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Toward a Socialist Land Ethic: the Foundation of an Ecosocialist Future

By: 
Nathaniel Owen

There will be no future on a dead planet, socialist or otherwise. If the left is to seize power and bring our planet into the rational egalitarian age we envision, we will need to simultaneously tackle a host of environmental crises. Failure to do so will mean that our project is doomed from the onset. Even the most firmly grounded socialist society will not survive an ecological collapse, throwing the planet and its people back into the barbarism we are working so hard to overcome. Or worse.

At this point many readers, whom I assume are at least moderately progressive and aware of the threat posed by anthropogenic climate change, will be vigorously nodding their heads. Yes, of course, we need to decarbonize. Of course, we need to have an environmentally sustainable society. My fear is that decades of being exposed to capitalist conceptions of Earth and her gifts, and an almost myopic focus on global warming, have left many to underestimate the scale and number of the problems that face us.