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What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism

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What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism: A Citizen’s Guide to Capitalism and the Environment,” (co-authored with Fred Magdoff, Magdoff listed first, New York: Monthly Review Press, 2011), 187 pp.

There is a growing consensus that the planet is heading toward environmental catastrophe: climate change, ocean acidification, ozone depletion, global freshwater use, loss of biodiversity, and chemical pollution all threaten our future unless we act. What is less clear is how humanity should respond. The contemporary environmental movement is the site of many competing plans and prescriptions, and composed of a diverse set of actors, from militant activists to corporate chief executives.

This short, readable book is a sharply argued manifesto for those environmentalists who reject schemes of “green capitalism” or piecemeal reform. Environmental and economic scholars Magdoff and Foster contend that the struggle to reverse ecological degradation requires a firm grasp of economic reality. Going further, they argue that efforts to reform capitalism along environmental lines or rely solely on new technology to avert catastrophe misses the point. The main cause of the looming environmental disaster is the driving logic of the system itself, and those in power—no matter how “green”—are incapable of making the changes that are necessary.

Translations:
  • Turkish translation by Original Aksakal, Trails Publishing (2014).
  • German translation, Hamburg: Laika-Verlag, 2012.

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