Capitalism

Andreas Malm, SOAS University of London, June 21, 2017

This Development Studies Seminar titled "Violent Past, Hot Present, Extreme Future: Episodes of Fossil Imperialism and Climate Change in Egypt, India and Nigeria" was given by Andreas Malm at SOAS University of London on 31 January 2017

You can find out more about it at https://goo.gl/rw9OBU

George Monbiot, Bring Your Own Brain, June 21, 2017

From the Bring Your Own Brain: Free Us from Climate Chaos Symposium at the University of Montana 6/15/17

Carol Dansereau, CounterPunch, June 5, 2017

By Carol Dansereau - CounterPunch, June 2, 2017

The global warming situation is absolutely crazy.  Millions of people are already experiencing drought, famine, floods, wildfires, superstorms and other climate disasters.  As a species, we are teetering on the edge of full-blown catastrophe, with extinction a distinct possibility.  Yet, we can’t seem to put in place obvious solutions that are sitting right there in front of us.

Even crazier, environmentalists repeatedly praise Democrats for phony climate action plans that don’t come close to what’s needed.

Take the “100 by ‘50” legislation recently introduced by Oregon Senator Merkley and other Democrats.  Environmental leaders lined up to celebrate this as the blueprint that will get us beyond global warming, even though it’s nothing of the sort.  Some environmentalists used their endorsements to denounce Republicans for being funded by the fossil fuel industry, deftly ignoring the funding received by Democrats from that same industry.  The message was clear: when we put Democrats back in power and pass a bill like “100 by ‘50”, we’ll be on our way to solving the climate crisis.

This is pure hogwash.  The Democrats have kept us running in circles as the climate crisis has deepened.   And although this new bill purports to get us to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050—hence the catchy title—it almost certainly won’t do that.  Yes, it is “the most ambitious piece of climate legislation Congress has ever seen”.  But that’s only because prior offerings were so pathetic that “100 by ’50” seems ambitious in comparison.

It’s crucial that we understand this as Donald Trump and the Republicans move forward with their horrifying agenda.  More than ever, we need to be uniting behind a real climate action plan and the broader vision for society it engenders.  We need to be building a movement that has a clear understanding of where our power lies and how to use it.

Dahr Jamail, TruthOut, May 31, 2017

A large number of climate experts believe the Paris Climate Accord does not go nearly far enough in addressing the crisis of abrupt anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).

Nevertheless, in what is clearly both a symbolic move and a nod to his fossil fuel backers, Donald Trump will be pulling the US out of the agreement, according to several reports today.

Smantha Page, Think Progress, May 31, 2017

A new study appeared in the journal Nature on Wednesday, directly refuting the claim that satellite data shows global warming has leveled off, a claim made by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt earlier this year.

James Plested, Red Flag, April 24, 2017

Who can forget the image? George W. Bush’s stupid, blank face staring out across the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln under a giant banner emblazoned with the words “mission accomplished”.

The date was 1 May 2003 – a little over a month after the US launched its invasion of Iraq – and Bush was there to declare an end to major combat operations. As it turned out, this was somewhat premature.

John Bellamy Foster and Saral Sarkar, Climate and Capitalism, March 28, 2017

Can Marxism strengthen our understanding of ecological crises? The author of Marx’s Ecology replies to a critic on metabolic rift, sustainable human development,  degrowth, population growth, and industrialism.

QUESTIONS FOR JOHN BELLAMY FOSTER

by Saral Sarkar
Ecologise, March 17, 2017

Paul Street, CounterPunch, March 2, 2017

In classic capitalist fantasy, the “private” marketplace is a land of liberty and the state is a dungeon of oppression.  Modern social democrats have tended to invert the formula, upholding the state as a force for social protection against the tyranny of the capitalist market.

The truth is more complex than either narrative allows. As Marxists and other leftists have long known, “free market” relations and the state combine to impose class oppression on the working-class majority under capitalism.  Both the market and the state are under the interrelated and overlapping, mutually reinforcing control of capital. This is especially true in the United States, where government’s social-democratic functions – and the popular movements that have historically fought to install those functions – are much weaker than they are than in other “developed” capitalist nations.

The common worker and citizen faces a double whammy under the U.S. profit system. She must rent out her critical life energy – her labor power – and subject herself to the despotic, exploitative (surplus value-extracting) direction of “free” market-ruling capital to obtain the means of exchange required to obtain basic life necessities sold on the market by capital. To make matters worse, she must contend with a government that functions not so much to protect her and the broader community from capital (including capital as employer) as to deepen capital’s political, social, and market power over and against her, other workers, and the common good.

Sarah Kent, Bradley Olson and Georgi Kantchev, Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2017
A new era of low crude prices and stricter regulations on climate change is pushing energy companies and resource-rich governments to confront the possibility that some fossil-fuel resources will remain in the ground indefinitely.

In a signal that the prospect is growing more likely, Exxon Mobil Corp. has said that as many as 3.6 billion barrels of oil that it planned to produce in Canada in the next few decades is no longer profitable to extract. A disclosure is expected in the coming week. 
Reza Fiyouzat, The North Star, March 2, 2017

It may seem like a truism that all human societies share key universal characteristics. Incredibly, however, we all too easily forget this basic fact and mostly assume that our respective cultures are unique compared to all others, and for the most part exceptional. Iranians, for example, know that they are unique, especially when contrasted to Arabs, Afghans and Pakistanis. Chinese people have no doubt that they are exceptionally unique, as do the Japanese, the Russians, the French, Germans, Italians, Egyptians and Moroccans. Americans especially consider themselves exceptional.

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