• "Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented."

  • "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

  • "What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

  • "I can find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment."

  • "We won't have a society if we destroy the environment."

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Eco-Socialism & Green Socialism

Science & Equality demand Climate Socialism for Climate Crisis

Green socialismScience and equality in the face of a worsening Climate Emergency dictate Eco-Socialism, Climate Socialism and Green Socialism to save Humanity and the Biosphere. Unaddressed man-made climate change is set to kill 10 billion people this century. Already the species extinction rate is 100-1000 times greater than normal. Sloppy, non-scientist arguments about the asserted greater economic efficiency of capitalism fall flat in the face of capitalism’s failure to address the acute problem of man-made climate change that is increasingly impacting a global avoidable mortality holocaust in which 18 million people die avoidably each year in the Developing World (excluding China).

The purpose of a "society" is surely the common good, but capitalists justify the increasing proportion of the cake taken by the wealthy since the 1960s by the claim that capitalism is superior to socialism in wealth creation (for a discussion of the increasing proportion of the cake taken by the rich see Gavin Kelly, “Wanted: a new purpose for British capitalism” (New Statesman, 16 February 2011).

Green earthHowever man-made climate change has radically changed the equation even if the politicians, media, voters and Capitalist Establishment of the Western Murdochracies and Lobbyocracies haven't yet got the message due to Mainstream lying by omission, lying by commission and remorseless obfuscation (for details see “Mainstream media censorship” and “Mainstream media lying” websites).

Thus top climate scientists argue for drastic economic decarburization if the world is to avoid a disastrous 2C temperature rise (EU policy). According to Professor Schellnhuber (Potsdam Institute, Germany) the World must achieve zero (0) carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 and (all men being equal with equal shares in atmospheric pollution) that means that high per capita polluters such as the US and Australia must reach zero by 2020 with India able to increase pollution before finally ceasing by 2050.

 Based on UN Population Division population projections, Australia’s 2020 annual per capita Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution is accordingly projected to reach 1319 Mt CO2-e/ 23.4 million people = 56 tones CO2-e per person per year, 62 times that of Bangladesh, a densely populated country acutely threatened by inundation from mainly First World-imposed GHG pollution.

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Joel KovelThe idea for this ecosocialist manifesto was jointly launched by Joel Kovel and Michael Lowy, at a September, 2001, workshop on ecology and socialism held at Vincennes, near Paris. We all suffer from a chronic case of Gramsci's paradox, of living in a time whose old order is dying (and taking civilization with it) while the new one does not seem able to be born. But at least it can be announced. The deepest shadow that hangs over us is neither terror, environmental collapse, nor global recession. It is the internalized fatalism that holds there is no possible alternative to capital’s world order. And so we wished to set an example of a kind of speech that deliberately negates the current mood of anxious compromise and passive acquiescence.

This manifesto nevertheless lacks the audacity of that of 1848, for ecosocialism is not yet a spectre, nor is it grounded in any concrete party or movement. It is only a line of reasoning, based on a reading of the present crisis and the necessary conditions for overcoming it. We make no claims of omniscience. Far from it, our goal is to invite dialogue, debate, emendation, above all, a sense of how this notion can be further realized. Innumerable points of resistance arise spontaneously across the chaotic ecumene of global capital. Many are immanently ecosocialist in content. How can these be gathered? Can we envision an "ecosocialist international?" Can the spectre be brought into being?


Michael Lowy

The twenty-first century opens on a catastrophic note, with an unprecedented degree of ecological breakdown and a chaotic world order beset with terror and clusters of low-grade, disintegrative warfare that spread like gangrene across great swathes of the planet--viz., central Africa, the Middle East, Northwestern South America--and reverberate throughout the nations.

In our view, the crises of ecology and those of societal breakdown are profoundly interrelated and should be seen as different manifestations of the same structural forces. The former broadly stems from rampant industrialization that overwhelms the earth's capacity to buffer and contain ecological destabilization. The latter stems from the form of imperialism known as globalization, with its disintegrative effects on societies that stand in its path. Moreover, these underlying forces are essentially different aspects of the same drive, which must be identified as the central dynamic that moves the whole: the expansion of the world capitalist system. 

We reject all euphemisms or propagandistic softening of the brutality of this regime: all greenwashing of its ecological costs, all mystification of the human costs under the names of democracy and human rights. We insist instead upon looking at capital from the standpoint of what it has really done.

Acting on nature and its ecological balance, the regime, with its imperative to constantly expand profitability, exposes ecosystems to destabilizing pollutants, fragments habitats that have evolved over aeons to allow the flourishing of organisms, squanders resources, and reduces the sensuous vitality of nature to the cold exchangeability required for the accumulation of capital.

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Ecological Revolution for Our Time

Ecological Revolution for Our Time
by Simon Butler

John Bellamy Foster. The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the Planet. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2009. 328 pp.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels famously urged the world's workers to unite because they had a world to win, and nothing to lose but their chains. Today, the reality of climate change and worsening environmental breakdowns globally adds a further vital dimension to this vision of human liberation. We still have a world to win -- but we also have a world to lose.

