“The Earth-System Emergency and Ecological Civilization: A Marxian View”, International Critical Thought (2017), vol. 7, no. 4:439–458. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21598282.2017.1357483. [PDF]
The Holocene epoch in geological history of the last 10,000–12,000 years has given way to a new geological epoch which natural scientists are calling the Anthropocene, marked by humanity’s emergence as the main driver of change in the Earth system as a whole, threatening the future of civilization, a majority of ecosystems on the planet, and the human species itself. From a historical-materialist perspective, this planetary emergency constitutes a crisis of civilization. Human civilization arose in the relatively benign environment of the Holocene. In contrast, the Anthropocene is an epoch of increased ecological constraints and dangers, marked by what has been called the Great climacteric, objectively requiring the creation of a new more sustainable society, or ecological civilization. The making of such an ecological civilization is closely linked to the long revolutionary transition from capitalism to socialism.