Tuesday, April 24, 2012


By Ulrich Brand
Google translation


Ulrich Brand is a German political scientist and economist who promotes a critical theory to address what he calls the financialization of nature, the devices of global governance and state  transformations. In this interview, presents the fundamentals of vision and examines the crisis of capitalism, the current challenges in the south and exits found in Argentina.

By Verónica Gago and Diego Sztulwark

How critical is linked to development today and the question of the crisis?

At the 2009 Copenhagen summit on climate change was first made from the social movements and NGOs beyond a very strong criticism by saying just this mode of global management of resources. This is articulated directly with the current crisis, although they are in the nineteenth century debate between Marx and Sismondi referring to what it means growth as a solution to problems. This time, dissent was articulated also among the elites. For example, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz said he had to acknowledge this criticism against what was proposed as an output dominant revitalize growth. Of course, there is some history and some concern about how we got out of the crisis. Is the neoliberal response, which is now dominant in Europe and that is the prescription of austerity. Then, the Keynesian response, which calls for investment and domestic consumption to drive the economy. And at the margins, is the debate about what we do with growth. Some icons are people like about the Englishman Tim Jackson, who proposed a now famous formula: welfare without growth.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Quiet Revolution of Our Generation Must be Green and Red

Youth for Real Climate Action
April 21, 2012

The creative, courageous and inspiring Quebec student movement will today weave its way through Montreal's Earth Day rally, mixing red and green, merging demands for a freeze on tuition with respect for the earth and those most impacted by climate change. Let the meeting not remain accidental, but deepen and flourish.

Our country has always been divided by solitudes of nation, religion, and language, but no two solitudes are as important to overcome today as this: the fight against an unjust economy and the fight against climate change.

It has never been more urgent to make the connection. The old mentality may have told us to fight our battles separately: Let environmentalists deal with the environment; let workers and students deal with the economy. But a new mentality tells us this is the same fight, because the crises of the climate and the economy have the same root: putting profits before people and the planet.

This must be our generation's quiet awakening.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Culture, Conflict and Ecology: The Commons in History

By Derek Wall
April 21, 2012

This is the first section of my new book, if any of you would like to see the first draft of the whole thing email me. I have also been lucky enough to spend some time with Elinor Ostrom who won a Nobel Prize for economics for her work on the commons. 

While she is not an ecosocialist and in fact comes from a Hayekian background, she is passionate about commons and support for indigenous and a very open person willing to listen to others (the interview with her will be published in Green World in the autumn).

The book is from an environmental history perspective. 

Chapter One: Commons Ecology. 

What we need to question is bricks, concrete, glass, our table manners, our utensils, our tools, the way we spend our time, our rhythms. To question that which seems to have ceased forever to astonish us. We live, true, we breathe, true; we walk, we go downstairs, we sit at a table in order to eat, we lie down on a bed on order to sleep. How? Where? When? Why? Describe your street. Describe another. Compare.Georges Perec (L'Infra-ordinaire) from Bellos 2010: 521-522. London and its environs would have no parks today if commoners had not asserted their rights, and as the nineteenth century drew on rights of recreation were more important than rights of pasture, and were defended vigilantly by the Commons Preservation Society. We owe to these premature ‘Greens’ such urban lungs as we have. More than that, if it had not been for the stubborn defence by Newbury commoners of their rights to the Greenham Common, where on earth could NATO have parked its Nukes (Thompson, 1993: 126).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Victoria rises up against the tar sands, pipelines, tankers, capitalism and colonialism

By Joan.Russow 
Peace, Earth, Justice News
April 15, 2012

Hundreds attended the rally against pipelines and tankers. Victoria, April 15, 2012. Photo: Sandra Cuffe

Over 2000 people rallied at the Legislature and then walked to Centennial Square where there were panels and workshops. It was clear that this event is a beginning and foreshadowing of the solidarity resistance to come. There were passionate speeches from children from the Beaver Creek First Nations school, activists and elders in condemnation of the tar sands the pipe lines the tankers capitalism and colonialism.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Green Dreams: Eco-Comics, Then and Now

