ecosocialism

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at six new books for reds and greens covering climate change and disease’ capitalist power and the planet’s future’ brain, body, and environment’  oceanic art and science’ essential fungi and life, and the political economy of water.

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Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change
By Mary Beth Pfeiffer
Island Press, 2018

Ian Angus, editor of Climate and Capitalism, compiles a new list of essential readings for ecosocialists.

Two decades ago, barely anyone called themselves an ecosocialist. Yet today the term is widespread on the left.

This comes from an awareness that any viable alternative to capitalism must do away with the current destructive relationship between human society and the wider natural world. It also stems from a recognition that too many socialists in the 20th century failed to take environmental issues seriously.

Over the past three decades, US-based Marxist journal Monthly Review has stood out as a major source of ecosocialist analysis. This has been especially evident in recent months, with the publication by Monthly Review Press of three pathbreaking books:

Climate & Capitalism editor and author of A Redder Shade of Green: Intersections of Science and Socialism Ian Angus takes a look at six new books on Marx’s ecosocialist views, climate change and health, theory and action, inevitability versus contingency in evolution, new politics and the meaning of Marx’s Capital.

Ian Angus takes a look at five new books of interest to ecosocialists, looking at urban climate change, past mass extinctions, tropical rainforests, religious anti-science, and the end of Arctic ice. Angus is the editor of Climate and Capitalism, where this list first appeared, and author of the new book A Redder Shade of Green.

The devastating hurricanes that hit the southern US and the Caribbean, and the catastrophic flooding in South Asia, have highlighted the worsening reality of global warming-related extreme weather.

The worsening reality of  weather-related disasters was explicitly recorded in a little-noticed United Nations Office for Disaster risk reduction report The Human Cost of Weather-Related Disasters: 1995-2015. The report noted that both the number of extreme-weather events, and the number of people affected, has risen dramatically over the past two decades.

Below are five new books for the bookshelves of ecosocialists. They cover climate change, the Anthropocene, water and food — plus an inspiring account of the Russian Revolution by award-winning science fiction writer China Mieville.

On Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal readers can find an interview with leading ecosocialist voice Daniel Tanuro as well as articles looking at the ongoing fallout of the Brexit vote and the origins of arguably the most famous slogan in revolutionary history: "All power to the Soviets!"

Having come back from a much needed break with much time spent curled up with books, here are some notes on seven of interest to ecosocialists.

I particularly enjoyed two excellent accounts of the role of trees and other plants in Earth System. The Emerald Planet, by David Beerling, (Oxford University Press, 2007) covers the 500 million years since plants migrated from the oceans.

Five new books for green lefts and left greens — as compiled by ecosocialist site Climate & Capitalism, which is edited by Facing the Anthropocene author Ian Angus. It features Cuban science fiction, the birth of the Anthropocene, agribusiness and disease, surviving catastrophe, rising seas and the private plunder of public assets. ***
Author Ian Angus at the launch of 'Facing the Anthropocene'. Sydney, May 13. Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism & the Crisis of the Earth System By Ian Angus Monthly Review Press New York, 2016 We are living in a time of unparalleled ecological breakdowns and the crisis is much worse than most people realise. There are other books that tell this harrowing story, but Ian Angus's Facing the Anthropocene is different.
Economics After Capitalism: A Guide to the Ruins & a Road to the Future By Derek Wall Pluto Press, 2015 Derek Wall, ecosocialist activist and international coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales, has written a primer on the main strands of economic critique of globalised capitalism. It is a short and easily readable book, well suited to someone looking for a starting place. For those already embedded in one of these strands, it provides a welcome introduction to some of the others.
In our “A World to Win” series, Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance seeks to give voice to the ideas and demands of radical young people involved in the struggle to make the world a better place. In this week's article, Lucinda Donovan puts the case for why green capitalism cannot solve the climate crisis. * * *
Marx & Nature: A Red & Green Perspective By Paul Burkett Haymarket Books, 2014 Marx and Nature is a challenging, but very important book for all those concerned with developing and acting on the ecological insights in Marxist theory.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Ecosocialism and Water, which will be tasked with protecting the environment in the context of Venezuela's bid to build “21st century socialism”. The new body will supervise the National Water Plan, designed to ensure public access to water, as well as the Tree Mission, which involves the community in reforestation efforts.

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