This book gives me a reason to prefer economics over ecology The authors called up big names, attached big institutions to them, and then mocked them with Trump words The books flow one name to another name Endless names and titles Instead, they could ve given a great deal of evidence, solid analysis, or even real life stories Disappointed. An important concept but oh how I wish it had been delivered better This isn t so much a sustained argument as a rather scattershot assemblage which includes some very interesting stories like Jan Smuts and the relationship between holism and the apartheid state that don t necessarily cohere And when they talk about fixes oh boy The Venezuelan petro state might not be something to necessarily aspire to, especially given the way it s gone tits up since the book was written admittedly largely due to outside forces, but something to take heed of nonetheless Yes, capitalism is by its very definition unsustainable and some kind of ecological socialism will probably be necessary for the survival of the human race, and Foster et al have some good ideas, but this topic deserves a farempirical analysis with less dialectical navel gazing. Humanity In The Twenty First Century Is Facing What Might Be Described As Its Ultimate Environmental Catastrophe The Destruction Of The Climate That Has Nurtured Human Civilization And With It The Basis Of Life On Earth As We Know It All Ecosystems On The Planet Are Now In Decline Enormous Rifts Have Been Driven Through The Delicate Fabric Of The Biosphere The Economy And The Earth Are Headed For A Fateful Collision If We Don T Alter CourseIn The Ecological Rift Capitalism S War On The Earth Environmental Sociologists John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, And Richard York Offer A Radical Assessment Of Both The Problem And The Solution They Argue That The Source Of Our Ecological Crisis Lies In The Paradox Of Wealth In Capitalist Society, Which Expands Individual Riches At The Expense Of Public Wealth, Including The Wealth Of Nature In The Process, A Huge Ecological Rift Is Driven Between Human Beings And Nature, Undermining The Conditions Of Sustainable Existence A Rift In The Metabolic Relation Between Humanity And Nature That Is Irreparable Within Capitalist Society, Since Integral To Its Very Laws Of MotionCritically Examining The Sanguine Arguments Of Mainstream Economists And Technologists, Foster, Clark, And York Insist Instead That Fundamental Changes In Social Relations Must Occur If The Ecological And Social Problems Presently Facing Us Are To Be Transcended Their Analysis Relies On The Development Of A Deep Dialectical Naturalism Concerned With Issues Of Ecology And Evolution And Their Interaction With The Economy Importantly, They Offer Reasons For Revolutionary Hope In Moving Beyond The Regime Of Capital And Toward A Society Of Sustainable Human Development Despite my frustration with the repetitive nature of this book collection of essays I learned a fair amount and unfortunately was left feeling evenpessimistic about the possibility of the Earth having a remotely soft landing Hey, this book was written in 2010 and I I couldn t help reflecting on the lack of progress we have to show for the past 6 years A country and world divided by fear and misinformation Large segments of the population crashing from the false hope high after Sanders ultimate surrender to Clinton The largely disillusioned mass of Americans and frightened and disbelieving nations of the world look on as the US faces a choice between two evils while the hottest years on record for the past decade , record seeing storms, etc Yup, not a lot to be optimistic about, in fact we re worse off with basically time s up on the clock.Still, back to this book and some good news, there are excellent insights regarding Marx s dialectical views along with legitimate powerful strategies to free the world of capitalism and it s destructive consequences OK, maybe not so legitimate given that it s highly unlikely the they will be peacefully adopted Still, it s a worthy read but be sure to take a break on occasion and try to take a walk in the park nature, hug a loved one, join a community action or group, learn a new skill, start a garden, dance Some notes I ve been skimming or skipping some of the chapters that seem like jargon heavy, name dropping intra disciplinary quibbling Dialectics of Nature and Marxist Ecology, Sociology of Ecology, etc Perhaps those chapters are in some way different from the rest of the book, but I m not interested or qualified to give them a fair shake at this point.I was really excited when I found this book at the London Review Bookshop I had heard Naomi Klein accolade JB Foster s works before, and noted that this book has accolades on the covers from Klein, Jensen, and Annie Leonard, which to me makes this an unusually star studded book jacket I was even considering applying to U of Oregon to study with the dude, before even reading the book Some of the reason I was so excited there are essays in this book that treat soil erosion from a Marxist perspective, and that just seemed too good to be true.Maybe it was There are a lot of things I really enjoy about this book Like the only other work of env sociology I ve read, Overshoot The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, Foster, Clark, and York come up