Text by Paul Buhle
Comics by Leonard Rifas, Seth Tobocman, and Sabrina Jones
Capitalism Nature Socialism
September 2009

Few readers, outside dedicated comic art fandom, are likely to know that ecologically oriented comics are more than a half-century old. EC, the company that introduced Mad Comics in 1952 (and turned it into Mad Magazine a few years later, amid the Congressional investigation of the comic industry), made its big money on the horror comics that parents often hated. The money on Crypt of Terror and such funded less lucrative but more socially oriented lines with some of the best comic art ever seen to that time (and, at least arguably, even now). Some of the best of the comics treated wars through history in realistic fashion, and in passing, offered readers a gaze at destroyed landscapes in Korea, among other places.

But Weird Fantasy and Incredible Science Fiction are especially interesting to us today because they so often dwelt—in lushly illustrated pages colored to perfection—in post-atomic war stories. In these 8-page sagas, humans struggle to gain some degree of dignity as they come across machines now incomprehensible, cities almost unrecognizable, and whole zones unlivable for plant or animal. A handful of the stories were adapted from the contemporary fiction of Ray Bradbury, who was especially keen on these themes.

In Search of a Broad, Coherent, Social Ecology

Better Worlds, Brighter Futures
April 15, 2012

Recently, someone immersed in Murray Bookchin‘s late-period works asked my definition of social ecology. This brought up an important issue. How is social ecology to be defined generally, taking the entirety of the field and its historical development into account? This implies a broad conception–one that recognizes both Bookchin’s open, early approaches, his later narrower variation, John P. Clark‘s contribution, as well as antecedent and contemporary influences that continue to be discovered.

Investigating the Social Roots of Ecological Crisis

Social ecology is concerned with the social roots and implications of ecological dislocation. Broadly speaking, this interdisciplinary field begins with the scientific fact of ecological crisis, seeking to overcome this crisis through an understanding of its origin(s) within human society. Because this social and scientific exploration seeks to get “to the root” of this problem through an analysis of existing, yet mutable, social institutions, values, and relationships, it is considered one of the three core radical ecological philosophies (along with deep ecology and ecofeminism).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

David Suzuki grapples with Ottawa's crackdown on green groups

Globe and Mail Update
April 12, 2012

Environmentalist distances himself from foundation that bears his name as Conservatives budget money to audit charities that engage in political advocacy

The head of one of Canada's most prominent environmental groups said the green movement is facing a "chill" in the wake of increasingly harsh scrutiny from Ottawa.

Peter Robinson, chief executive officer of the David Suzuki Foundation, said the group is being extra careful to stay strictly within its mandate and has pulled back from important issues that might push the boundaries of advocacy. He said newly budgeted federal money for audits is "almost a vague threat" that is making charities nervous.

The Conservative government and other supporters of the oil sands and a proposed pipeline to the West Coast have long questioned the motives and patriotism of environmentalists who accept money from foreign donors. And the green movement says it had been feeling a rising tide of negative attention since before the budget.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BP operations in Tar Sands ‘could soon be illegal’, First Nations tell Shareholder Meeting

Indigenous Environmental Network
April 12, 2012

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) teams up with UK Tar Sands Network and Gulf Coast representatives to send clear message to BP shareholders that tar sands is a risky investment.

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) has been campaigning for the last two years against BP’s entry into the Canadian Tar Sands. Clayton Thomas-Muller from IEN has traveled to attend BP’s Annual General Meeting on 12th April to submit a statement on behalf of Beaver Lake Cree Nation community members.

The statement explains that the legal landscape in Canada is rapidly changing and Aboriginal Rights are increasingly being asserted. This is becoming a powerful barrier to unfettered expansion in the tar sands. In what could prove to be a “constitutional game changer”, the Beaver Lake Cree Nation’s constitutional challenge lists multiple companies including BP, as well as the Canadian federal government and the provincial government of Alberta.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Earth on Edge: International Scientific Community Issues First “State Of The Planet Declaration”

By Owen Gaffney
April 10th 2012

Scientists issued the first "State of the Planet" declaration at a major gathering of experts on global environmental and social issues in advance of the major UN Summit Rio+20 in June.

