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Book: Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation

  COUNTERFIRE
A first-rate compendium of environmental sanity, the book under review is also a sound, radical and compelling critique of capitalist planning, making the case that only a revolutionary transformation on socialist principles can generate the political framework needed to save the planet.

In November 2017, UN climate observers reported that the past three years have all been in the top three years in terms of temperature records. They also reported temperatures topping 50C in Asia, record-breaking hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean and Atlantic, devastating monsoon flooding affecting millions, and a relentless drought in East Africa. The World Meteorological Organisation has stated that indicators up to this point suggest that 2017 will actually be the hottest year since records began. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is now estimated to be higher than at any time in at least 800,000 years. Bearing in mind our species has been on the planet for only about a quarter of that time, this is clearly a crisis of unprecedented magnitude for humanity.

Although the existential threat to life on Earth by climate change becomes increasingly apparent year by year, the capacity of capitalist politicians to respond appropriately remains pitifully inadequate. Trump’s stated goal to take the US out of the 2015 Paris climate deal is only the most egregious example. Supporters of renewable energy estimated earlier this year that UK government funding of wind, solar, biomass power and waste-to-energy projects is set to fall by 95% over the next three years.

Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation
By Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams
Monthly Review Press, 387 pages
Hardcover:  $95.00; Paperback:  $25.00; E-book:  $21.25

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