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Ecology

Monthly Review Volume 73, Number 5 (October 2021)

Advance Release! The Leaked IPCC Reports: Notes from the Editors, October 2021

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

This article will be released in full online September 27, 2021.

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…

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, joined by the Presidential Cabinet members, pose for a Cabinet portrait Thursday, April 1, 2021, in the Grand Foyer of the White House

The Council on Foreign Relations, the Biden Team, and Key Policy Outcomes

Climate and China

We can analyze the new Biden administration, its personnel, and the policies it is likely to follow, especially on the all-important questions of the climate crisis and U.S. grand strategy toward China, by looking at the Council on Foreign Relations. | more…

Marx in Motion: A New Materialist Marxism by Thomas Nail

What Sort of Kinetic Materialism Did Marx Find in Epicurus?

In his Theses on Feuerbach, Karl Marx suggests that the main flaw of all previous materialism has been to uncritically accept and champion a notion of matter that has its proper place in a dualistic framework, where matter is passive and the mind is active. If this is so, true materialism will conceive of matter as an active principle, and of material beings as perfectly capable of conscious sensation and agency. | more…

Monthly Review Volume 72, Number 2 (March 2021)

March 2021 (Volume 72, Number 2)

Despite all of the inevitable contradictions, China stands out in the present planetary emergency in having advanced an ambitious vision of ecological civilization with the strong support of the Chinese population. Paraphrasing C. Wright Mills on Cuba, we do not worry about China’s struggle to create an ecological civilization. We worry with it. | more…

Bend of Jinsha River at Shigu village, Yulong Naxi autonomous county in Lijiang, Southwest China's Yunnan province

The Ecological State

Although natural constraints on supply are important, most economic scarcities that rule our lives are actually social and artificial. Supply and demand are not natural forces drifting through the air; they are contrived realities established by an interactive social environment involving governments, corporations, institutions, and classes. Supply and demand cycles are social constructs designed to answer a basic question: Who gets what? | more…

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