The declaration opens: "Research now demonstrates that the continued functioning of the Earth system as it has supported the well-being of human civilization in recent centuries is at risk." It states that consensus is growing that we have driven the planet into a new epoch, the Anthropocene, where many planetary-scale processes are dominated by human activities. It concludes society must not delay taking urgent and large-scale action.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quebec green groups organize "Quiet Spring" protest

By Mike De Souza
Postmedia News
April 9, 2012

Quebec's attention has been arrested recently by the massive student protests against tuition hikes, but a group of artists and activists is planning an Earth Day protest to bring together Quebeckers opposed to the Harper government's environmental policies. Photograph by: Dario Ayala , The Gazette .

Organizers of a "Quiet Spring" protest slated for Earth Day on April 22 anticipate a backlash against what they believe are weak government environmental policies, inspired by the peaceful revolution that brought sweeping changes to the province in the 1960s.

The event already has the backing of dozens of stars from Quebec's arts and entertainment scene as well as an endorsement from Roman Catholic bishops who are inviting parishes and congregations to ring their church bells for the occasion and join tens of thousands of people expected to hit the streets calling for change.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won't Change The World

Local food, local business and buying local won't change the world. Challenging market priorities will. Here's why.

By Greg Sharzer
Book information HERE.

'No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won’t Change The World’ challenges the received wisdom that farmer’s markets, community gardening and cooperatives can provide a human-scale alternative to the global market. But can growing your own vegetables really do an end-run around corporate agribusiness? Can a local currency provide a fairer way to shop than regular money?

‘No Local’ takes a penetrating look at these reforms and calls them ‘localism’, an ideology that small is always beautiful.

Most critics of local economic alternatives come from the Right, but ‘No Local’ takes the opposite approach. Rooted in Marxism, the book shows market reformers have advocated small reforms since the beginning of capitalism. It draws on political economy, history and ideology studies to show that, far from challenging market rule, small-scale alternatives are often ways to reconcile with the system. Localist politics comes from a desire to escape, rather than confront, capitalist inequality.

But that doesn’t mean things are hopeless. Although direct and questioning, ‘No Local’ takes a positive view about the possibilities for social change. If we confront the market and its political rulers, we can build social movements that begin to create an egalitarian society – a legacy the Arab Spring and Occupy movements of 2011 have begun to reclaim. Pointed and polemical, ‘No Local’ poses key questions for the Left as it emerges from its decades-long torpor.

Greg Sharzer has a Ph.D. in Political Science from York University, Toronto, Canada, where he studied political economy and social movements. His activism includes participating in anti-poverty, trade union and migrant rights campaigns. When not thinking about politics he enjoys cycling, films with subtitles, gourmet coffee and all the other trappings of a petty bourgeois lifestyle.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 22: No Pipelines! No Tankers! Call to Action

Indigenous Environmental Network

On April 22, Mother Earth Day, there is a call to action for organizing rallies as a public display of growing opposition to three major pipeline projects in British Columbia. These pipelines include: Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal, the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline, and the construction of Pacific Trails Pipeline by Apache, Encana and EOG Resources.

These three pipelines threaten to:
  • Increase the unsustainable expansion in the tar sands and fracking for shale gas.
  • Undermine local communities’ right to say “no.”
  • Wreak massive environmental damage by crossing hundreds of salmon-bearing rivers and streams, the Great Bear Rainforest and mountainous and landslide-prone-land where spills could spell ecological disaster and affect the livelihoods of those living nearby.
  • Increase tanker traffic and the risk of a spill in B.C.’s ecologically sensitive coastal waters. 
What better way to spend Earth Day then by inspiring awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment? Mark April 22, 2012 on your calendars, start organizing to hit the streets, rally together and make some noise!