Like everywhere else in Puerto Rico, the small mountain city of Adjuntas was plunged into total darkness by Hurricane Maria. When residents left their homes to take stock of the damage, they found themselves not only without power and water, but also totally cut off from the rest of the island. Every single road was blocked, either by mounds of mud washed down from the surrounding peaks, or by fallen trees and branches. Yet amid this devastation, there was one bright spot.
China’s rapid economic expansion is based on massive state investment, low pay and manufacturing for export to the Western economies at the same time as the promotion of domestic consumerism. Global competition for resources and markets means China must continue this economic model. But this brings with it the risk of war, economic crisis and the threat of workers fighting for an increased share of the enormous wealth being generated. But it is also driving environmental disaster on a local and international scale.
Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), along with other US-based members of the social, environmental and climate justice communities and global alliances have platforms calling for leaving 80% of the current totality of fossil fuel reserves under the ground and ocean in order to avoid global temperatures rising to no more than 1.5°C. How will this transition away from fossil fuel extraction be organized within our respective communities? What will the consequences be for people, our communities, humanity, ecosystems, habitat and all life?
From humanitarian and ecological viewpoints, many aspects of the capitalist economic system are irrational; although they are certainly rational from the more limited standpoint of the individual business or capitalist seeking to make profits. For example, because most people lack their own means to produce an income, they must sell their labor power to companies, which in turn must normally pay a high enough wage for the reproduction of workers and their families.
When unionized oil workers at the Tesoro Golden Eagle plant in Martinez, California walked off the job on February 1 to demand safer working conditions, they received some unexpected company on the picket line. Since the beginning of the strike, which has expanded from nine to eleven refineries nationwide, environmental activists with Communities for a Better Environment have joined members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union for their daily protests outside the plant.
Long before today’s scientists accepted the idea, socialist-ecologist Barry Commoner argued that there had been a qualitative change in humanity’s relationship with nature in the years following World War II. Going a step further he explained why it happened and what it means for our future.
“We know that something went wrong in the country after World War II, for most of our serious pollution problems either began in the postwar years or have greatly worsened since then.” - Barry Commoner, 1971 
A very large and loud event is about to reshape New York City once again this September – and likely propel social change across the continent. A coalition of organizations under the banner of the "People's Climate March", has pledged to make this event in New York City an opportunity for an unprecedented climate mobilization.
Details of the events leading to last July’s oil train disaster in Lac Mégantic, Quebec have been made public for the first time. They reinforce an existing portrait of the accident as a perfect storm of corporate malfeasance.