Ecosocialist Bookshelf, Pandemic Edition (July 2020)

6 July 2020 — Climate & Capitalism

A special edition of Ecosocialist Bookshelf: six books we recommend for understanding the deadliest global health crisis of our time


Ecosocialist Bookshelf is an occasional feature. This edition focuses on viruses and health care, on capitalism’s failure to protect human health, and radical alternatives. 


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The Coronavirus pandemic, ecological catastrophe and global capitalism: an interlocking phenomenon

28 June, 2020 — Middle East 4 Change

by Mehdi Kia (May 14, 2019)

The COVID-19 pandemic has unravelled the close structural links between the climate crisis and the global capitalist mode of production.[1] This is a scenario that the socialist left should own as a central platform in its campaigning and organisation activities. The climate catastrophe not only has an immensely broad appeal to young and old, but is gender neutral, differentially effects the most deprived sections of society, and is by its nature international. The climate crisis directly links what is immediately effecting most people’s lives with anti-capitalism, internationalism and socialism. In short global climate catastrophe has the potential to unite all ages, mobilise the young, is inherently anti-capitalist, and does not recognise national borders. It is thus central to the revolutionary socialist agenda.

The path the world takes out of lockdown will shape the climate struggle for decades to come

23 June 2020 — ROAR Collective

What can we do to seize the moment?

COVID-19 has forced a re-evaluation of nearly every aspect of how we fight for social and ecological justice. Yet, when it comes to the issue of climate change it can seem as if the virus has changed everything without changing anything at all. The world we live in today looks nothing like it did at the start of the year, but the climate crisis is still the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced and global capital is still hell-bent on ignoring it.

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‘Six Months To Avert Climate Crisis’: Climate Breakdown And The Corporate Media

22 June 2020 — Media Lens

In his classic science fiction novel, ‘Foundation’, Isaac Asimov posited a future in which ‘psychohistorians’ could predict outcomes based on past history and the large-scale behaviour of human populations by combining psychology and the mathematics of probability. Using ‘psychohistory’, the protagonist Hari Seldon discovers that the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire will collapse in 500 years. He warns the galactic rulers of this likely fate, while explaining that an alternative future in which human knowledge is preserved can be attained. For his trouble, he is exiled to the remote planet of Terminus.

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COVID-19 and Catastrophe Capitalism

1 June 2020 — Monthly Review Press

Commodity Chains and Ecological-Epidemiological-Economic Crises

by and

Global logistics concept illustrationImage credit: William B. Cassidy, “Shippers seek stability ahead of patchwork COVID-19 recovery,” Joc.com, May 18, 2020.

John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review and a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon. He is the author, most recently, of The Robbery of Nature: Capitalism and the Ecological Rift (with Brett Clark) and The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology—both published by Monthly Review Press in 2020. Intan Suwandi is an assistant professor of sociology at Illinois State University and author of Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism (Monthly Review Press, 2019). They thank Fred Magdoff for his invaluable comments.

COVID-19 has accentuated as never before the interlinked ecological, epidemiological, and economic vulnerabilities imposed by capitalism. As the world enters the third decade of the twenty-first century, we are seeing the emergence of catastrophe capitalism as the structural crisis of the system takes on planetary dimensions.

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DeSmog UK Weekly: Leading by leaving

19 June 2020 — DeSmog UK

It has perhaps been a long time coming, but the UK government is finally thinking about putting its money where it’s mouth is. Or should that be withdrawing its money from where its mouth shouldn’t be?

This week, it was announced that the government was considering steps to stop supporting fossil fuel projects abroad through its various agencies, including UK Export Finance (UKEF) and the development company CDC Group (formerly the Colonial Development Corporation).

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Resetting the economy – for social need not profit

12 June 2020 — Michael Roberts Blog

In a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) virtual meeting, the ageing heir to the British monarchy, Prince Charles spoke with IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva. Charles’s speech was part of a launch event for The Great Reset, a project involving the WEF and the Prince of Wales’s Sustainable Markets Initiative, aimed at rebuilding the economic and social system to be more ‘sustainable’. Charles called for a resetting of the world economy after the COVID pandemic subsides.

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Ecosocialist Bookshelf, June 2020

1 June 2020 — Climate & Capitalism
Reading in Lockdown

Books we’re reading this month … The Life of V. Gordon Childe; The Tragedy of US Science; Four Billion Years of Life; Marx and Climate Crisis; Tell the Bosses We’re Coming; Essays on Red Rosa


Ecosocialist Bookshelf is an occasional feature. We can’t review every book we receive, but we will list and link to any that seem relevant to Climate & Capitalism’s mission, along with brief descriptions. Books described here may be reviewed in future. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) these books say.


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