Saturday, September 3, 2016

2431. Making Progress: A Critical Assessment of Climate Action Plans by Bill McKibben and The Climate Mobilization

By Kamran Nayeri, September 3, 2016
The People's Climate March, New York, September 21, 2014. 

A potential breakthrough
I consider it a breakthrough of sorts. Last September a group of the leading members of the Canadian ecological and social justice movements, including Naomi Klein and David Suzuki, published The Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another, which I characterized as “a welcome initiative towards a collective discussion for social change necessary to address the root causes of social and planetary crisis.”  Then last May E. O. Wilson published Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life (2016), his last volume in a trilogy, in which he breaks ranks with the conservation movement’s piecemeal and reactive approach by proclaiming and defending the ambitious goal based on the best available science that the only viable way to save biodiversity on which human life depends is to set aside at least half of the planet’s land and oceans as protected areas for wildlife.  On August 15, Bill McKibben, co-founder of and the acknowledged public face of the climate justice movement, published a major policy essay, “A World at War”, in the New Republic in which he outlines an action program for transition to a post-carbon economy by 2050.  Four days later, on August 19, The Climate Mobilization (TCM), released an incomplete draft of its Victory Plan, which goes much further in scale and scope than McKibben’s essay.  As an activist who has been arguing for the need for a broad discussion in the climate justice movement leading to adoption of an action program to use for education, organization and mobilization of largest possible sections of the public (Nayeri, 2016a and 2016b) I see these as important steps forward.  The TCM’s example of proposing a draft action program for discussion and critique by its membership and the public must be commended.  What follows is my own critical assessment of these recent important steps.  While I focus my remarks on climate change and McKibben’s and TCM’s proposals, the reader will note that they are addressing the planetary crisis and all its manifestations that are in fact part and parcel of humanity’s socioeconomic and cultural crisis.  None of the current ecological/environmental crises exists that is not a manifestation of Our Way of Life. 

Highlights of the action plans
McKibben’s action plan is narrowly focused on replacing fossil fuels with clean renewable technologies largely relying on the work of Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford and his colleagues (see, The Solutions Project). They have argued that from an engineering point of view in the United States renewable technologies could replace those based on fossil fuels by 2050. 

The TCM’s program is far more extensive relying on a broader intellectual basis with stated aim of not just restoring “a safe and stable climate” but also reversing the “ecological overshoot” and ending the sixth mass extinction. Here is an outline of what it proposes.

To restore a safe and stable climate, it calls for mobilization of the federal government, including by establishing new agencies.  These include an All Products and Services (RAPS) system to administer “fair share rationing” of all products and services that emit greenhouse gases. Silk who is the author of the draft argues that this is preferable to taxing emissions since he believes it will ensure more equity (I have argued for an emissions tax with subsidies to low-income people; see, Nayeri 2015).  The plan also calls for rapid phasing out of fossil fuels and establishing clean renewable energy sources.  The transportation system would phase out reliance on cars and trucks in favor of mass transportation and railways running on clean renewables. It calls for a transformation of industrial agriculture (which depends on fertilizers from petroleum) to a carbon-sequestering agroecology and a plant-based diet. Other campaigns that are proposed include “overhauling the built environment,” launching a global forestry management program to stop deforestation and start reforestation, mobilizing the Department of Defense to fight the climate crisis, and a research and development program to study and implement near-term climate cooling approaches. The action plan also supports E. O. Wilson’s proposal to set aside vast parts of the land mass and oceans as protected nature reserves currently deemed by scientists as ecologically intact and crucial to stop the sixth mass species extinction.  It calls for restoration of oceans and research and development to end the ecological overshoot.  The TCM action plan wisely calls for shrinking the size of the economy and population to bring the global footprint to half of the Earth capacity to leave more resources for the remaining millions of species.

While collectively these action plans represent a step forward because they admit the need for the movement to adopt its own plan for transformative change and include some good ideas that in my view must be adopted universally, they are limited to dealing with the manifestation of aspects of the planetary crisis without addressing its root-causes.  In what follows, I will outline these root-causes and then close by highlighting some salient feature of an action plan that would address them. 

