Ecosocialism

Liberal and Labor politicians, who govern for the big corporations at the expense of people, have overseen decades of cutbacks to social services, privatisations and attacks on our democratic rights. The neoliberal consensus has meant that our public health and education systems have been starved of funds and semi-privatised. It has also meant that our working lives are less secure and our work rights have been undermined.
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.
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.
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. * * *
We are at a point in time in which we face a huge ecological threat. A research article by six leading biological and environmental scientists published on June 19 in Science Advances estimated that vertebrate species were becoming extinct at more than 100 times the normal rate.
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.
When unionised oil workers at the Tesoro Golden Eagle plant in Martinez, California walked off the job on February 1 to demand safer working conditions, they received some unexpected company on the picket line. Since the start of the strike, which has expanded from nine to 11 refineries nationwide, environmental activists with Communities for a Better Environment have joined members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union for their daily protests outside the plant.
The sound system was playing the famous Italian resistance song “Bella Ciao”. Flags of parties from across the left and the continent wiggled as their bearers danced and sang along to celebrate SYRIZA's win in the January 25 Greek elections. Ouzo flowed and fireworks flared. We could have been outside a G8 summit in the early noughties. Only the explosives weren’t directed at police lines, but in the air. The crowd chanting at the politician wasn’t protesting, but cheering. An international movement that has become very good at licking its wounds was learning to celebrate.
It’s wrong to think that we can campaign to stop climate change in the same way we might campaign to end a war. All the evidence says we are well past that stage now. That is, even if by some impossible, magical course of events all carbon pollution on Earth was stopped tomorrow, we’d still be in really, really deep trouble. So many greenhouse gases have been pumped into the Earth’s atmosphere that we have rushed far past the safe upper limit — the famous 350 parts per million of CO2, the number that climate action group 350.org took for its name.
More than 40 people came to hear Miguel Angel Nunez, a co-founder of IPIAT (the Institute for Production and Research in Tropical Agriculture) in Venezuela and a former coordinator of the Latin American Agroecological Movement at a public forum in Sydney on January 30. The speaker was welcomed by Miriam Navarro, representing the Venezuelan embassy in Australia. The forum was organised by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network and supported by the embassy and the Latin American Social Forum.
The recent floods in Queensland, as well as bushfires in three states, have dramatically shown that climate change is a serious threat and is getting worse. Climate change is not an abstract issue that will be a problem at some point down the track; it is having real impacts now. Extreme fires and floods are becoming the norm in Australia, rather than infrequent disasters. It is expected that there will be more frequent and more damaging extreme weather events if action to stop climate change soon does not happen soon.
The world today is plagued by many crises. Economies are in recession. The world is wracked by war. And poverty is still rampant for the world's majority. Alongside all of this, our environment, and our climate, is increasingly under pressure, threatening all life on the planet. The climate crisis strikes at the very heart of our societies. We need to question the way we operate, the way we allocate and use our resources, and the way we develop infrastructure, so that we can create a more sustainable world.