This New Year, we’re trying something new. From now on, once a month, we’ll put together a list of stories we’ve been reading: things you might’ve missed or crucial conversations going on around the web. We focus on environmental and social justice, cities, science fiction, analysis of current events, and political theory. We’ll try to include articles that have been published recently but will last, that are relatively light and inspiring, and are from corners of the web that don’t always get the light of day. This will also be a space to keep you up to date with news about what’s happening at Uneven Earth.
Uneven Earth updates
We’ve started a printing press! Our first title, available on paperback on January 6th, is In defense of degrowth | Link
An alternative reading of St-Kilda | Link
A lifetime opposing the US military on Okinawa | Link
Conservation vs. tribal rights in India | Link
How to live off the rich world’s trash | Link
I’m not a climate refugee | Link
You might have missed…
A long feature on truck automation and its likely effects. An at least equally distressing article about robotic weapons in the New Internationalist. And a story about the evil Silicon Valley futurists here.
A New York Times multi-media piece about the world’s trash. And now that China is no longer accepting the rich world’s recycling, the golden age of recycling is coming to an end.
Richard Smith argues that the built-in drivers and barriers of China’s hybrid bureaucratic- collectivist capitalism reinforce its role as the world’s leading driver of global warming and thus planetary ecological collapse.
Warning to humanity: 15,000 scientists call for action to save the planet
And a response by political ecologists: “Why “Warning to Humanity” gets the socio-ecological crisis (and its solutions) wrong“.
Mapping climate justice movements around the world
Regular people are blocking sites of fossil fuel extraction all over the world. A new mapping project seeks to bring them all together.
Commons Transition has put together a huge and very accessible compendium of essential articles on the Commons.
Working class environmentalism
To achieve climate justice, “city-based climate leaders have to leave the city”. So says Daniel Aldana Cohen in this impressive outline of an ecosocialist platform.
Municipalism and the feminization of politics
Roar Magazine published an excellent piece on how municipalism—the movement to push for democracy on the town and city level—has helped bring a new wave of activist women into positions of power.
UK’s labour and a post-growth economy
Key figures in the labour party have challenged the idea of economic growth, directly linking it to the ecological and climate crisis.
Jineology: from women’s struggles to social liberation
A new liberatory framework emerging from the Kurdish movement, which places women at the center of the struggle against patriarchy, capitalism and the state.
Gordon Peters connects the dots between London’s housing movement and a broader ecosocialist strategy.
Can we go beyond extractivism?
Extractivism refers to a type of economic model that is dependent on the large-scale removal (or “extraction”) and exportation of natural resources. Federico Fuentes argues that it will take an internationalist, global struggle to go beyond it.
You know you’re onto something when one of the world’s top economists thinks you’re probably right but absolutely nuts. A lively debate between Branko Milanovic and degrowth writer Jason Hickel. “I do not think that this program is illogical. It is just so enormous, outside of anything that we normally can expect to implement, that it verges, I am afraid, on absurdity.” See Jason Hickel’s final response.
How Manila’s informal economy powers the world economy
Here’s a piece explaining why megacities like Manila matter today, and how they work.
Jacobin’s special issue on climate change. Several prominent ecosocialists argue that the issue mistakes techno-fetishism for visionary modernism. Read John Bellamy Foster’s critique here, that of Ian Angus here, and some responses to Ian Angus’ piece are here.
Bue Rübner Hansen reflects on the situation in Catalonia, giving us a broad but precise reading of what’s going on and where to stand.
Ariel Salleh reflects on ecofeminism, its foundations, and its future
On the ground
An in-depth investigation on the island of Eigg, which initiated its own municipalist movement for direct democracy. To be read alongside our story on an other island in the Hebrides, St. Kilda.
Freedom for Frestonia: the London commune that cut loose from the UK
Another neat story of a local liberation movement, this time in the very capital and birthplace of capitalism, London.
Detroit residents are building their own internet
What happens when 40% of a city doesn’t have internet.
Ursula K. Le Guin on how to build a utopia
Science fiction is getting increasing attention, but we seem to only be able to imagine dreary dystopias and off-the-map utopias. For Le Guin, what we need is something in between: imperfect utopias and hopeful dystopias. An excerpt from her new book, No time to spare.
Want to understand China? Read its best science fiction
Sci-fi may be about the future but it helps us understand and deal with the present. For Chinese sci-fi authors, this often means describing a world that is spinning out of balance.
Sci-fi, fantasy, and the status quo
If sci-fi can help imagine the future, we need more work that can think outside of capitalist realism
Books and storytelling
Ever heard about Elinor Ostrom but didn’t quite get what she’s about? Or do you know about her and have struggled to explain why she’s so important?
The history of the world in seven cheap things
A thought-provoking interview in Dissent Magazine of Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore about their new book. “Capitalism is an extraordinarily expensive way to do business.”
A foodie’s guide to capitalism
A good christmas gift for your foodie uncle. New book by Eric Holt-Gimenez.
An illuminating interview with Vijay Prashad, author of “The Darker Nations”. “Cynicism and pessimism are not the mood of the socialist.”
James C Scott’s new book: Against the Grain
“An eagle’s eye view of the most significant change in human history before the industrial revolution – the transition from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to the early state.”
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