This introduction provides an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book unpacks the complex character of an era in which human extraction and use of natural resources contribute to an environmental crisis of planetary proportions. This crisis has multiple complex features, but the most central of these—climate change, land and forest degradation, the loss of biodiversity, even the global pandemic—are directly linked to the physical impacts caused by the extraction of natural resources and the climate gas emissions caused by a growing human population’s demands for energy, food, and consumer goods. The book emphasizes how the spectrum of violence—from dramatic/direct to slow/hidden—permeates contemporary collective life. It emphasizes that extractivism is the result of a particular ontological assemblage. Throughout human history, ideas of civilization, empire, sovereignty, accumulation, terra nullius, capital, and modernity have become layered and intertwined to form a rationale for intensifications of both social and planetary exploitation.