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The Ravages of Lithium Extraction in Chile

By: 
Yanis Iqbal

In the lithium mining region of Antofagasta, the Coronavirus positivity rate was a stupendous 46.1%... Amid this Coronavirus chaos, the Chilean lithium sector is poised to economically expand itself due to an anticipated increase in demand... Lithium serves as an important modality for substituting fossil fuel extractivism with green extractivism and consistently maintaining a relentless system of commodification. Instead of “tackling the systemic bloating of northern economies and the excessive demands this places on the world’s resources”, green lithium extractivism allows capitalists to stabilize the unequal imperialist architecture of core-peripheral countries... Lithium imperialism, therefore, involves the perpetuation of core-periphery relations under the discursive regime of climate change...

Big Green Meltdown Over Planet of the Humans

By: 
Josh Schlossberg

Biomass plant, Williams, California. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

As a former environmental activist and environmental journalist with a brief appearance in Jeff Gibbs’ film Planet of the Humans—I was the guy trespassing at the biomass facility—I’m blown away by the amount of discussion the film has generated.

POTH brings up a slew of critical environmental issues ranging from ecosystem destruction to species extinction to climate change; the impacts of fossil fuels and limitations of alternative energy; the successes, compromises, and failures of the mainstream environmental movement; and, at the root of it all, our culture’s collective delusion of infinite economic growth on a finite planet. Intriguingly, the film also acts as a kind of Rorschach blot for people to read whatever message they want into it, whether it’s there or not.

Reimagining democratic public ownership for the twenty-first century

By: 
Thomas Hanna and Mathew Lawrence

As we enter the second decade of the new century, signs of crisis are all around us. Climate change, rising economic inequality, assaults on workers’ rights and wages, unchecked corporate power, financialization, entrenched racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, and emboldened neo-fascism and right-wing populism, to name a few.  The entwined crises we face share a deep-rooted common cause: the undemocratic, inequitable, and extractive nature of our economic system. Despite the veneer of a prosperous recovery from the great financial crisis a decade ago many people rightly feel the economy no longer works for them and this is contributing to a deep popular disenchantment and realignment that is reconfiguring our politics and societies.

An Open Letter to Climate Activists in the Northwoods…and Beyond

By: 
Aimée Cree Dunn

... averting climate change is not going stop the global collapse of the planet as we know it.  Don’t get me wrong.  Climate change is a global emergency and will cause tremendous damage, and, in fact, already has for many. But the thing is, massive, global-scale destruction has been going on for a long time even before climate change. ...addressing climate change using the values and viewpoints of this Western culture will only exacerbate the problem.  The disease powered by solar fields is still the same disease that is powered by coal.

Six problems for Green Deals

By: 
Mark H Burton

If nothing else, the last few months have heightened awareness of the desperately parlous predicament that now faces humanity, with an accelerating climate and ecological crisis. So attempts to design assertive policy proposals are very welcome. The Green New Deal is the one that currently is getting the most attention and perhaps traction. So I want to ask some critical questions that generally seem to be ignored in the infectious enthusiasm for the idea. In doing that I’ll also be rehearsing some insights from the degrowth perspective.

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