Illustration: Roy Boney/The Guardian
Once a month, we put together a list of stories we’ve been reading: news you might’ve missed or crucial conversations going on around the web. We focus on environmental justice, radical municipalism, new politics, political theory, and resources for action and education.
We 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.
Unfortunately, we were forced to skip our newsletter last month due to low capacity and poor health — but we’ll make it up this time by bringing you two months’ worth of readings to mull over and learn from! As this year’s World Mental Health Day fell on the 10th of October, we decided to include a section dedicated to political analyses and the social determinants of mental health. We also compiled a list on the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly highlighted what we can learn from non-Western countries and philosophies. As usual, you will find plenty of material on Indigenous struggles, degrowth, cities and radical municipalism, food politics, and the dangerous rise of eco-fascism; as well as alternative perspectives on conservation, sci-fi, and fire ecology.
A small note that the articles linked in this newsletter do not represent the views of Uneven Earth. When reading, please keep in mind that we don’t have capacity to do further research on the authors or publishers! Uneven Earth updates
Make life, not work: democratizing, decommodifying and remediating existence | Emancipation from labour requires us to democratize and decommodify the economy as a whole
Renewable energy | To provide the conditions for a sustainable technology, we must begin by establishing a sustainable economy
Structural violence and the automobile | The intertwined legacy of fascism and the motorcar
Degrowth | Degrowth is not a passive critique but an active project of hope
Top 5 articles to read
This is my message to the western world – your civilisation is killing life on Earth
The tenants who evicted their landlord
Feral Atlas invites you to explore the ecological worlds created when nonhuman entities become tangled up with human infrastructure projects
The lost forest gardens of Europe
In the Navajo Nation, anarchism has Indigenous roots
News you might’ve missed
World fails to meet a single target to stop destruction of nature – UN report
Banks lent $2.6tn linked to ecosystem and wildlife destruction in 2019 – report
Fifth of countries at risk of ecosystem collapse, analysis finds
Polluted air killing half a million babies a year across globe, Small increases in air pollution linked to rise in depression, and Air pollution linked with 15% COVID-19 deaths worldwide. Also, don’t forget: Pollution is a racial justice issue. Let’s fight it that way.
A historic victory in Bolivia. Fireworks exploded across the night sky in the Bolivian capital of La Paz on Sunday evening, October 18th, as the projected results came through showing a near-landslide victory for the left-wing Movimiento al socialismo (MAS) and its presidential candidate, Luis Arce, in the country’s national elections.
Chile’s latest steps towards true democracy are a beacon for the world. Hopes are high that the overwhelming vote to overturn the Pinochet-era constitution marks the beginning of a new era.
Land defenders are killed in the Philippines for protesting Canadian mining
Indonesia mass strikes loom over cuts to environmental safeguards and workers’ rights
The world celebrated Kurdish women’s fight against ISIS. Now it’s silent as they’re raped and tortured
Nuclear power hinders fight against climate change
Barbarians at the barn: private equity sinks its teeth into agriculture
Learning from COVID-19
Covid-19 shows factory food production is dangerous for animals and humans alike
Covid-19 has exposed the catastrophic impact of privatising vital services
The pandemic case for the two-day workweek
What developing countries can teach rich countries about how to respond to a pandemic
Reimagining the post-pandemic “normal”: Learning from Indigenous peoples about reconciling culture and nature
Africa has defied the Covid-19 nightmare scenarios. We shouldn’t be surprised.
How Africa fought the pandemic — and what coronavirus has taught the world
Barcelona’s radical response to Covid-19. While governments around the world have allowed inequality to increase during Covid-19, Barcelona’s left-wing municipality has fought back – introducing measures to support workers, women, migrants and the environment.
Where we’re at: analysis
“Colonizing the atmosphere”: How rich, Western nations drive the climate crisis
There’s no such thing as “we”
Mutual aid is essential to our survival regardless of who is in the White House
The challenge of reclaiming the commons from capitalism
Seize and resist
Thai imperialism and colonisation
Andreas Malm: “The likely future is escalating catastrophe”
The stories Michael Shellenberger tells
We can’t mine our way out of the climate crisis
Controlling oil, controlling development
Towards a working-class environmentalism for South Africa
On the #BeirutBlast and the environmental violence of capital
Just think about it… The vine and the fish. Does the language of invasive biology contribute to xenophobia? An interactive comic.
