New PDF release: Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of Environment

By John Bellamy Foster

ISBN-10: 158367019X

ISBN-13: 9781583670194

The susceptible Planet has received admire because the top single-volume advent to the worldwide monetary crisis.With amazing old and monetary aspect, starting from the commercial Revolution to trendy imperialism, The weak Planet explores the explanations why an international economic climate aimed at deepest revenue has spelled vulnerability for the earth's fragile usual environment.Rejecting either individualistic suggestions and guidelines that tinker on the margins, John Bellamy Foster demands a basic reorganization of creation on a social foundation as a way to make attainable a sustainable and ecological economy.This revised variation encompasses a new afterword through the writer.

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Additional resources for Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of Environment

Sample text

Twelve years after Christopher Columbus landed in this part of the world,” novelist Jamaica Kincaid, herself a West Indian, has written, “over a million of the people he found living here were dead. ”20 The land too became a “slave” to the new system of export crop production. Planters cleared it of trees, making it more prone to drought and erosion. In 1690 trees still covered m ore than twothirds of Antigua; by 1751 every acre suitable for cultivation had been stripped of forest cover. 21 W hat Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano wrote of the Northeast of Brazil was true of most of the Caribbean islands as well: Sugar ...

25 This means that we m ust consider the laws of m otion of capitalism itself. ”26It is a system of “creative destruction,” in which the creative drive is the seem­ ingly infinite ability to produce new commodities by combining materials and labor in new ways, and the destructive drive is the systematic degradation, transformation, and absorption of all elements of existence outside of the system’s own orbit. W ith the rise of capitalism, environmental historian Donald W orster has noted, hum ans began to view “everything around them— the land, its natural resources, their own labor— as potential com­ modities that might fetch a profit in the market.

Although there have been m any social formations over the course of hum an history, since the nineteenth century it has been inconceivable that hum anity would opt for anything but some form of highly industrialized civilization. And apart from capitalism itself, the only other large-scale model o f industrialization was in the for­ mer Soviet Union. This was a system that originated under socialist leadership but that was only nominally “socialist” (as this word is understood by most of its advocates, who see these as societies that are controlled by the direct producers) from the 1930s on; that existed in a highly defensive, “cold war” com pet­ itive relationship with the advanced capitalist world during its entire existence; and that died out after three quarters of a century.

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Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of Environment by John Bellamy Foster


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