The Red and the Green I: Capitalism and Ecology

It is, or ought to be, by now a familiar fact that the world is in a state of great environmental crisis. While there is no need to believe in the myth of the perfectly virtuous native living in complete harmony with his environment, it is clear that the development of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution so-called have drastically and fundamentally altered the relationship of man to his biosphere. In fact, so much so that it is estimated this century may see the greatest single increase in man-made global warming in all of the memory of humanity as a species, as a result of processes begun only two centuries ago at most. Our impact upon the global network of ecosystems is now so great that the current period of civilization is now by biologists considered to be a Great Extinction Event, one of the very few in our planet’s entire history – the last one took place approximately 65 million years ago. Moreover, the current Extinction Event is also the fastest ever recorded. A consensus predicts a future scenario in which between 20% and 50% of all species on Earth may go extinct.1 Continue reading “The Red and the Green I: Capitalism and Ecology”