Ecosocialist Bookshelf, August 2019

17 August 2019 — Climate & Capitalism

Reading matters

New books for reds and greens. How the Richest Drive Climate Change; Planning from Below; The Scottish Clearances; Slime; Here Comes the Sun; Eco-Socialism and Practical Utopias

Climate & Capitalism can’t review every book we receive, but this column lists and links to those that seem relevant to our mission, along with brief descriptions. Titles described here may be reviewed in future. Inclusion does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) these books say.

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Australia’s Pacific Play: Denying Climate Change and Boosting China’s Threat by Dr Binoy Kampmark

14 August 2019 — Counter Currents

Australia has always nursed a contradictory, repressive relationship with its Pacific neighbours.  Being a satrap of great powers, it has performed the role of gate keeper and monitor of regional instability, a condescending, often paternalistic agent. At stages, it has also entertained more direct colonial interests.  For almost seven decades, Australia controlled Papua New Guinea, assuming power over the former British colony of Papua in 1906.

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What the new IPCC report says about climate change and land

9 August 2019 — Climate & Capitalism

Summary of new UN report that documents the impact of climate change on land and agriculture — and how land misuse accelerates climate change.

On Thursday, August 8, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a special 1200-page report titled Climate Change and Land, a detailed summary of current scientific knowledge of complex relationships between “climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.”

The following summary of the report’s key findings was prepared by Daisy Dunne, Josh Gabbatiss, and Robert Mcsweeney, and published by Carbon Brief under a Creative Commons license.


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Clean energy dream fuels a dirty mineral rush

8 August 2019 — RT

Clean energy dream fuels a dirty mineral rush

Open-pit copper and cobalt mine at Tenke Fungurume in Congo’s copper-producing south, January 29, 2013 ©  Reuters / Jonny Hogg

A future of environment-friendly energy, where dirty engines and power plants rust in history’s scrapyard, is an idyllic vision. In the cynical real world, the rush for green batteries is fueling a harmful mining boom.

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What kind of rebellion will save humanity from extinction?

6 August 2019 — Climate & Capitalism

The real power of mass civil disobedience is not its ability to shock the powerful into listening, but rather its potential to draw masses of people into action.

Pip Hinman is a a leader of the Socialist Alliance in Sydney, Australia, and a founding member of Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney.


by Pip Hinman
Green Left Weekly, August 2, 2019

We live in a dystopian age. Governments have known since at least the mid-’90s about the potentially devastating impact of human-induced climate change. But for the most part they have either disputed and denied this, or pretended to be responding to scientists’ findings.

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Climate Change is Class War by Jodi Dean

6 August 2019 — Liberation

Contemporary capitalism presents a direct threat to the survival of most of the world’s species: climate change. The global capitalist economy is anchored in fossil fuels. Burning these fuels releases warming gasses into the atmosphere where they accumulate over time, raising the earth’s temperature. The rising temperatures have significant effects. For example, melting glaciers and polar ice caps lead to rising sea levels. Changes in air and ocean temperatures impact weather patterns, which leads to droughts in some places and floods in others.

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How fast is the climate changing?

2 August 2019 — MROnline

Originally published: Rebel News Ireland by John Molyneux (July 25, 2019)

It is clear that there is now quite widespread public awareness of the fact that climate change is a reality and a serious threat to the future of humanity. And this is reflected to some extent in the mainstream media despite their reluctance to treat the issue as a real emergency. However, there is still a considerable disjunction between the way climate change is generally perceived and the reality of what is actually happening.

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WikiLeaks Releases and Environmental Causes

31 July 2019 — Defend Wikileaks

WikiLeaks’ publication of more than 10 million documents has shed much-needed light on every corner of corporate and governmental secrecy. Within these files are scores of revelations about the ways in which the world’s most influential governments and corporations have put profit and power above environmental protections, undermining climate agreements, protecting their interests, and covering up environmental abuses.

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Alaska Governor Demolishes Climate Research by Robert Hunziker

30 July 2019 — Counter Currents

“The University of Alaska Fairbanks (“UAF”) is a hub for Arctic climate research, and a magnet for top scientists and international collaborations— and it’s in trouble.” (Source: Sabrina Shankman, A Death Spiral for Research: Arctic Scientists Worried as Alaska Universities Face 40% Funding Cut, Inside Climate News, July 19, 2019)

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War, empire and racism in the Anthropocene By Dr. Nafeez Ahmed

27 July 2019 — True Publica

War, empire and racism in the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene. A proposed new geological epoch which designates a shift to a planetary age dominated by human impacts across the geological processes of the Earth. Geologists dispute the duration, precision, relevance and even accuracy of the concept. But the term has increasingly entered the scientific lexicon as increasing numbers of experts across myriad disciplines recognise that for the first time in history, the future of the entire planet—for generations if not millennia to come—is now being fundamentally determined by the activities of the human species. But the Anthropocene is about far more than just climate change. It is about an entire system of life, whose design is to maximise resource extraction at the expense of expendable ‘Others’. It is bound up, intimately, with a global system of racism emerging from the legacy of centuries of colonialism. And it is inseparable from the ceaseless sequence of industrial wars, culminating in today’s permanent state of the endless ‘war on terror’.

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The Discovery and Rediscovery of Metabolic Rift

28 July 2019 — Climate & Capitalism

Ian Angus

“Nature is the proof of dialectics, and it must be said for modern science that it has furnished this proof with very rich materials increasing daily.”—Frederick Engels


Video: Ian Angus discusses the scientific developments that led Marx to develop metabolic rift theory, and a new generation to rediscover it in our time.

Feature presentation at the SWP Marxism Festival in London, UK, on July 6, 2019.

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