Subjects Archives: Climate Change

  • Climate Crisis — Urgent Action Needed Now!

      The following statement was started by the participants in the Climate Change|Social Change conference.  Anyone who agrees with it is welcome to add their signature, and an updated list of signatories will be issued on a regular basis (contact: <climateconf@greenleft.org.au>.). It is being distributed to environmental, trade union, Indigenous, migrant, religious and community organisations […]

  • Capitalism and Climate Change

    John Bellamy Foster, Marxist ecologist and editor of Monthly Review, addressed the Climate Change I Social Change Conference on “Capitalism and Climate Change,” Sydney, April 11, 2008.  Foster’s talk was part of a panel discussing “Climate Change and Its Social Roots.”  The conference was organized by Green Left Weekly.  Below is Foster’s talk in five […]

  • Climate Change | Social Change. A Conference to Strengthen Radical Social Action to Stop Climate Change

    The world is teetering on the brink of unstoppable climate change.  Many now recognise the need for serious change in the way we produce and use energy, our transport systems, food production, urban design and forestry practices.  Yet politicians are still mouthing platitudes while allowing corporations to continue to profit from polluting our atmosphere and […]

  • The Economic Crisis, the American Working Class, and the Left: The Situation Today and the Situation in 1930

    The world appears to be on the verge of an economic crisis and, if it turns out to be as serious as some think, one that could rival or exceed the great panics of the late nineteenth century and the decade-long Great Depression.  The crisis began with unscrupulous mortgage lending on an enormous scale, leading […]

  • The U.S. Occupation of Iraq at the Pivot

    Max Elbaum will be on two panels at Left Forum 2008: “The State of the Anti-War Movement” and “Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Legacy of ’68.” — Ed. WAR/PEACE AT THE PIVOT If the U.S. can be forced to withdraw completely from Iraq, many more positive changes become possible. But if the U.S. continues its […]

  • Biofuels, BP-Berkeley, and the New Ecological Imperialism

    British Petroleum, Beyond Petroleum . . . Biofuel Promoter, Biosphere Plunderer.  Regardless of what the BP abbreviation actually stands for, one thing is clear: this oil giant knows a good deal when it sees one.  For a relatively small financial contribution, BP appropriates academic expertise from a leading public research institution, founded on 200 years […]

  • The Failure of Climate Change Economics

    In 1896, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius developed a theory to explain the likely impact of burning coal on the climate.  Arrhenius claimed that, due to human activity, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase, creating an “enhanced” greenhouse effect.  His theory did not enjoy consensus in his time, but the scientific community […]

  • After Bali: Time for a Different Kind of Climate Politics

    “We are ending up with something so watered down there was no need for 12,000 people to gather here in Bali to have a watered-down text.  We could have done that by email.” — Dr. Angus Friday, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States In a narrow and formal sense, last month’s Climate Change […]

  • From False to Real Solutions for Climate Change

    Amidst her welcome critique of the biofuel mania, Vandana Shiva‘s ZNet commentary last month (December 13, 2007) also made this point: “The Kyoto Protocol totally avoided the material challenge of stopping activities that lead to higher emissions and the political challenge of regulation of the polluters and making the polluters pay in accordance with principles […]

  • Zuma, the Centre-Left and the Left-Left

    “O there are times, we must confess To harboring a whim — we Like to picture old Karl Marx Sliding down our chimney” — Susie Day “Help fund the good fight.   By contributing to MR, you help reinforce the left and reclaim the future.” — Richard D. Vogel “To do my part, I just […]

  • Marx and the Global Environmental Rift

    Ecology is often seen as a recent invention.  But the idea that capitalism degrades the environment in a way that disproportionately affects the poor and the colonized was already expressed in the nineteenth century in the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.  Writing in Capital in 1867 on England’s ecological imperialism toward Ireland, Marx […]

  • J. R. R. Tolkien: Saving the Ecosystems of Middle Earth

      In J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy (1955-56) the ring is at the center of an epochal ecological struggle over the fate of Middle Earth.  Received as fantasy, in its own way this tale nevertheless encapsulates nearly a century of geological, biological, and botanical lore that followed Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859).  […]

  • Quick Thoughts on Carbon Sequestration

    How do we mitigate climate change?  A fashionable suggestion is technologically intensive carbon sequestration.  That, however, is an excessively expensive and probably technically impossible method of capturing significant amounts of carbon.  Another popular suggestion for sequestering carbon is planting trees. A more traditional method — building up the soil — which is better for the […]

  • Why We Oppose the Indo-U.S. Military Ties

    Since the 1990s, the U.S. government made overtures to the Indian Government for a military alliance.  When the Bush administration came to power it wanted India to be a part of its missile defence shield.  Since 9/11, the Indian and U.S. navies and Special Forces have conducted a number of joint exercises in the Indian […]

  • International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

    Message of Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Special Rapporteur, on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Geneva, 7 August 2007 As we celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on 9 August this year, the focus of attention for many of […]

  • Interview with Michael Heinrich: “There Simply Aren’t Any Easy Solutions to Which One Can Adhere”

    Michael Heinrich is a political scientist and mathematician in Berlin and a member of the editorial board of Prokla — journal for critical social science.  Below is an interview with the “. . . ums Ganze!” [. . . All or Nothing!] coalition. “…ums Ganze!”: The federal government has staked out a position for the […]

  • A New War on the Planet?

    During the last year the global warming debate has reached a turning point.  Due to the media hype surrounding Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, followed by a new assessment by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the climate skeptics have suffered a major defeat.  Suddenly the media and the public are awakening […]

  • On Biofuels and an Energy Revolution

    I hold nothing against Brazil, even though to more than a few Brazilians continuously bombarded with the most diverse arguments, which can be confusing even for people who have traditionally been friendly to Cuba, we might sound callous and careless about hurting that country’s net income of hard currency.  However, for me to keep silent […]

  • Capital and Nature: An Interview with Paul Burkett

    1.  The year 2007 marks the 140th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Marx’s Capital.  In your perspective, what is the main contribution of that major work to the understanding of contemporary capitalism? Marx’s Capital establishes three essential contradictions of capitalism which grow in intensity as the system develops historically.  These contradictions […]

  • Straight from the Billionaire’s Mouth

    Social critics, from Ida B. Wells to Noam Chomsky, recognize that the elite press can serve as the best tool against the elite.  Today’s business magazines have no problem “naming the system,” and they write with clarity and frankness on the inner workings of capitalism and imperialism.  My good friend and correspondent Skip recently sent […]