Causes of the climate crisis: The Anthropocene
A key problem with the broad sectors of the climate justice movement, including, is that they focus on the catastrophic climate change in isolation from the other manifestations of the planetary crisis. At least since 2000, scientists have increasingly argued and now earth system scientists agree that the geological epoch Holocene that began 11,700 years ago has given way to the Anthropocene (The Age of Man) (see, Angus, 2016, for a history and discussion; see, also, Foster's "Forward" to Angus' book).  Now even the stratigraphers who study the precise demarcation and time-tabling of the deposition of rock layers are increasingly of the same mind (see, Davies 2016).  While the Holocene was marked by a climate that was supportive of the rise and spread of agricultural based civilizations, the Anthropocene has brought us the planetary crisis that if left unchecked will undermine much of life on Earth, including the humanity.  Wilson (2016) provides a lucid account of how biodiversity that is the basis of human society and argues persuasively it will be lost by the end of the century due to the Anthropocene if the world does not act to prevent it in a timely fashion.  The Stockholm Resilience Center that published a study of the planetary crisis (Rockström,, 2009) and an extensive update last year (Steffen,, 2015a) has identified nine planetary boundaries ("thresholds for safe operating space for human societies"). Climate change and "biosphere integrity" (the sixth great mass extinction) are designated as core boundaries “because they both are affected by and drive changes in all the others.” (ibid.) The nine boundaries are:

1. Climate change
2. Change in biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss and species extinction)
3. Stratospheric ozone depletion
4. Ocean acidification
5. Biogeochemical flows (phosphorus and nitrogen cycles)
6. Land-system change (for example deforestation)
7. Freshwater use
8. Atmospheric aerosol loading (microscopic particles in the atmosphere that affect climate and living organisms)
9. Introduction of novel entities (e.g. organic pollutants, radioactive materials, nanomaterials, and micro-plastics).

McKibben’s “A World at War” is written as if this science does not exist. He defines climate change as a technological problem that can be fixed by technological change: replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.  The TCM’s Victory Plan does not frame its action program with an explicit acknowledgement of the Anthropocene but borrows heavily from sources that do, including Wilson’s Half- Earth, and offers many good proposals for action to overcome the planetary crisis.  But we cannot hope to save the world if we cannot undo the Anthropocene.  

Why the Anthropocene?: The fossil fuel-based industrial capitalist world economy
But how have we landed in the Anthropocene? Clearly, it is Our Way of Life.  Most immediately, the post-war II has been a period of rapid economic growth and industrial capitalist development, partly to rebuild the war-damaged industrial capitalist economies of the West and Japan and partly to build the periphery of world capitalism, including countries in Asia and Africa liberated from Western colonialism. The  ratio of real GDP in 1995 to 1950 was 3.1 in the “more developed areas” with 20% of the world population and 2.9 in the “less developed areas” with 80% of the world population. (Easterlin, 2000, Table 3; also, see, “World Bank's The Statistical Appendix in The World Economy and Developing Countries, no date).

Will Steffen and his colleagues (2015b) have suggested that this rapid pace of economic growth is the cause of what the earth system scientists call the Great Acceleration (see the charts provided by the hyperlink; accessed August 23, 2016)   Also, take another look at the Stockholm Resilience Center’s nine planetary boundaries listed above that leave little doubt that fossil fuel-based industrial capitalism is responsible for them and for the Anthropocene.  Anyone seriously concerned with the planetary crisis or any aspect of it must conclude, as Noami Klein has in This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. climate (2014), that the culprit is capitalism. But there is little discussion of how and why the climate crisis (and, of course, the Anthropocene) is the result of normal functioning of the industrial capitalist world economy in the ecological movement in general and the climate justice movement in particular. Historically, the ecological movement has blamed industrialization but not it prime-mover capitalism, leaving room for the fantasy of Green Capitalism).  In fact, prominent leaders like Bill McKibben have tried to focus attention awway for it to narrowly focus on the fossil fuel industry.   