Why the world can get worse by constantly saying it’s getting better
We can use less energy and still have good lives
Blue sky thinking: is it time to stop work taking over our lives?
Hidden cameras and secret trackers reveal where Amazon returns end up
To save the climate, give up the demand for constant electricity
On being an octopus
Cruise ships dismantled for scrap after pandemic sinks industry
Land as a social relationship
Is plastic recycling a lie? Oil companies touted recycling to sell more plastic
Our burning planet: Why we must learn to live with fire
California’s apocalyptic ‘second nature’
California and Australia look to Indigenous land management for fire help
The politics of mental health
Mental health and hope, from the second issue of the New Economics Zine on the connections between mental health and the economy.
For Hannah Arendt, totalitarianism is rooted in loneliness
Self-help hacks at the end of the world. Everything is pretty terrible right now. A glut of pop psych advice wants you to think you can muscle your way out of it alone.
’Investing’ in mental health is doomed to fail because humans aren’t stocks. The World Health Organization focused on investing in mental health as the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day. That might sound sensible, but it’s precisely this language of ‘investment’ that is taking the mental health conversation backwards.
‘Solastalgia’: Arctic inhabitants overwhelmed by new form of climate grief
One of the best climate solutions is giving Indigenous people their land back
Respect for Indigenous land rights key in fight against climate change
Native tribes are being poisoned by pesticides made by U.S. companies
Land-grabbing in Asia displaces indigenous people: UN expert
After growth. A review of Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa by Julie Livingston.
. A book review. Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World by Jason Hickel
Climate change is accelerating because of rich consumers’ energy use. Here are some solutions.
Reflecting on the emerging strategy debate in the degrowth movement
Ecosocialism and/or degrowth?
Degrowth and MMT: A thought experiment
Climate crisis: Is it time to ditch economic growth?
The macroeconomics of degrowth: can planned economic contraction be stable?
The ecology of feminism and the feminism of ecology
We can’t have billionaires and stop climate change
4 key ways to build strong social justice movements
Building, not branding. Instead of creating individual brands, we can aim to build collectivities in struggle.
A plan to cool us down without burning up the planet
How COVID and Syria conspiracies introduce fascism to the Left, part 1 and part 2
Nazi hippies: when the New Age and Far-Right overlap
How Far-Right extremists are using wildfires to go mainstream
Neo-nazis are using eco-fascism to recruit young people
Blood and vanishing topsoil
The rise of eco-fascism: The environmental case for taking a tougher stance against online hate
Cities and radical municipalism
Public power in a green city
How Philly’s Black Lives Matter protests revitalized the affordable housing movement
Building eco-paradise in end times: Lessons from ecoaldeas (ecovillages) in Mexico
Mutual aid response during fires shows Black Lives Matter is building community
Communes – the building block of democratic confederalism. An explainer.
Responding to global crises with low-carbon social housing
Building regional autonomies for a small farm future
‘Agricultural jihad’: A hungry Lebanon returns to family farms to feed itself
Can agroecology feed the world?
Digital fences: the financial enclosure of farmlands in South America
Vandana Shiva: The pandemic is a consequence of the war against life
Whose agriculture drives disease?
Max Ajl: Does the Arab region have an agrarian question?
Conservation vs capitalism
Capitalism – not ‘humanity’ – is killing the world’s wildlife
Conservation without colonialism
Setting out the principles of post-growth conservation
Losing ground: How are India’s conservation efforts putting the local communities in peril?
Sci-fi and the near future
To build a future without police and prisons, we have to imagine it first. A strain of science fiction called visionary fiction empowers activists, artists, and organizers to seed a better future.
Imagining the end of capitalism with Kim Stanley Robinson
An Indigenous abolitionist study guide
Complicity in destruction III: How global corporations enable violations of Indigenous people’s rights in the Brazilian Amazon. The full report by the Brazilian Indigenous people’s alliance – APIB & Amazon Watch.
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