Archive | Journal Articles (Refereed)

Journal Articles (Refereed)

The Dialectic of Social and Ecological Metabolism

One of the most remarkable aspects of Marxist scholarship in recent decades has been the recovery and development of Marx’s argument on social and ecological metabolism, which was crucial to his metabolic terms. As he wrote in Capital: “Labour is … a process between man and nature, a process by which man … mediates, regulates […]

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Marx’s Ecology in the 21st Century

The most pressing problem confronting humanity in the 21st century is the ecological crisis. The “problem of nature” is really a problem of capital, as natural cycles are turned into broken linear processes geared to private accumulation. Important advances in ecosocialist theory illuminate the continuing importance of marx’s materialist and metabolic approach for studying the […]

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The Midas Effect

James Hansen, a leading US climatologist and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, warns that global climate change today constitutes a ‘planetary emergency’. Existing trends threaten to set in mo- tion irreversible climate transformations, proceeding ‘mostly under their own momentum’, thereby fundamentally transforming the conditions of life on earth (Hansen, 2008b: 7–8).

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The Sociology of Ecology

Environmental sociology has been divided in recent years by a debate between realists and constructionists centering on the knowledge claims of ecological science. Following a consid- eration of this debate and its relation to both environmental sociology and the “sociology of ecology,” a “realist constructionism” is advanced, taking as its concrete case the conflict in […]

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Classical Marxism and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Ever since Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1971) wrote his magnum opus, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process, the entropy law (or the second law of thermodynamics) has been viewed as a sine qua non of ecological economics. Georgescu-Roegen argued strongly that both the entropy law and the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of matter–energy) were incompatible […]

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The Critique of Intelligent Design

A new version of the age-old controversy between religion and science has been launched by today’s intelligent design movement. Although ostensibly concerned simply with combating Darwinism, this new creationism seeks to drive a “wedge” into the materialist view of the world, originating with the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus and manifested in modern times by Darwin, […]

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Metabolism, Energy, and Entropy in Marx’s Critique of Political Economy: Beyond the Podolinsky Myth

Until recently, most commentators, including ecological Marxists, have assumed that Marx’s historical materialism was only marginally ecologically sensitive at best, or even that it was explicitly anti-ecological. However, research over the last decade has demonstrated not only that Marx deemed ecological materialism essential to the critique of political economy and to investigations into socialism, but […]

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The Treadmill of Accumulation

Allan Schnaiberg’s “treadmill of production” model has formed the single most influential framework of analysis within environmental sociology in the United States. Schnaiberg’s work is often characterized as “neo-Marxist,” but its actual relation to Marxian political economy has been left obscure. The following article examines Marx’s treatment of the treadmill as the crudest historical expression […]

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Ecological Economics and Classical Marxism

This introduction to “Socialism and the Unity of Physical Forces” reassesses Sergei Podolinsky’s place in the history of ecological economics together with Marx and Engels’s reaction to Podolinsky’s work. The authors show that contrary to conventional wisdom, Podolinsky did not establish a plausible thermodynamic basis for the labor theory of value that could have been […]

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