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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

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.

The Green New Deal and 'Accursed Wealth!'

By: 
John Davis

An exploitative capitalism is baked into the Green New Deal (Resolution 109 of the 116th Congress). While the Resolution promotes “a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era”, and resolves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through “economic transformation”, it remains premised on the same economic model that sparked the Industrial Revolution. It is this economic model, however dressed in green vestments, that now ravages the planet with for-profit industrial, commercial and institutional development, as well as connective and energy infrastructure – all of which feed on labor and resources brutishly extracted from the earth, albeit with sophisticated electronic assists. 

Silicon Valley Karma: Faith in Electricity

By: 
Hazel Henderson

DIGITAL WIZARDS MISS THE BOAT-From the VC “masters of the universe” on Sand Hill Road and Y Combinator to the social media FAANG monopolists to the adolescent male libertarian bros with their internet startups — all share the fundamentalist faith in electricity.   

Rarely did they question how their burgeoning digital economy disruptions were based largely on fossil and over-age nuclear powered electric utilities. Lately, many are seeing the solution to climate change and the foreseeable future of blackouts as installing solar panels on their buildings.  

Talking Like a Mining Company: The Escobal Mine in Guatemala

By: 
Nicholas Copeland

The Escobal Mine, located in eastern Guatemala, is the second-largest silver mine in the world and the source of one of the most protracted environmental conflicts in Guatemala. Mining activities have been suspended by direct action from the community resistance movement, and by order of the Constitutional Tribunal since mid-2017.

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.

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