John Bellamy Foster answers five questions about Marxism and ecology

27 March 2017 — EcologizeClimate & Capitalism

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. 


Introduction: The Indian website Ecologize recently published John Bellamy Foster’s Foreword to Ian Angus’s book Facing the Anthropocene. Commenting on Foster’s article, journalist and activist Saral Sarkar,  who describes his views as eco-socialist, raised questions that challenge the usefulness of Marxist analysis in understanding the global ecological crisis. Foster’s reply was posted by Ecologise on March 26.

The exchange, republished below, addresses important questions about Marxist perspectives on the global ecological crisis. C&C welcomes further discussion.

C&C has added paragraph breaks to both articles to improve on-screen readability.

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The terrifying mathematics of the Anthropocene

19 March 2017 — Climate & Capitalism

The Anthropocene Formula

For four billion years, one formula summarized global change. That has changed in just four decades, and if we don’t act quickly, human civilization may not survive.

Owen Gaffney is co-founder Future Earth Media Lab, and Director of media at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Will Steffen, former Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, is now an Adjunct Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University.

This article, from The Conversation, summarizes key findings of The Anthropocene Equation, a paper by Gaffney and Steffen that was published in The Anthropocene Review, February 2017. Continue reading this...

With White House Embracing Climate Denial, Will Corporate Media Treat It as Science?

10 March 2017 — FAIR

CNBC: EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warmingCNBC‘s Joe Kernan interviewing climate denialist EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

If the public rollout of the Trump administration’s new EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, is any indication, the Earth’s climate will suffer even greater, irreversible damage during the next four years. And the corporate media’s coverage of it may only make it worse. Continue reading this...

Heatwave frequency rises twice as fast in the poorest countries By Ian Angus

8 March 2017 — Climate & Capitalism

Climate Injustice

New research proves that the countries least responsible for global warming, those least able to adapt, have already been hit much harder by deadly extremes than rich nations — and the gap is growing

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Trump and Climate Catastrophe By John Bellamy Foster

2 February 2017 — Monthly Review

This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice. —Donald Trump, January 2, 20141

The alarm bells are ringing. The climate-change denialism of the Trump administration, coupled with its goal of maximizing fossil-fuel extraction and consumption at all costs, constitutes, in the words of Noam Chomsky, “almost a death knell for the human species.” As noted climatologist Michael E. Mann has declared, “I fear that this may be game over for the climate.”2

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Media Lens: Deranged And Deluded: The Media’s Complicity In The Climate Crisis

30 January 2017 — Media Lens

In an important recent book, the Indian writer Amitav Ghosh refers to the present era of corporate-driven climate crisis as ‘The Great Derangement’. For almost 12,000 years, since the last Ice Age, humanity has lived through a period of relative climate stability known as the Holocene. When Homo sapiens shifted, for the most part, from a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence to an agriculture-based life, towns and cities grew, humans went into space and the global population shot up to over seven billion people.

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If GOP Gets Climate ‘Science’ From Breitbart, God Help the Planet

4 December 2016 — FAIR

The US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology recently tweeted an article by Breitbart, stating “@BreitbartNews: Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence From Climate Alarmists.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ responded to the committee’s tweet: “Where’d you get your PhD? Trump University?” Continue reading this...

Fidel Castro: Fight the ecological destruction threatening the planet!

26 November 2016 – Climate & Capitalism

¡Companero Fidel, presente!
fidel-castro

Climate & Capitalism joins millions of people around the world in mourning the death and honoring the life of Fidel Castro Ruz.

He lives in our memory as a champion of, and an active participant in, the global fight against poverty, ignorance and oppression, and for a sustainable world.

In this short talk at the 1992 Earth Summit, Fidel described the Earth System crisis and identified its causes more powerfully than any other delegate.

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Corporate Power + Climate Change = Geocide By Susan George

23 November 2016 — Climate & Capitalism

susan-geoprgeSusan George: We are faced with determined adversaries who care nothing about human rights or climate change. They only want a world in which they can make endless amounts of money using all available resources, no matter what the costs to nature and to human life.

Susan George is president of the board of the Trans National Institute, an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world. She spoke at the Seminar of the International Center for the promotion of Human Rights [CIPDH] and Unesco titled “Interreligious and inter cultural dialogue: consciences and climate change”  in September in Buenos Aires.  Find the video here. 

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Corporate climate risk is about profit, not fixing the problem By Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg

22 October 2016 — Climate & Capitalism

Forms of denial

‘Like latter-day wizardry, corporate risk calculations suggest that markets and capital can, not only control the natural world, but somehow anticipate it’


Climate Change, Capitalism, Corporations

Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg are the authors of Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Climate change poses a major threat to the future of humanity. Extreme weather, rising seas, ocean acidification and biodiversity collapse will undermine many of the systems on which we depend. We’ve even seen a recent example of this, with South Australia’s storm and blackout illustrating the vulnerability of our society to extreme weather.

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Is renewable energy really environmentally friendly? By Robin Delobel

30 September 2016 — Climate and Capitalism

Renewable energy sources may have low CO2 emissions at the point of use, but the mines that make the technology possible are often environmentally destructive

“Africa is at the sharp end of the consequences of climate change, despite only being responsible for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, for which developed countries have historically been responsible. The rest of the world must settle this ecological debt to the African continent.”

Surprising though it may seem, these are not the words of an environmental NGO, but rather those of French President François Hollande during the COP 21 climate change conference in Paris.

What is his proposal for reducing the ecological debt to Africa? Certainly not the cancellation of completely illegitimate government debt, nor halting Françafrique (France’s post-colonial approach to Africa) and its pillaging of the continent’s resources. His suggestion – funding for renewable energy – is nothing new.

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Climate justice and the prospect of power By John Riddell

21 August 2016 — Climate & Capitalism

[Another excellent essay from C&C. WB]

No line 9

Climate justice activists have not yet found a path to transformational change. That can only emerge from the experiences of all working people here and worldwide, present and past.

A balance sheet of the movement to block the cross-Toronto ‘Line 9’ pipeline project, with notes on the meaning of “climate justice” and the relationship of socialism to social movements.

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Video: The Anthropocene and Marxism Today

12 July 2016 — Climate & Capitalism

Video: John Bellamy Foster discusses the theoretical and programmatic challenges that the Anthropocene, a dangerous new epoch in planetary history, poses for socialists in the 21st century. 

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An essential summer reading list courtesy Climate & Capitalism

29 June 2016 — Climate & Capitalism

John Bellamy Foster
Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature
Monthly Review Press, 2000

This is a classic, the one book you absolutely must read if you want to understand what Marx actually thought and wrote about humanity’s relationship to the rest of nature. Foster demonstrates that Marx’s work is deeply relevant in this age of environmental crisis. It’s not an easy read-on-the-beach book by any means, but it is truly essential. If you have read it before, read it again: I learn more each time I open it.


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