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Ecology

December 2021 (Volume 73, Number 7)

With the rapidly worsening capitalist demolition of the planetary environment and the expansion of ecosocialist movements in response, leading establishment think tanks, like the corporate-supported Breakthrough Institute, dedicated to promoting the ideology of “green capitalism” at any cost, have found themselves in a difficult place. | more…

Fist with windmill

Against Doomsday Scenarios: What Is to Be Done Now?

We should avoid offering a fatalistic worldview. In fact, the environmental movement in general and ecosocialism in particular are all about combating the current trend toward ecological destruction. Climate change is now “code red for humanity.” This is not a doomsday forecast but a call to action. | more…

Flooding on Laboulle avenue in Tilff, Belgium

The Planetary Rift

The widespread view on the left that Marx had adopted an extreme productivist view of the human domination of nature—and hence had failed to perceive the natural limits to production and ecological contradictions in general, giving them at most only marginal attention—was contradicted by his theory of the metabolic rift. | more…

Monthly Review Volume 73, Number 5 (October 2021)

October 2021 (Volume 73, Number 5)

What was most significant about the published Part I of the report was that it revealed that even in the most optimistic projection of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways—in which carbon emissions globally peak in the next four years, a 1.5°C increase in global average temperature over preindustrial levels would be avoided until 2040, and the goal of net zero carbon emissions would be reached by 2050—the consequences for global humanity would nonetheless be catastrophic by the measure of all historical precedents. | more…

Fly-tipped tires in a disused chalk quarry in North Kent, England

The Capitalinian: The First Geological Age of the Anthropocene

Assuming that the Anthropocene will soon be officially designated as the earth’s current epoch, there remains the question of the geological age with which the Anthropocene begins. Adopting the standard nomenclature for the naming of geological ages, the term Capitalinian is proposed as the most appropriate name for the new geological age, conforming to the historical period that environmental historians see as commencing around 1950, in the wake of the Second World War, the rise of multinational corporations, and the unleashing of the process of decolonization and global development. | more…

Post-Growth Living: For an Alternative Hedonism

Building a Vision of the Good Life

The crux of Kate Soper’s Post-Growth Living is simple: we need to redefine “the good life.” We need to move away from a culture that equates the good life with endless consumption and toward one that equates it with experiences that are not defined by the market. Not only is this transition ecologically necessary, but it will also lead to fairer, and far more pleasurable, experiences. | more…

A drone applying pesticide on a field in Huichang, Jiangxi province

From Sandstorm and Smog to Sustainability and Justice: China’s Challenges

In China, the orientation toward “ecological civilization” has been proposed for some years. But if the hard core of developmentalism and modernization continues to be the guiding principle, China will continue to be challenged by social injustice and environmental devastation. | more…

New beech leaves, Gribskov Forest in the northern part of Sealand, Denmark

Capital and the Ecology of Disease

The death of Salvador Allende in 1973 marked, simultaneously, not only the demise of one of the great socialist experiments, and the launching of neoliberalism; it also represented the loss in Allende of one of the great figures in social medicine. Nowhere has neoliberalism had more devastating effects than in the destruction of public health and social medicine initiatives throughout the world. | more…

Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History by Paul Farmer

Epidemic Response

The Legacy of Colonialism

The COVID-19 pandemic is at its root a crisis of globalization, racial capitalism, colonialism, the social organization of our public health system. It is a crisis of treatment and care versus demonization and wall building. And it is the latest pandemic in a long line of modern onesÑfrom SARS to swine flu to HIV to EbolaÑa predictable and predicted outcome, not the mysterious unforeseeable lightning strike as it is often portrayed. | more…

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