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Our Times 3

Ian Angus

  • Agribusiness drives severe decline of essential insects

    Insects keep the planet’s ecological system running, and ensure our food supply—75 percent of our most important crops depend on pollination by insects. Insects also improve soil quality and reduce plant pests by decomposing manure and dead plant matter. The Insect Atlas shows that insect species and pollinators are in severe decline because of pesticide-dependent industrial farming.

  • The politics of ecosocialism

    “Even more important, by calling ourselves ecosocialists we are saying that we don’t view the environment as just one of many equally important concerns, just another stick to beat up capitalism with. Ecosocialists recognise the global environmental crisis as the most important problem that humanity faces in the 21st century. If socialists don’t recognise its centrality, our politics will be irrelevant.”

  • 20 essential books on Marxist ecology

    It’s two years since I published my last Essential Reading list. Since then I’ve received many suggestions for additions, and many new books have been published. It’s time for an update. My selection criteria are subjective: these are books that I have found particularly valuable, that I refer to frequently, and that I often recommend to others.

  • A Marxist History of Capitalism

    Since the 1970s, Marxist discussion of how and when capitalism was born has been dominated by two competing academic currents. World-System Theory, first enunciated by Immanuel Wallerstein, locates the origin of capitalism in the expansion of world trade and the plunder of the new world in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Political Marxism, developed by Robert Brenner, says the transition took place somewhat earlier, and only in rural England, where feudal lords converted themselves into capitalist landlords.

  • Memo to Jacobin: Ecomodernism is not ecosocialism

    Is Jacobin becoming a voice for ecomodernism with a leftish veneer? I hope not, but the signs aren’t good. The first book in the new Jacobin Book Series, Four Futures, by Peter Frase, offers future scenarios based on science fiction movies and books: as Antony Galluzzo says in a review, this approach allows Frase to ignore “the technological, ecological, or social feasibility of [his] predictions.”

  • Green energy won’t save the earth without social change

    The most popular techno-fix for global warming is green energy. If energy companies would only deploy wind, hydro, solar, geothermal or nuclear, then emission-intensive fossil fuels will eventually disappear. But will that actually work?

  • Ecosocialism: Why Greens Must be Red and Reds Must be Green

    Ian Angus discusses the need to build a movement based on socialist and ecological principles to counter and supplant the destructiveness of capitalism.

  • A Debate on Capitalism, Environmentalism, and “Environmental Catastrophism”

    The most critical question confronting anyone concerned with the environmental crisis is the political one: how to build a social force able to do something about it.

  • A plague of David Attenborough

    In Attenborough’s view, Ethiopians are starving simply because there are too many of them. Since they haven’t voluntarily reduced their numbers, the natural world is doing so, by the “natural” method of mass starvation.

  • Secret documents expose Ottawa’s tar sands enemies list

    Minister Oliver has gone so far as to say that he expects the Joint Review Panel (JRP) to rule in favour of the Enbridge pipeline. Meanwhile, internal documents detailing the government’s strategy for promoting oilsands projects overseas, released by Greenpeace, labelled environmental groups, First Nations groups and the media as “adversaries.”

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