Thus, we need an open and honest discussion of whether and how real solutions to the climate crisis, biodiversity crisis, and other planetary crisis require stopping and reversing the Anthropocene.  We humans can and do make our own history but we do not and cannot make or stop the laws of physics and biology.  Contrary to McKibben’s “We Are at War,” we are not at war with the laws of physics but with the laws of capitalism.  

Capitalism is a socioeconomic system driven by the pursuit of the highest profitability and most rapid accumulation of capital by private firms that own the means of social production (hence the ever-present concern with growth).  But accumulation of wealth is possible only by appropriation of nature through exploitation of human labor, in particular wage-workers, using the latest science and technology developed and employed for capitalism.  Capitalism thrives on the basis of domination and control of nature and society.  By its very nature capitalism is at olds with human needs and ecological and environmental health of the planet.  It is impossible to maintain the industrial capitalist system and end the planetary and social crisis it has created. 

Of course, the capitalist civilization cannot be the cause for the Anthropocene if it were not anthropocentric.  In fact, the ecological movement cannot succeed if it does not overcome anthropocentrism ingrained in the world dominant cultures (dominant cultures are combinations of those inherited from earlier anthropocentric class societies and the current dominant capitalist world culture).  Anthropocentrism also known as homo-centrism, human supremacism, and speciesism is the worldview that holds human beings as the central or most significant species on Earth in the sense that we are considered to have moral standing above all other beings.  Anthropocentrism and its historical opposite, ecocentrism, are key concepts in environmental philosophy and ethics.  For 95% of modern humans' life on the planet, when we were hunter-gatherers, humanity was ecocentric, that is, we did not view ourselves apart from the rest of the existence and superior to other species.  Hunter-gatherer bands were also highly egalitarian with the elders serving as the de facto leaders because of their experience. 

Anthropocentrism arose as alienation from nature during the long transition to farming that began about 10,000 years ago. Farmers live off land and domesticated plants and animals which they dominate and control.  With the rise of economic surplus in the early agrarian societies, social stratification, subordination, oppression and exploitation of all sorts began to emerge and with the rise of early civilizations they were institutionalized (for a more detailed discussion, see, Nayeri, 2013).  All human civilizations have been anthropocentric. Using modern science and technology, the capitalist civilization has taken this anthropocentric culture of domination and control of nature and society to a historically unprecedented scale, intensity and speed. Unfortunately, neither McKibben nor the TCM (nor Wilson) acknowledge the cause for the crisis they aim to resolve: the anthropocentric industrial capitalist economy While we must fight for every immediate reform (and do so to empower the movement in the process), in the longer-run (but not too long becaue of the severity of the existential crisis) we need to overcome and transcend the anthropocentric capitalist economy and society if humanity is to survive and thrive. 

Who will save the world?
There is much confusion in the climate justice movement about who will stop and reverse the climate crisis: much hope has been placed on "good" politicians (to act in the interest of the "common good"), "responsible" corporate leaders (who would do what is right), technocrats (who can find the right technological fixes) and bureaucrats (to enforce environmnetal laws). Until the recent set of action plans the movement simply has been raising the demand to keep fossil fuels in the ground and for a transition to a post-carbon economy by 2050. Who would do it and how was left hanging--presuming the policy "enablers" I cited above.  Proposing specific action plans for implementation through a massive and rapid mobilization of people and resources by the government is an advance in the sense of putting forward a climate mitigation policy proposal instead of leaving it to the government, corporate leaders, technocrats and bureaucrats.  But still the confusion about who will save the world continues—would it be the government to mobilize the people or the people who would force the reluctant government to act and in the process, perhaps, bring about a government of the working people, by the working people and for the working people?  

