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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Today orthodox economics is reputedly being harnessed to an entirely new end: saving the planet from the ecological destruction wrought by capitalist expansion. It promises to accomplish this through the further expansion of capitalism itself, cleared of its excesses and excrescences. A growing army of self-styled “sustainable developers” argues that there is no contradiction between […]
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).
In a recent essay, “Economics Needs a Scientific Revolution,” in one of the leading scientific journals, Nature, physicist Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, a researcher for an investment management company, asked rhetorically, “What is the flagship achievement of economics?” Bouchaud’s answer: “Only its recurrent inability to predict and avert crises.” Although his discussion is focused on the current […]
Since the atomic bomb made its first appearance on the world stage in 1945, it has been clear that we possess the power to destroy our own planet. What nuclear weapons made possible, global environmental crisis, marked especially by global warming, has now made inevitable—if business as usual continues.
The concept of ecological imperialism is seemingly unavoidable in our time. Obvious cases are all around us. One is the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which is at least partly over oil. Instances of ecological imperialism do not, how- ever, stop with Iraq. Whether it is the renewed scramble for Africa, the flooding of the […]
Critique of Intelligent Design is a direct reply to the criticisms of intelligent design proponents and a compelling account of the long debate between materialism and religion in the West. It provides an overview of the contemporary fight concerning nature, science, history, morality, and knowledge. Separate chapters are devoted to the design debate in antiquity, […]
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 […]
It is impossible to exaggerate the environmental problem facing humanity in the twenty-first century. Nearly fifteen years ago one of us observed: “We have only four decades left in which to gain control over our major environmental problems if we are to avoid irreversible ecological decline.” Today, with a quarter-century still remaining in this projected […]
Rachel Carson was born just over 100 years ago in 1907. Her most famous book Silent Spring, published in 1962, is often seen as marking the birth of the modern environmental movement. Although an immense amount has been written about Carson and her work, the fact that she was objectively a “woman of the left” […]