Misrepresenting Marx’s Ecology: A response to Daniel Tanuro’s “was Marx an ecosocialist?


MR Online | January 14, 2020

Karl Marx

Daniel Tanuro is an agricultural engineer and leading socialist activist who has made numerous contributions to ecosocialist thought and practice, most notably, in his book Green Capitalism: Why It Can’t Work.(1) Yet, this has been coupled with persistent claims that there are “fundamental flaws” in Karl Marx’s ecological critique of capitalism.(2) Tanuro has previously charged that Marx failed to recognize the centrality of fossil fuels to capitalist industrialization, and that Marx discounted peasant/indigenous knowledge by rejecting French agronomist Léonce Lavergne’s notion that forage crops were capable of obtaining all the nutrients they needed directly or indirectly (through manure) from the atmosphere.(3) These and other criticisms of Marx by Tanuro were refuted by Paul Burkett and myself in our book Marx and the Earth (2016).(4)Read More »

No blockade or pressure will deter Cubans

Granma | January 15, 2020

Photo: Estudio Revolución

At a time when imperialism is attempting by all means to prevent the arrival of fuel and other oil derivatives to Cuba, including liquefied gas, the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, on Monday reviewed the Energy Program, particularly oil development and prospects for the year.

He emphasized the importance of renewable energy resources, especially photovoltaic, noting that the installation of panels on suitable roofs should be a first step, according to the Presidency’s website.

Diaz-Canel also participated in a review of the Railroad Recovery and Development Program, at the Palace of the Revolution, led by Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz. Reports indicated that 2019 plans for freight transportation plans were 91% completed, with 852 million tons more than in 2018 transported.

Read More »

Protesters return to streets in rudderless Lebanon

Countercurrents | January 15, 2020

Anti-government protesters chant slogans as they hold cardboard cutouts of clenched fists, with Arabic that reads, “Lebanon,” as they block a main highway during a protest in the town of Jal el-Dib, north of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Protesters blocked several roads around the capital of Beirut and in other areas of the country on Tuesday in renewed rallies against the ruling elite they say has failed to address the economy’s downward spiral. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Amidst obstacles to the creation of a new administration in Lebanon angry protesters have begun returning to streets. Protesters are returning with the slogan, “The revolution is coming back.”

There were clashes between the protesters and army and security forces. Protesters burned tires, blocked roads and brought traffic in Beirut to a standstill on Tuesday in renewed demonstrations against economic hardship and government corruption.Read More »

India Climate 2019: Arabian Sea saw 400% more cyclones

by DTE Staff

Down To Earth | January 07, 2020

Destruction after Cyclone Fani. Photo: Adithyan PC

The India Meteorological Department on January 6, 2020 released its much-awaited report on India’s climate in 2019.

As expected, the climate crisis wreaked havoc. The number of cyclones in Arabian Sea stood out in particular.

Down To Earth has regularly reported on how the year that just passed was tumultuous in term of extreme and contrasting weather events.

Five of the eight cyclones — 60 per cent of the total — that affected India in 2019 were on the Arabian Sea. Normally, the sea on India’s west undergoes only one cyclone. Read More »

‘This crisis has been unfolding for years’: 4 photos of Australia from space, before and after the bushfires

by Molly Glassey, Sunanda Creagh, Wes Mountain

Down To Earth | January 07, 2020

We pulled four before-and-after-images from NASA’s Worldview application, and asked bushfire researcher Grant Williamson to reflect on the story they tell. Here’s what he told us:

I’ve been studying fires for more than a decade. I use satellite data to try to understand the global and regional patterns in fire — what drives it and how it will shift in the future as our climate and land use patterns change.

When I look at these images I think: this is a crisis we have seen coming for years. It’s something I have been watching unfold.

Look at the sheer scale of it. Seeing this much fire in the landscape in such a broad area, seeing so much severe fire at once, this quantity and concentration of smoke — it is astonishing. I haven’t seen it like this before.Read More »

Donald Trump’s Iran Problem


The New Yorker | January 20, 2020

Illustration by João Fazen

On September 19, 1983, during Lebanon’s long civil war, the Reagan Administration ordered Marine peacekeepers in Beirut to open fire on Muslim militias in the mountains overlooking the city. The marines had been deployed for more than a year, after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, to help hold together one of the world’s most fractured states. Colonel Tim Geraghty, their commander, warned that an attack would cost the United States its neutrality and its mission; nevertheless, U.S. ships fired more than three hundred rounds of seventy-pound shells. Geraghty later wrote, “As the sun set at the end of a tumultuous day, I remarked to members of my staff that my gut instinct tells me the Corps is going to pay in blood for this decision.”

Read More »

Mad Men: Trump’s Perilous Approach to Dictators


The New Yorker | January 09, 2020

Since taking office, President Trump has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, held two summits with Kim Jong Un, of North Korea, and hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. Trump relies on his instincts when it comes to the conduct of foreign policy, and his sycophancy toward dictators has been a defining feature of his Presidency. He has had a somewhat different approach to the Iranian leadership. Last week, Trump ordered an air strike that killed Qassem Suleimani, a high-ranking Iranian official, escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. Evan Osnos joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss what Donald Trump may not understand about the minds of authoritarian leaders.

Read More »