me laughing out loud at certain spots, rolling my eyes at others, and being served up some serious challenges the whole way through. Granted, it's not as heartfelt and thorough as Derrick Jensen's other work, but the pairing of his overstated allegory about alien robots who eat the Earth and poop out gold bullion is better told with Stephanie McMillan's haphazard comics than without. It's also way more digestible than some of Jensen's heftier tomes. A good one to read and then pass ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Whitney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to return this one to the library unfinished because I disliked it so much. I think I agree with the overall message, which is why I picked it up in the first place, giving the bad art a pass... But it was just so poorly written and executed, I had to finally give up. Given the title, I thought it might be a satirical list of the non-green things well-meaning eco crusaders buy into.... But it's actually a clumsily constructed narrative, told in multiple disjointed overlapping parts, comp ...more
Jan 13, 2015 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd heard of this book and flipped through it before, but wasn't terribly interested in giving Derrick Jensen the time of day. His credibility is long gone after it's become clear how cultish and authoritarian Deep Green Resistance is, not to mention his views on trans issues. Still, he wasn't bad in END:CIV (film), and I have always appreciated his Forget Shorter Showers article. I ended up at the library the other day, browsing the graphic novels shelf and saw this again and decided to just go ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Xaka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If this American culture/society ticks you off, this book is for you!

It's a romantic tale of liberation and inter-species bonding. There are humans enlightened about the truths of "sustainability" and green consumption. There are rabbits who escape from scientific testing prisons. There are trees who kill themselves in the name of Life.

This book has everything you need for a good utopian tale, including the real villians of this world: capitalistic sociopaths working as politicians. Only, there
Chad Perrin
Apr 08, 2014 Chad Perrin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: avoid, politics
I had my suspicions about this book before I read it, thinking it would probably be some facile, hand-waving, propagandist claims about what other people said and how to change what we do, but it was sure to be a very quick read, being basically a comic/cartoon book. I was right about it in some ways, but wrong in others.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the book took digs at authoritarian control structures and pop culture propaganda, sometimes even in marginally intelligent ways. Unfortun
David Gross
A comic parable about environmental catastrophe that makes some good points and doesn’t bother to try to avoid radical environmentalist/luddite hyperbole. It’s designed to reach folks who believe that people are making the planet uninhabitable out of short-sighted greed, but who are still hoping that the solution won’t be terribly disruptive to the status quo.
Oct 15, 2014 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I am typically not a fan of reading books that are written in a comic book format because this format lacks the details that I often find necessary to provide the “back story.” However, in As the World Burns, the comic book format is an exceptional tool for expressing this issue. The illustrations are exceptional and tell a story within the story. The book is a satirical look at the problem of climate change and what needs to be done (and not done) to save the world from hungry aliens and corpo
Stewart Tame
Jan 27, 2014 Stewart Tame rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very bleak, but also very funny. This amazing book comes from the blackest of black humor. The world is doomed, the environment is collapsing, aliens are destroying it and doing a better job of it than humanity has been doing. Most of the simple, easy things people think they need to do to help save the earth are ineffective at best. How can this all be stopped? Jensen takes an unpalatable message and manages to sneak it through by engaging the reader's sense of humor. I suspect he's got the fig ...more
Content Notes for this book: cruelty to the animals, guns/bombs

As the World Burns can be very disheartening. It argues for the complete rejection of technology as a means of healing the world from the devastation that humanity has caused. It's very hopeful that that will work. But reading it is not a particularly hopeful activity. It's printed on paper, by printing presses, which were sent the proofs by mail or email or something, which were built with technology, the artist makes a webcomic (or
Jan 13, 2016 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this and cried the whole time. Here's why: it's not cuz it's new info or its crafted as a sob story. This book did, from the mouths of babes and adorable furry animals remind me that my lifestyle politics, self-edumacation and attempts to heal myself, others, and the fucked systems that be will never be enough until we actually fight back in substantive, direct action ways, and that until we do we are all complacent in our mutual & collective destruction. Yeah ok, tha ...more
Robin Conley
While this book makes a lot of great points about environmental issues and how the minor changes aren't enough, it is extremely heavy handed. I had a lot of trouble getting into it at first because it jumped back and forth between stories so quickly at times I felt like pages were missing. Once it got going and all the stories crossed it was much easier to read, but getting there was a struggle because it felt like pure preaching.

I expected a fun, informative book about environmental issues, but
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 45 46 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Future Primitive: And Other Essays
  • My Name is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization
  • On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Consequences of American Conquest & Carnage
  • A Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman
  • Recipes for Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook
  • Reflections on the Way to the Gallows: Rebel Women in Prewar Japan
  • The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources
  • The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention
  • The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters
  • The  Prosperous Few and the Restless Many (Real Story)
  • How Nonviolence Protects the State
  • Now or Never: Why We Must Act Now to End Climate Change and Create a Sustainable Future
  • Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis
  • Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
  • The Tale of Despereaux: The Graphic Novel
  • Existencilism
  • Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution
  • The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream
Derrick Jensen is an American author and environmental activist living in Crescent City, California. He has published several books questioning and critiquing contemporary society and its values, including A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, and Endgame. He holds a B.S. in Mineral Engineering Physics from the Colorado School of Mines and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Eas ...more
More about Derrick Jensen...

Share This Book