The ecological crisis is not simply the result of poor planning or bad decisions. Nor is it an unforeseeable accident. It's the inevitable outcome of an unjust economic and social system that puts business profits before all else -- even as it undermines the natural basis of life itself.

With his previous books, such as Marx's Ecology and The Vulnerable Planet, and as the editor of the US-based Marxist journal Monthly Review, John Bellamy Foster has established a well-earned reputation as one of the world's most persuasive voices arguing for fundamental social change to tackle the looming ecological catastrophe.

His new book, The Ecological Revolution, could not have been published at a more timely moment. It argues a solution to the ecological crisis "is now either revolutionary or it is false."

Foster draws on the warnings from leading environmentalists such as Bill McKibben, James Hansen, and Lester Brown among others.

McKibben has said we have now entered the "Oh Shit" era of global warming -- it's already too late to stop the harsh impacts of climate change entirely. NASA scientist Hansen has said the rapid pace of climate change amounts to a "planetary emergency."

In his 2008 book Plan B 3.0, Brown said: "We are crossing natural thresholds that we cannot see and violating deadlines that we do not recognize. Nature is the time keeper, but we cannot see the clock. . . . We are in a race between tipping points in the earth's natural systems and those in the world's political systems. Which will tip first?" 

The Ecological Revolution is a call for urgent action and an intervention into the debates about the kind of action needed to win this "race."

The dwindling band of climate change deniers aside, general awareness of the extent of environmental decay is more widespread than ever -- even among the world's elites. The upshot is that two distinct visions of ecological revolution have emerged.

The first tries to paint business as usual economics green. The second, following Che Guevara's maxim, holds it must be a genuine eco-social revolution or it's a make-believe revolution.

"The conflict between these two opposing approaches to ecological revolution," writes Foster, "can now be considered the central problem facing environmental social science today."

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Eco-Socialism - Why we need Eco-socialism


Why we need Eco-socialism

Derek Wall

In his presentation to the Socialist Resistance ‘Ecosocialism or Barbarism’ day school Dr. Derek Wall, the Male Principal Speaker of the Green Party of England and Wales argued for a re-reading of Marx to develop ecosocialist principles, for the alternative is literally unthinkable destruction. Derek Wall is a life long ecosocialist and founder of the GPEW socialist group Green Left. [1]

I would like to thank you for endorsing Joel Kovel and Michael Lowy’s Ecosocialist Manifesto: [2] it is an essential document because it argues that unlimited economic growth is unsustainable, while capitalism to survive must grow for ever. It calls for an alternative to this system of madness. Support for the Ecosocialist manifesto is therefore vital.

In a passage from Capital: Volume One, which is important for its understanding of how we can create a sustainable future, Marx links the open source principle to socialism and use - we should take what we want but nurture what we use for the benefit of the next generation:

From the standpoint of a higher economic form of society, private ownership of the globe by single individuals will appear quite absurd as private ownership of one man by another. Even a whole society, a nation, or even all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not the owners of the globe. They are only its possessors, its usufructuries, and like boni patres familias, they must hand it down to succeeding generations in an improved condition. [3]

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John Bellamy Foster on `Marx's Ecology' and `The Ecological Revolution'

John Bellamy Foster interviewed by Aleix Bombila

John Bellamy Foster is editor of the US socialist journal Monthly Review and author of Marx's Ecology and The Ecological Revolution. Aleix Bombila writes for En Lucha (Spain). This interview first appeared in English at MRZine.

En Lucha: In your book Marx's Ecology you argue that Marxism has a lot to offer to the ecologist movement. What kind of united work can be established between Marxists and ecologists?

John Bellamy Foster: I think it is important to recognise that Marxists and ecologists are not entirely different groups. Of course it is true that there have been Reds who have been anti-ecological and Greens who have been anti-Marxist. But it is not uncommon for the two to overlap, and increasingly to converge. Many socialists are environmentalists and many environmentalists are socialists. Indeed, there is a sense in which Marxism and ecology, both classically and today, lead to the same conclusion. For Marx, the goal was the creation of a society in which the metabolic relation between humanity and nature (i.e. production) was rationally regulated by the associated producers. The original title of my book that you refer to was supposed to be Marx and Ecology, but I changed it to Marx's Ecology because of the depth of Marx's ecological conceptions.

I would argue that a critical Marxist approach, especially in our time, requires an ecological worldview, while a critical human ecology requires an anti-capitalist and ultimately socialist orientation (i.e., a Marxist one). In terms of united work that Marxists and ecologists can share, I would say social justice and environmental sustainability: saving humanity and saving the Earth. You can't expect to achieve one without the other, and neither is possible under the existing system.

Probably the strongest single voice for an ecological relation in the world today is Evo Morales, the socialist (and Indigenous) president of Bolivia. After the failed Copenhagen conference on climate change, Fidel Castro said that we used to think we were in a struggle simply to determine the society of the future, but we now know we are in a struggle for survival. We have reached a point where historical materialists are taking global leadership in defining the ecological needs of humanity.

 The struggle against climate change looks kind of abstract at first sight. How can we organise campaigns against climate change with a real impact? Who should promote them?

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