Monday, August 22, 2011

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Journal of World-Systems Research

Foster, John Bellamy, Brett Clark, and Richard York. 2010. The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth. New York: Monthly Review Press. 544 Pages, ISBN: 978-1-58367-218-1 Paper ($17.95).

By Kirk S. Lawrence
Research Assistant, Institute for Research on World-Systems
University of California, Riverside

Journal of World-Systems Research
Monday August 22nd, 2011

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Journal of World-Systems ResearchEcological degradation is the elephant in the room for many people; they are aware of its presence yet would prefer to ignore it rather than be forced to consider both its severity and possible remedies. This practiced ignorance occurs despite numerous problems, such as global climate change, species extinction, deforestation, overfishing, and dramatic disasters such as the recent oil “spill” from offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the radiation releases from nuclear power plants in post-tsunami Japan. This elephant is enormous, destructive, and cannot be imagined away.

John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York have been taking on the elephant for years. Foster is renowned for his editorship at the Monthly Review and for his work in political economy and as an environmental sociologist, having published popular books such as The Vulnerable Planet. Clark and York are also well respected and broadly-published in the same areas. Together, they are a formidable trio whose work is influential and innovative. Their publication of The Ecological Rift was therefore a welcome event.

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