environment

Capitalism, nature, socialism: a theoretical introduction - James O'Connor

The Alberta tar sands

James O'Connor's influential 1988 article introducing the idea of a 'second contradiction of capitalism', between political economy and the environment.

"Those who insist that [environmental destruction] has nothing to do with Marxism merely ensure that what they choose to call Marxism will have nothing to do with what happens in the world." - Aiden Foster-Carter

Après moi le déluge! Fossil fuel abolitionism and the carbon bubble - part 2

A worker cleans an oil spill from an abandoned Shell well in Oloibiri, Nigeria

In part two of this two-part article, we look at the parallels between fossil-fuel abolitionism and the abolition of slavery in the 19th century United States.

Part one of this article, looking at the 'carbon bubble' and path-dependent development is here.

Abolitionism in the 19th century US

Après moi le déluge! Fossil fuel abolitionism and the carbon bubble - part 1

Image: carbontracker.org

In part one of this two-part article, we look at the so-called ‘carbon bubble’ – assets priced based on 'unburnable' fossil fuels.

The 'carbon bubble' and path dependency

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its latest report

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report came out on Monday. This post includes some background on the IPCC, and discussion of the report.

The IPCC - background and history

Man and nature - Elisée Reclus

The present pamphlet contains two essays concerning the relationship between man and nature by the anarchist geographer Elisée Reclus. the first is a review of the book, Man and Nature, by George Perkins Marsh. In the second essay, Reclus concerns himself with the the awareness of nature in modern society.

The final solution - Renaud Miailhe

An essay on biotechnology, its ideological precursors and its disastrous implications, with discussions of eugenics, futurism, fantasies of space colonization, genetic intervention to mitigate the harmful effects of unbridled technological and industrial development, genetic screening, the Human Genome Project, and the “proletarianization of life”.

The Final Solution – Renaud Miailhe

“My generation, or perhaps the one preceding mine, has been the first to engage, under the leadership of the exact sciences, in a destructive colonial warfare against nature. The future will curse us for it.”
(Declaration of Erwin Chargaff, pioneer of molecular biology, 1976)

Antarctica - Kim Stanley Robinson

Antarctica is Robinson's first novel published after the success of the Mars trilogy. However, because of the similarity in the themes of both works, Antarctica has been called "White Mars" by some. Antarctica describes the small Antarctic society and their struggle to keep Antarctica safe from the potential exploitation of its fossil fuel resources.

What's wrong with Prometheanism?

Prometheus: mythical figure who stole fire from the gods

Simple questions of technological progress abound in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.

In response to our introduction to Murray Bookchin's philosophy of technology, a commenter asked:

888 wrote:
What's so bad about Prometheanism? Sounds good to me! Defying the gods, playing with fire, storming heaven...

Killer coal-burning plant switched off in Vado Ligure, Italy

A coal burning factory in northern Italy, which caused pollution linked to the deaths of hundreds of local residents and was owned by entrepreneurs close to the centre-left political party, has been closed down by police.

The Tirreno Power coal-burning power station in Vado Ligure, near Savona, has been shut down by police at the request of the Public Prosecutor. This comes as a result of a three-year investigation by the Public Prosecutor into the plant’s effects on the environment and public health.

Murray Bookchin's libertarian technics

A robot adjusting solar panels

The first in a series of critical introductions to thinkers and concepts that inform discussion of the climate crisis, looking at Murray Bookchin's ideas about technology.

Murray Bookchin (1921-2006) was a pioneer of radical ecological thought and working class autodidact. Bookchin's political trajectory took him from Stalinism (as a 9 year-old, he was soon expelled), to Trotskyism, to anarchism, to eventually breaking with anarchism and founding libertarian municipalism/communalism in an attempt to engage with the local state.