To stave off disaster, we must transform the economic system driving climate change.
New York Magazine’s latest 7,000-word cover story about climate change freaked a lot of people out. Like the reality of climate change itself, the story is depressing. Author David Wallace-Wells—collating several academic papers and interviews with climate scientists—meticulously lays out the possibility of melting ice caps releasing literal plagues, our air becoming unbreathable and geopolitics devolving into endless war.
(William Rees, the person who co-coined "small footprint," with a good article, but not genious when it comes to understanding capitalism. Yes, too many people consuming too much. But it's much more about the system of capitalism characterized by profit and competiion driven growth structured within class division. Not about limiting population directly, but mass movement towards this concept called socialism. Waiting for all these big thinkers to get the story straight....)
Would you advise someone to flap towels in a burning house? To bring a flyswatter to a gunfight? Yet the counsel we hear on climate change could scarcely be more out of sync with the nature of the crisis.
The email in my inbox last week offered thirty suggestions to green my office space: use reusable pens, redecorate with light colours, stop using the elevator.
Back at home, done huffing stairs, I could get on with other options: change my lightbulbs, buy local veggies, purchase eco-appliances, put a solar panel on my roof.
Watch our extended interview with Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell before he reports to jail at 4 p.m. Friday in upstate New York for taking part in a nonviolent protest against a natural gas-fired power plant. Cromwell says he’ll also launch a hunger strike. He was one of six activists arrested for blocking traffic at the sit-in outside the construction site of the 650-megawatt plant in Wawayanda, New York, in December of 2015. The activists say the plant would promote natural gas fracking in neighboring states and contribute to climate change.
Jason Nichel and Martin Kirk, Portside, July 13, 2017
In February, college sophomore Trevor Hill stood up during a televised town hall meeting in New York and posed a simple question to Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.
A friend of mine from India tells a story about driving an old Volkswagen beetle from California to Virginia during his first year in the United States. In a freak ice storm in Texas he skidded off the road, leaving his car with a cracked windshield and badly dented doors and fenders. When he reached Virginia he took the car to a body shop for a repair estimate. The proprietor took one look at it and said, “it’s totaled.” My Indian friend was bewildered: “How can it be totaled? I just drove it from Texas!”
The idea that economic growth can continue forever on a finite planet is the unifying faith of industrial civilization. That it is nonsensical in the extreme, a deluded fantasy, doesn't appear to bother us. We hear the holy truth in the decrees of elected officials, in the laments of economists about flagging GDP, in the authoritative pages of opinion, in the whirligig of advertising, at the World Bank and on Wall Street, in the prospectuses of globe-spanning corporations and in the halls of the smallest small-town chambers of commerce. Growth is sacrosanct.
April 8, 2017—David Harvey, one of the most influential figures in geography and urban studies, and among the most cited intellectuals of all time across the humanities and social sciences, delivered a featured lecture, “Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason," at the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting in Boston. He also received the AAG Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography during the AAG Awards Luncheon on April 9, 2017. This annual AAG award recognizes a geographer who has demonstrated originality, creativity, and significant intellectual breakthroughs in geography.