Once a month, we 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, current events, and political theory.
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.
So much has happened around the world this month, it’s hard to keep up. From massive protests around the world that toppled whole governments and won people’s demands against austerity, to Turkey’s attack on Rojava, to massive wildfires in California (again). But that’s exactly why we put together this newsletter for you! This month, we feature some excellent analysis on what links these global protests against austerity, and on-the-ground analysis of protests in each country. We offer many stories that can help inform you about what’s going on in Rojava, and how we can respond to Turkey’s invasion and the US role. After Extinction Rebellion protesters tried to block commuters in London, a debate ensued about appropriate forms of direct action, which we feature here. Now that California is up in flames again, we offer some timely analyses on the economic system and built environment that have led to its current ecological crisis. We also highlight a few analyses from inside the movement for local democracy in North America, with several reflections on the Symbiosis Congress of Municipal Movements this September. There was also a lot of analysis about the role of corporations in the climate crisis, including Silicon Valley’s funding of climate change denial.
On the whole, a thread running through this month’s events was the perceived conflict between working class demands and environmental policy. Reminding us of France’s Yellow Vest protests, in Ecuador, social movements rose up against rising gas prices; in London, Extinction Rebellion was mocked for blocking a commuter train in a working class area. In California, austerity has led to the failure of its energy companies to provide energy for millions of people, targeting the poor. What are the opportunities for environmental policies to meet people’s needs, and at the same time reconstruct the world system ecologically? How can environmentalists, especially those in the Global North, appeal to the global working class? These are some key questions going forward.
Uneven Earth updates
Shrink the military, shrink injustice | Link | The US Green New Deal must be anti-imperialist
A Green New Deal for an ecological economy | Link | Introducing a series of proposals for a truly transformative GND
Designing for a world after climate catastrophe | Link | While architects are often told they will change the world, a new book fails to imagine what a world after capitalism could look like
Degrowth should be a core part of the just transition | Link | A review of Degrowth by Giorgos Kallis
Utopia, not futurism: Why doing the impossible is the most rational thing we can do | Link | This 1978 speech by Murray Bookchin is strikingly relevant today
Top 5 articles to read
Post-capitalists must understand the role of migration in global capitalism. “When reading and hearing of ambitious programmes for social transformation, it is our task to consider whether or not such programmes have a sense of the ‘real’ determinants of economic development that Marx recognised: international relations of production, the international division of labour in a world market, exploitation of resources and emigration of displaced people, and at the forefront of these processes, the inner structures of middle and working classes and relations between them.”
Why mental health is a political issue, by Mark Fisher. “Depression is the shadow side of entrepreneurial culture, what happens when magical voluntarism confronts limited opportunities.”
News you might’ve missed
Unprecedented’ murder charges for loggers in deaths of indigenous activists. Two timber executives and three loggers charged in shooting deaths of activists who battled illegal logging in Peruvian Amazon.
Worldwide uprisings against austerity
Analysis of the common threads in global uprisings:
And analyses of protests in each country:
Social and political earthquake in Ecuador and a piece by Diana Vela Almeida, contributing editor at Uneven Earth: The fight against the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies in Ecuador: Lessons for environmental and social justice
Extinction Rebellion: Critique and defense
Revolution in Rojava
Reflections on the Symbiosis Congress
California’s wildfires and ecological crisis in the United States
It’s the end of California as we know it. “Our whole way of life is built on a series of myths — the myth of endless space, endless fuel, endless water, endless optimism, endless outward reach and endless free parking.”
Corporations and climate injustice
Just think about it…
The act of giving and the chance of life on a finite planet
Where we’re at: analysis
‘Racism dictates who gets dumped on’: how environmental injustice divides the world. The Guardian launched a year-long series, Our Unequal Earth, investigating environmental injustices: how ecological hazards and climate disasters have the harshest impacts on people of color, native tribes and those on low incomes.
Against ‘consumption’ . We must shift our perspective from reducing consumption to radically reorganising society.
Burial ground acknowledgements. Land acknowledgments as acts of institutional inclusion obscure the antagonism that follows from genocide.
Cities and radical municipalism
Property owners can do basically whatever they want to homeless people now. In San Francisco, they’re even getting the government’s help.
Sci-fi and the near future
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