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ecology

Capitalism's Bleeding Gulf: BP’s Deepwater Horizon Explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

By Frank Rizal

With its barriers, islands, peninsulas, marshes and inlets, the Gulf Coast of the United States is known for its rich ecosystem and vast wildlife inhabiting the Gulf Coastal Plain. The region attracts many tourists who sightsee and fish along the marshlands in Louisiana, and enjoy the white sands spending their summers across the Panhandle of Florida and the barrier islands called the Emerald Coast. While experiencing the natural surroundings of the Gulf Coast, tourists can see the historical significance of the cultural heritage of the Creek Indians, French and Spanish influences that coalesced to create a unique southern gulf culture along the five states that make up the southern coast of the U.S. Indeed, tourism is a major factor in the Gulf Coast's economy, along with the fishing and shrimping industries so interconnected with the heritage along the Gulf. Yet, it only takes one disaster to turn this major tourist area that brimmed with natural beauty, vibrant culture, and contributed to a major part of the economy, into a desolate dead sea.

A Review of David Owen's "Green Metropolis"

by Jason Lewis

Possibly the most exciting book on ecology or environmentalism to be published in several years, David Owen's Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability challenges the conventional wisdom of the environmental movement and uses as a model of true sustainability, not Portland, Oregon or rural Vermont, but New York City.

An Anti-Civilization Mythology: A Review of Lierre Keith’s "The Vegetarian Myth"

I understand completely why someone might want to write a book about the “myths” of vegetarianism. We live in a world where capitalism has this amazing ability to co-opt anything and everything (you’ve almost got to admire what a good job capitalism does at that). “Green” capitalism is a case in point. Even radicals may have a hard time resisting the pull of green capitalism, though perhaps by accident. For vegans and/or vegetarians (heretofore referred to as “veg*ans”) who use their diets as a radical act, if they are promoting what to eat or not eat, buy or not buy, then there is really no way to avoid advocating for a different way of consuming—something capitalists can make loads of profit off. In addition, it’s easy to critique the idealism that some veg*ans hold: that, by way of their diet, they are not engaging in the hurting or killing of any animals, nor hurting the earth for the most part. This is of course obviously not true. Another easy critique to have of veg*ans is of their often-claimed belief that we can change the world by our diets alone; a silly idea, at best.

Cassie the Caulker

Poster centerfold for North Eastern Anarchist #15
"Cassie the Caulker" by Rebecca Wilson

The Ecological Crisis is an Economic Crisis; the Economic Crisis is an Ecological Crisis

by Wayne Price

How Capitalism has created an Ecological, Energy, and Economic Crisis

The post-WWII boom was based on cheap oil. But oil is nonrenewable, polluting, and causes global warming. It was "cheap" because the capitalists did not pay to prepare for the day when it would be harder to access oil. We have reached that day, which is one aspect of the worldwide crisis of the return to the epoch of capitalist decay.

The Ecological Challenge: Three Revolutions are Necessary

by Alternative Libertaire

For decades, anti-capitalists have rightly raised the question of the “redistribution of wealth” between the Global North and Global South. This idea has commonly been imagined to mean an end to the pillage of the Third World by the advanced industrialized powers, so that the people of the Global South are able to attain an equivalent level of development. This demand, put simply, means that the South should catch up to the North’s "standard of living."

But this old view is clumsy and over-simplified, since certain countries are already fully in the process of "taking their share" of the cake that is Planet Earth, and this is accelerating the destruction of the great ecological balances. The arrival of China and India as industrial, political and military powers obliges revolutionaries to rethink, from top to bottom, issues surrounding the model of development itself.

With a planetary ecological crisis on hand, it can no longer be denied that socialism will be incompatible with mass production and mass consumption. Indeed, even without returning to Malthusian catastrophe theories, we are forced to admit that the planet’s resources are not inexhaustible. These resources could provide for humanity’s needs, but only if they are used in a reasonable and rational way, i.e., in a manner directly opposed to capitalist logic, which in itself is a source of imbalance.

Right To Know Committee: Southwest Philadelphia Workers And Residents Fight Back!

The Right To Know Committee (RTKC) came together in response to the toxic workplace and neighborhood conditions brought on by two factories in Southwest Philly. In June of 1994, a Defense Personnel Supply Center (DPSC) and an oil refinery complex (run by Sunoco Oil) were put under scrutiny by the federal government following the findings of massive pollutant outputs deep under the surface of the surrounding neighborhoods. These two factories have been sitting along the Schuykill river for decades, putting out countless tons of chemical waste into the river, soil, and air.

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