For Marx, the narrow pursuit of value-based accumulation, through the “robbery” of the earth itself, at the expense of “eternal natural necessity,” generated a metabolic rift in the relation between human society and the larger natural world of which it was an emergent part.8Coupled with the related class contradictions of capitalism, these conditions pointed to the need for the expropriation of the expropriators.
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ERIC SCHECHTER—As I’ve already mentioned, people aren’t basically greedy and selfish. But our current culture certainly trains those traits into us. They’re built into the so-called “American dream”: You keep your stuff in your house, I keep my stuff in my house, and we’re taught that we don’t need to care about each other. Shootings in schools and shopping malls have become commonplace.
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Other senior scientists agree the link is clear. Serious climate change is “unfolding before our eyes”, said Prof Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading. “No one should be in the slightest surprised that we are seeing very serious heatwaves and associated impacts in many parts of the world.”
It is not too late to make the significant cuts needed in greenhouse gas emissions, said Mann, because the impacts progressively worsen as global warming increases. “It is not going off a cliff, it is like walking out into a minefield,” he said.
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MATTHEW MACEGAN—There is no reason to accept such a catastrophe fatalistically, however, as many climate scientists tend to do. The threat of nuclear war, combined with the growing crisis of global warming, raises ever more sharply the need to reorganize society along socialist lines in order to put an end to private ownership of the means of production and the system of rival capitalist nation-states, the main barriers to dealing with the global challenges that confront humanity.
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ANDRE VLTCHEK—”No one supposes that a theistic ethic is the only way that people can be socialized with respect to action. Earthly rulers have often considered their will as the grounds of law and ethics. The deepest commitment should be to the ruler and hence to advance the ruler’s wishes. But from the Christian point of view, true ethics must transcend obedience to political power. Might does not make right.”