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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

The Quake Threat to Dams Posed by Fracking Was Long Warned

By: 
Andrew Nikiforuk

Gillis says that he first noticed new earthquakes being added to the national earthquake database as major fraccing operations began in 2010. “In my view, which I have already shared, the province should simply add buffer zones around any very Extreme and Very High Consequence Dams where hydraulic fracturing cannot be undertaken without a prior full investigation into the risks and an implemented risk management plan. Why is this so difficult?”

The Limits of Capitalism

By: 
Laurie E. Adkin

At this point in human history, the limits of capitalism and the limits of our species’ life on Earth have converged. We have never been here before, and we cannot go back.

The political activism of my youth was largely in solidarity with anti-colonial movements in Africa and Palestine, anti-US imperialist movements and dictatorships in Latin America, and solidarity-building between the labour and other social movements around a broad program of democratic, anti-capitalist reforms. In those struggles, there was always an assumption that social transformation could draw upon the resources of a reasonably intact natural world. No more. Capitalism, patriarchy, and racism now threaten to destroy this world, along with its tenuous civilizational achievements. We are all of us, now, face to face with the kind of ‘deworlding’ that traumatized Indigenous peoples following the arrival of colonizers.

Germany’s green energy quest stalls

By: 
Kieran Cooke

LONDON, 8 January, 2020 – The city of Munich – one of Europe’s wealthiest urban conurbations – has expansive plans to tackle the fast-growing problems associated with climate change: its policies are a good example of Germany’s green energy quest, the Energiewende.

Is degrowth an alternative to capitalism?

By: 
Güney Işıkara

The newest book by Giorgos Kallis, one of the most prolific degrowth advocates is entitled Limits: Why Malthus Was Wrong and Why Environmentalists Should Care. It is a short and accessible read which contains some important and unconventional arguments. In what follows, I will first briefly summarize the core arguments of the book, which promises to provoke important discussions on the matter of limits and subjects. Then I will reflect on the fuzziness of the primarily cultural conceptualization of capitalism, and argue that neither self-limitation nor degrowth qualifies as a mode of production, such that they could constitute an alternative to capitalism.

How a rising anti-mining movement is challenging Portugal’s ‘white gold’ rush

By: 
Marina Martinez

“Lithium mining in Portugal involves large open-cast mines that rip open huge tracts of land-destroying soils and ecosystems,” said Laura Williams, a resident based in central Portugal, who is having to deal with lithium mining activities on her doorstep. “It uses huge amounts of water in the processing, which then contaminates ground and river water. The huge machines that are used have a massive impact in terms of noise and vibrations on local communities.”

Too Much Combustion, Too Little Fire

By: 
Kris De Decker

The fire – which we have used in our homes for over 400,000 years – remains the most versatile and sustainable household technology that humanity has ever known. The fire alone provided what we now get through a combination of modern appliances such as the oven and cooking hob, heating system, lights, refrigerator, freezer, hot water boiler, tumble dryer, and television. Unlike these newer technologies, the fire had no need for a central infrastructure to make it work, and it could be built locally from readily available materials.

Veritable Uprising or it’s The (Faux) Real Thing™: Greta and Climate Activism in a Wilderness of Projections

By: 
Phil Rockstroh and Kenn Orphan

PR: Kenn, recently, this observation of mine provoked a measure of ire:  Street demonstrations, even large ones, are apropos of nothing as long as they are manifested as de facto state sanctioned protests. A march proceeds, chants are cast into indifferent air, speechifying comes to pass by the usual gasbags then the assembled head home and carry on as usual. Conversely, a strike means job walk-offs — until the strikers demands are met — not walking out and walking back in the next day.

These are not revolutionary activities or even a political movement. Capitalist colonisation has been internalised to such a saturating degree that demonstrations are, in the neoliberal era, designed to be toothless and non-threatening in regard to the structures of capitalist power. Conversely, a strike translates to stopping the flow of capital — otherwise it amounts to enabling business as usual.

Capitalism and the Limits of Greening

By: 
Carl Boggs

In fact-Klein’s Green New Deal entirely skirts the larger issue of resources – that is, the extent to which the planet faces steadily-declining natural resources (above all water, land, soil, forests, oceans, scarce metals). Economic predictions indicate that leading industrialized nations (U.S., China, India, the EU, Russia, Japan) could easily double their GDP output within the next two or three decades. It is delusional to believe vulnerable ecosystems could endure such overburdening “development” very far into the future. One specter is that intensifying global resource competition, endemic to the logic of both perpetual growth and geopolitical rivalry, could be what most hastens planetary disaster.

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