with a ton of great imagery and pithy names for the socio ecological phenomena they describe the Metabolic Rift, the Treadmill of Accumulation, the Midas Effect, etc There are also just a few tremendously enlightening concepts the Jevons Paradox and the Paperless Office Paradox not least among them These concepts illustrate precisely why capitalism or industrial civilization itself, potentially will not become sustainable through so called dematerialization eco friendly substitutes and efficiency improvements.However, I also found a lot of things to take issue with about this book Rather than a book in its own right which it very definitely sells itself as , The Ecological Rift isof a collection of modified essays that had been written for other things in the past Which might have been a fine choice, except that the essays were not sufficiently modified to make them make any sense as a book Many concepts are introduced as though the reader were entirely unfamiliar with them in chapter after chapter, making for a lot of redundant, simplistic explanation and a relative paucity of in depth exploration of any concepts This seems to be a problem to some extent endemic in sociology The authors are enad with theory and find it acceptable to write at length about theory without demonstrating their theories with any substantial case studies This is rather annoying to me For this reason, I ve avoided the most explicitly theoretical sections The passages about Marx in particular often seem to stand uncomfortably in Marx s shadow rather than on his shoulders.Potentially for the same reason, Foster et al s arguments also become dangerously thin and shallow at times When they are critiquing a position they disagree with which is often , they often simply mock their opponents, writing as though the arguments they were critiquing were patently absurd to their readers, so much so that they didn t even need to point out how so This was tolerable when he was dealing with mainstream economists yes, saying that a 50% loss in agricultural production would be anything but catastrophic is absurd , but using the same approach on people like Paul Hawken, James Lovelock, and deep ecologists he refrains from naming Derrick Jensen made me lose a substantial amount of respect for the authors I may or may not agree with Foster et al s critique of positions like Hawken s, but it s kind of hard for me to say, since their critique is not well developed And to me, as a deep ecologist, his shallow critique of that system of thought seemed to caricature it grossly. Dense read, but absolutely worth it While book is not just focused on climate change, you can get gist of it via his article here A compendium of articles explaining a Marxian perspective on human driven disruptions to the Earth s natural systems, and the consistent inadequacy of political responses.The third chapter poignantly explains the vertigo inducing discrepancy between the perspective of natural scientists on climate change, and the perspective of social scientists and economists in particular Immensely clarifying. Interesting overview of thought I did not find the part with dialectics profound or really necessary The solutions put forward in the book, I feel fall short And I do not know any good solutions to the issues at hand in any way.I would still recommend this book however. This book is sure to have many foes as it argues for a socialist response to our current evironmental crisis There is no question that our capitalist system is responsible for the degredation of the environment so we need an economic solution to ecological disaster The main point this book makes is we cannot rely on the same system that got us into this situation to get us out. Wow, really important This book is a Marxist perspective on ecological crises, showing how it all comes down to capitalism s mania for profit at any cost The rift in the title is Marx s observation that because of industrialization, Britain s agricultural land was becoming depleted of nutrients People were kicked off the land to work in factories Vegetables were being sent to the cities and reduced to waste that became pollution Normally that waste would replenish the soil With the soil being depleted, industrialists had to find supplies of Nitrogen elsewhere in the world and basically steal it Thus a rift in the natural cycle by which the land is replenished The authors also point out another 19th century theory that shows how advances in the efficiency of coal burning furnaces didn t save any coal at all They actually causecoal to be used Like the way WalMart claims to be going green by saving energy in their stores which savings they invest in buildingstores so evenenergy is used than before Capitalism is built on the false notion that the earth and its resources are a free gift and in principle inexhaustible Therefore, these costs don t ever make it into the equation Plus, current capitalism dismisses the surplus theory of value, and reduces all use value to exchange value, thus further blinding itself to the true costs of doing business There are some parts of tough going through the details of theory But on the whole the book is readable and informative The conclusion is that without a revolution we are toast They depend on exploited workers in the Third World for this My read on this is we are toast.