Additional Resources on Ecosocialism

August 8, 2007

Solidarity held a 3-day conference on Socialism and
Environmental Justice in NYC July 20-22. Joel Kovel,
author of the “Why Ecosocialism Today?” article, and other socialist, labor and environmental justice activists presented on topics ranging from the Uneasy Alliance of Labor and Environmental Justice to Feminism, Reproduction and the Environment. Please check out the ‘Themes and Questions’ the conference was focused around and further resources below.

Capitalism and the Environment

Is environmental destruction inevitable under capitalism? What are some proposals to reform/control capitalism in favor of the environment? Can they work? Why/why not?

Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature
— interview with John Bellamy Foster

Ecology, Capitalism and the Socialization of Nature
— interview with John Bellamy Foster

Why the market cannot solve the environment crisis
— Tony Iltis (Green Left Weekly (June 2007)

Garbage Capitalism’s Green Commerce
— Heather Rogers (Socialist Register 2007 – not online)

The Ecological Question: Can Capitalism Prevail?
— Daniel Buck (Socialist Register 2007 – not online)

How do we evaluate the alternatives to capitalism that are floating around the radical environmental movements? What is proposed and how do we assess this from the point of view of an intersectional approach? (By an intersectional approach, we mean looking at racism, sexism, and heterosexism as well as class exploitation to see how an alternative to the current system would work).

Ecosocialism Now
— Joel Kovel (New Socialist)

Chapter 9: Ecosocialism, in The Enemy of Nature
— Joel Kovel

Ecosocialism and Democratic Planning
— Michael Lowy (Socialist Register 2007 – not online)

The Limits of EcoLocalism: Scale, Strategy, Socialism
— Greg Albo (Socialist Register 2007 pp. 350-360 – not online)

Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice

What are the main issues in environmental racism? How has the movement for environmental justice responded to these issues?

Principles of Environmental Justice

Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007 Grassroots Struggles to Dismantle Environmental Racism in the US (to access and print pdf file, follow links at top of page)

Brief history of the Environmental Justice movement, in chapter 4 of Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago
— David Nabuib Pellow (MIT Press, 2002)

Race, Waste, and Class: New Perspectives on Environmental Justice
— Michael K. Heiman (MIT Press, 2002)

The New World War: Water
— Veronica Lake

Environmental Justice Resource Center, Clark Atlanta University

What challenges have faced community-based movements against environmental racism? What strategies have been used to successfully meet these challenges?

Divide and Conquer: The Fight For and Against the Robbins Incinerator, from Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago
— David Nabuib Pellow (MIT Press, 2002)

When People of Color are an Endangered Species, from De Colores Means All of Us
— Elizabeth Martinez (South End Press, 1998)

Warren County Revisited, from Transforming Environmentalism
— Eileen McGurty (Rutgers U Press, 2007) [read this with “When it rains I get mad and scared: women and environmental racism,” from Crazy for Democracy by Temma Kaplan (Routledge, 1997)]

Labor/Movements and Environmental Justice

What successful coalitions have been built around labor and environment and what accounts for success? What accounts for failure?

Policies for Green Collar Jobs Campaign
— Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

Green Collar Jobs for Urban America
— Van Jones and Ben Wyskeda (YES Magazine, Winter 2007)

Securing Our Children’s World, Our Union and the Environment
— United Steelworkers

Labor and Environmentalism (website)

Environmental Justice for Whom? Class, New Social Movements, and the Environment: A Case Study of Greenpeace Canada, 1971-2000
— John-Henry Harter (Labour/Le Travail, issue 54 – not online)

Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment (website)

How have unions/workers’ centers/environmental justice organizations thought about the connection between workers’ rights and empowerment and environmental protection?

Safety of recovery and reconstruction workers: NOLA, 2005

Trailer Park Organizing Comes together with ‘Guest Workers
— People’s Organizing Committee Newsletter (December 16, 2006 – not online)

New Jersey Work Environment Council (website)

Models and Organizational Differences in the Environmental and Environmental Justice Movements

How do mainstream environmental organizations and environmental justice organizations differ in terms of the organizing model they use, levels of participation of working class people, how they relate to other movements?

Vanity Fair: The Unbearable Whiteness of Green
— Van Jones

Why is the Green Movement so White?
— Van Jones

“The Environment Movement: Failures and Successes” and “Civic Environmentalism”
— Van Jones (Rachel’s Environment and Health News, September/October 2001 – not online)

It’s a survival issue: the environmental Justice Movement Faces the New Century
— Colorlines (July 2000 – not online)

How do the different kinds of organizations in the environmental justice movement relate to each other? (e.g. are there important differences among non-profit organizations, what sorts of organizations seem to maintain a more radical practice and why?)

“Native Organizing Before the Non-Profit Industrial Complex,” from The Revolution Will Not Be Funded
— Madonna Thunder Hawk (South End Press, 2007)

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (website of organization in Chicago)

Southwest Organizing Project (website)

People’s Organizing Committee (website of organization in New Orleans)

Gender and environmental Justice

Working-class women (white and women of color) seem to be more prominent in environmental justice organizing at the community level than in many other movements. What accounts for this? What happens to women’s leadership once the movement expands beyond the local level?

Katrina Hits Cancer Alley: interview with environmental justice activist Monique Harden
— Ben Greenberg, Dollars & Sense (March/April 2006)

Community Organizer: Cynthia Peters interviews Klare Allen
— Z Magazine Online, (July/August 2004)

Chapter 3, “When it rains I get mad and scared: women and environmental racism,” from Crazy for Democracy
— Temma Kaplan (Routledge 1997)

What are some gender differences in the impact of environmental degradation on working-class communites? How, if at all, is the environmental justice movement addressing these differences?

“Gender, Asthma Politics, and Urban Environmental Justice Activism,” from New Perspectives on Environmental Justice ed. Rachel Stein
— Julie Sze (Rutgers University Press, 2004)

“The Role of Gender, Race/Ethnicity and Class in Activists’ Perceptions of Environmental Justice” from New Perspectives on Environmental Justice ed. Rachel Stein
— Diane-Michele Prindeville (Rutgers University Press, 2004)

Local actions, global visions: Remaking environmental expertise
— Giovanna Di Chiro (Frontiers (v. 18, iss 2, 1997)

A Plan to Challenge Women’s Oppression within Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund
— Second Lines (June-July 2007), newsletter of the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund