Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution; and Impending Threats To American Democracy

Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution

Time is running out for humanity to avoid a catastrophic planetary tipping point. The globalized system of capital accumulation has induced humanity to foul its on nest. The result is a planetary emergency that threatens all present and future generations and thrown into question the continuation of civilization and ultimately the very survival of humanity itself. Only by addressing the social aspects of the current planetary environment is it possible to develop the ecological and social resources for a new journey of hope.

The United Nations international panel on climate change, the IPPC, predicts that as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases by the year 2050 there will be 1 billion climate refugees. Temperatures must be held within a 1.5 Celsius increase. If it goes up, as predicted, an increase of 4 degrees would end civilization.

The crises we are in our multiple. Species extinction, ocean acidification, sea level rise depletion of soil, forest fires, broiling heat waves, hurricanes and drought have plagued us in the last few years. One third of Pakistan was underwater.

Guest – John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review magazine and a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Oregon. He has written many books including The Robbery of Nature and The Return of Nature. His most recent book is Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution.


Impending Threats To American Democracy

In a recent New York Times article, by David Leonhardt, titled A Crisis Coming: The Two Twin Threats to American Democracy, Leonhardt, after first identifying the first threat being that things are now in place where for the first time in U.S. history, a legitimately elected president will not be able to take office, he identifies the second threat, as follows: The second threat to democracy is chronic but also growing: the power to set government policy is becoming increasingly disconnected from public opinion. The run of Supreme Court decisions “both sweeping and, according to polls, unpopular “highlight this disconnect. Although the Democratic Party has won the popular vote in seven of the past eight elections, a Supreme Court dominated by Republican appointees seems poised to shape American politics for years, if not decades.

And another headline in a recent edition of the New York Times reads, Three Huge Supreme Court Cases That Could Change America. And that article is simply one of many, of late, warning of how the ever-more conservative, indeed one could say, reactionary Supreme Court, in its just opened fall term, may well change America in a number of vastly different ways…and ways inconsistent with the majority political views of the American people.

Guest – Steve Rohde is the past chair of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the founder and current chair of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace. He is a widely recognized expert on the U.S. Constitution, as well as a political activist. He is a prolific author. His books include American Words of Freedom and the book Freedom of Assembly. He has written numerous book reviews and articles on civil liberties and constitutional law, and his book reviews can be found frequently in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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