Both the words “environment” and “violence” have so many meanings, that they require some definition of how they can be of use in the context of a struggle for social justice. Regarding the word violence, according to Merriam Webster, one definition is “the use of brute strength to cause harm to a person or property”; a definition that doesn’t seem to have an immediately obvious connection to ecological issues associated with climate change, loss of biodiversity and various forms of pollution.
Humankind’s greatest crisis coincides with the rise of an ideology that makes it impossible to address. By the late 1980s, when it became clear that manmade climate change endangered the living planet and its people, the world was in the grip of an extreme political doctrine, whose tenets forbid the kind of intervention required to arrest it. Neoliberalism, also known as market fundamentalism or laissez-faire economics, purports to liberate the market from political interference.
Hang on. Get Ready. Those are at least two of the takeaways from a new report released by scientists in the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday which says the sudden impacts of climate change this century and beyond are inevitable but warn that far too little has been done to prepare for them. "If you think about gradual change, you can see where the road is and where you're going. With abrupt changes and effects, the road suddenly drops out from under you." –Prof. Tony Barnosky.
"Capitalism's gotta go," was the consensus among four panelists and over 50 people attending a public forum on "Strategies to Stop Climate Change" in Vancouver, December 3. The Vancouver Ecosocialist Group hosted the event and supplied one of the panelist, retired union member and paperworker Gene McGuckin (see speech text and video). Other panelists were Carleen A.
The rediscovery over the last decade and a half of Marx’s theory of metabolic rift has come to be seen by many on the left as offering a powerful critique of the relation between nature and contemporary capitalist society. The result has been the development of a more unified ecological world view transcending the divisions between natural and social science, and allowing us to perceive the concrete ways in which the contradictions of capital accumulation are generating ecological crises and catastrophes.
There is a pressing need for a coherent left strategy on climate change and in relation to the planetary environmental threat in general. The current scientific consensus indicates that we have at best several decades before the earth’s average surface temperature rises by 2°C, viewed as the point of irreversible climate change. This means that decisive action must be taken quickly if the world is not to go off the planetary climate cliff.
The 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) is now underway in Warsaw, Poland, where thousands have gathered in the streets calling upon UN delegates to agree to drastic reductions in carbon emissions in order to stave off the harshest results of climate change and preserve human life on this planet. That’s why I was a little distressed in reading Roy Scranton’s recent opinion piece in The New York Times, “Learning how to die in the Anthropocene.” The words of the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky came to mind.
Driving into Iraq just after the 2003 invasion felt like driving into the future. We convoyed all day, all night, past Army checkpoints and burned-out tanks, till in the blue dawn Baghdad rose from the desert like a vision of hell: Flames licked the bruised sky from the tops of refinery towers, cyclopean monuments bulged and leaned against the horizon, broken overpasses swooped and fell over ruined suburbs, bombed factories, and narrow ancient streets.
As global capitalist economic growth accelerates planetary ecological collapse, this article, originally published on November 10, 2013, argues that - impossible as it may seem at present - only the most radical solution - the overthrow of global capitalism, the construction of a mostly publicly-owned and mostly planned eco-socialist economy based on global "contraction and convergence," on substantial de-industrialization, on sharing, on much less work and much more play and on bottom-up democratic management - is, in fact, the only alternative to the collapse of civilization and ecolo
Many of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease — are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. The report uses the word "exacerbate" repeatedly to describe warming's effect on poverty, lack of water, disease and even the causes of war.