The financialization of environment protection

Riccardo De Cristano

Climate and Capitalism | March 11, 2021

“Business as usual is killing us” [1]

Recent years have seen the rise and expansion of new financial instruments aimed to create a positive impact on society. One peculiar instrument, green bonds, is facing enormous growth, and we can notice how it is becoming a popular type of investment.[2] Through its mechanisms, even if a universal definition of what a green bond does not exist, investors can raise profits and provide positive outcomes for the environment.Read More »


Intensive Fishing and the Birth of Capitalism, Part 2

Ian Angus

Climate and Capitalism | March 08, 2021

Part One discussed the development of fish as a mass food commodity, and the Dutch use of factory ships in the North Sea in the 16th Century.  Part Two looks at the rise of an even bigger capitalist fishery on the other side of the Atlantic.

“In the sixteenth and partly still in the seventeenth, the sudden expansion of trade and the creation of a new world market had an overwhelming influence on the defeat of the old mode of production and the rise of the capitalist mode.” — Karl Marx[1]

Accounts of transatlantic trade in the 1500s typically focus on what Perry Anderson calls “the most spectacular single act in the primitive accumulation of European capital during the Renaissance” — the plunder of precious metals by Spanish invaders in South and Central America.[2] Year after year, well-guarded convoys carried gold and silver to Europe, simultaneously enriching Spain’s absolute monarchy and destabilizing Europe’s economy.

Spain’s treasure fleets certainly played a big role in the long-term development of European capitalism, but they were not alone in creating a disruptive transatlantic economy. While Spanish ships carried silver and gold, a parallel trade involving far more ships developed far to the north. Historians of capitalism, including Marxists, have paid too little attention to what Francis Bacon called “the Gold Mines of the Newfoundland Fishery, of which there is none so rich.”[3]Read More »


Vaccines: Patents or life!

European Secretariat of the International Peoples’ Assembly | March 11, 2021

Organizations have denounced that even amid a devastating pandemic, pharmaceutical companies and other entities have put profits over people.

One year after March 11, 2020, the day on which the World Health Organization WHO defined the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we are still grappling with new waves, heavy restrictions, and a number of deaths reaching over 550,000 only in Europe.

The substantial public resources that have financed the research of private pharmaceutical companies have seemingly “worked”. As of today, there are more vaccines that have completed the control phases and a large part of the scientific community is convinced that the vaccines are the most suitable tool for overcoming the pandemic, along with, as we always highlight, the necessary strengthening of the public health system and the community-based medicine.Read More »


Indian farmers’ struggle: International Women’s Day celebrated with huge mobilizations

Peoples Dispatch | March 11, 2021

On March 8, tens of thousands of women gathered at the borders of Indian capital New Delhi where the current farmers’ agitation is going on to celebrate International Women’s Day. They demanded rights and recognition as farmers, and continued the struggle against the three farm laws passed by the far-right Narendra Modi government.Read More »


Remembering Leo Panitch

Socialist Project | January 31, 2021

Moderated by Michael Lardner. Presentations by:

  • Stephen Maher: “Remembering Leo Panitch and Beyond Capitalism.” Stephen is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Canada, and Assistant Editor of Socialist Register.
  • Greg Albo: “Leo Panitch, the Socialist Register and Beyond Digital Capitalism.” Greg teaches in the Department of Politics at York University. He is co-editor of the Socialist Register.
  • Ursula Huws: “Reaping the Whirlwind: Digitalization, Restructuring, and Mobilization in the Covid Crisis.” Ursula is Professor of Labour and Globalization at the University of Hertfordshire.

Read More »


Democratic Socialism in Global Perspective

Electoral Politics and Transformative Perspectives in the Americas and Europe
January 11-15, 2021

Co-sponsored by the Havens Wright Center and the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam)

SESSION 5, The Crisis of the Capitalist State and the Democratic Socialist Response

Lucio Oliver, UNAM, Mexico (9:15) 

Jeffery R. Webber, York University, Toronto (31:29) 
Costas Lapavitsas, SOAS, London and Spyros Marchetos, Thessaloniki (51:49) 
Jorge Viaña, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia (1:22:42) 

Read More »



The Asset Economy: Property Ownership and the New Logic of Inequality

Polity Press, Cambridge, UK, 2020. 176 pp., £14.99 pb
ISBN 9781509543465

Reviewed by Sinéad Petrasek

In The Asset Economy, Lisa Adkins, Melinda Cooper and Martijn Konings evaluate the entrenchment of inequality in Anglo-capitalist societies through the mechanism of asset acquisition. Building on their various studies of political economy, neoliberalism and the family unit, the authors collaborate here to provide a fresh perspective on contemporary class stratification. They do so by examining the asset, the cornerstone from which their appraisal of the social totality is modelled, similar to Marx’s treatment of the commodity as the building block of capitalist society.

Read More »


Nuclear technology’s role in the world’s energy supply is shrinking

Anniversaries of the Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters highlight the challenges of relying on nuclear power to cut net carbon emissions to zero.

Nature Editorial | March 09, 2021

A visitor takes a photo through a window of the defunct Chernobyl nuclear facilities

A view of the Chernobyl reactor complex in Ukraine. The 1986 disaster, along with that at Fukushima in 2011, has cooled global enthusiasm for nuclear technology.Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty

“It is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of the soldiers. It must be put into the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.”

These stirring words, spoken in 1953 by then US president Dwight Eisenhower, are worth recalling as the world marks the anniversaries of two devastating tragedies involving nuclear technology: the Fukushima disaster in Japan on 11 March 2011, and the catastrophic accident at Chernobyl in what is now Ukraine on 26 April 1986.Read More »


Colorado’s legal cannabis farms emit more carbon than its coal mines

Krista Charles

New Scientist | March 08, 2021

Cannabis plant
Cannabis is often grown indoors
Cappi Thompson/Getty Images

Legal cannabis production in Colorado emits more greenhouse gases than the state’s coal mining industry, researchers analysing the sector’s energy use have found.

The production and use of cannabis for medical or recreational reasons is now legal in several US states, which has led to a booming industry.

Hailey Summers and her colleagues at Colorado State University have quantified and analysed the greenhouse gas emissions produced by cannabis growers.

They found that emissions varied widely by state, from 2.3 to 5.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per kilogram of dried flower produced.

Read More »