A ban by Israel on herding black goats – on the pretext they cause environmental damage – is to be repealed after nearly seven decades of enforcement that has decimated the pastoral traditions of Palestinian communities. The Israeli government appears to have finally conceded that, in an age of climate change, the threat of forest fires to Israeli communities is rapidly growing in the goats’ absenc
The perspective of social ecology allows us to see that fossil fuels have long been central to the capitalist mythos of perpetual growth. They have driven ever-increasing concentrations of capital in many economic sectors, and advanced both the regimentation and increasing precarity of human labor worldwide. In Fossil Capital, Andreas Malm explains in detail how early British industrialists opted to switch from abundant water power to coal-fired steam engines to run their mills, despite increased costs and uncertain reliability. The ability to control labor was central to their decision, as the urban poor proved to be vastly more amenable to factory discipline than the more independent-minded rural dwellers who lived along Britain’s rapidly flowing rivers. A century later, massive new oil discoveries in the Middle East and elsewhere would drive previously unfathomable increases in the productivity of human labor and breathe new life into the capitalist myth of unlimited economic expansion.