Let’s begin with the very appeal to the World War II U.S. government mobilization that is held by both McKibben and TCM as a role model.  Like World War I,  World War II was an imperialist carnage perpetuated by contending world capitalist powers to extend their respective sphere of influence to further their respective “national interests,” that is, of the interest of their capitalist class.  By 1914, both Germany and the U.S. had caught up with and surpassed Britain as the leading industrial power and the two world wars that followed were their respective bids for domination of the world. As it turned out, the American capitalist class was the ultimate winner and U.S. world hegemony followed.  Both McKibben and the TCM buy into the ruling class propaganda that World War II was a “just” war against fascism and that Franklin D. Roosevelt led it despite foot dragging by corporate America. The actual history of the United States during World War II is far more complex. It included corporate leaders who were sympathetic to fascism; American government's use of atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki; anti-labor offensive that followed the conclusion of the war to reverse giant gains of the labor movement during the Great Depression, including the Taft-Hartley Act that that are still being used against the labor movement; internment of Japanese Americans; and continued Jim Crew laws in the South; and the anti-labor, anti-communism McCarthyism that followed. McKibben and TCM also forget that the American ruling class followed the “war against fascism” with the Cold War (which was really not "cold" at all if we recall the Koran and Vietnam war, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and many U.S. sponsored bloody coups and support for military dictatorships to “stop the spread of communism”), and since the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the Chinese and Vietnamese turn to capitalism, the “war against terrorism.”  In fact, we can trace back American wars to the colonial-settler ethnic cleansing of the Native Americans, imposition of slavery, which even colored the American War of Independence and the Civil War as recent scholarship shows.  The key point is this: It would be great to educate, organize and mobilize that American working people and the rich array of the country’s resources to fight the climate crisis. But to make it an effective and lasting social transformation, it must be aiming for self-organization and self-activity of the working people and the oppressed acting in their own best interest. And that stands in direct contradiction to the interests of American capitalism, it government and its two-party system. To acheive that we must base our movement on the true history of capitalism and not to prettify its key leaders such as Roosevelt or America's role in Wolrd War II.  The question is: would our climate justice leaders place the interest of the humanity and the planet above the interest of American (and world) capitalism, or the reverse? 

In an interview (April 2016) with an Australian website, Mckibben candidly recounts the evolution of his own strategic thinking: “I spent a lot of years getting it wrong…I thought we were engaged in an argument” with the fossil fuel industry. “We waited far too long to realise what a fight it was, and that there was an adversary on the other side.” Now, however, McKibben thinks that politicians are “pawns” in the hands of the fossil fuel industry and he has decided to go after the “real bosses” (the fossil fuel industry).  But isn't he still "getting it worng?" By narrowly defining the problem the climate justice movement faces, he comes up with a deficient strategy and tactics manifested recently in the “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” campaign.  McKibben has combined a series of vanguardist civil disobedience actions  targeting the “worse polluters” with supporting Senator Sanders campaign to reform the Democratic Party during the primary season, that is, a capitalist electoral strategy. Read his own account of this experience in his New Republic essay. (The electoralist illusion in is widespread; See, for example, Nayeri, 2014b).  

Astonishing neither in his interview or in his essay in the New Republic Mckibben ever mentions the strategy of mass movement as exemplified in The People’s Climate March of well over 300,000 people in New York in September 2014 (see, Nayeri, 2014a). But it is only through such large and even more massive mobilization of the working people that we can ever hope to stop and reverse the climate crisis and the Anthropocene.  

Unfortunately, the TCM strategy also is educating and winning over individuals to sign a pledge to ask the U.S. government to take action to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% by 2025 and to vote only for candidates for all levels of government who would do the same. Again, this is a form of electoralism and an impossibility on its own terms: can anyone really believe than in 8 years (from now to 2025) we can elect enough politicians who can then have the U.S. government begin and implement the TCM action plan? TCM perspective does not include a vision for mass education, organization and mobilization in the streets or any specific orientation towards potentially powerful sectors of the population such as the labor movement even though the Victory Plan includes massive changes in the U.S. economy and some economic and social justice demands.  But it is not a proposal to educate, organize and mobilize the working people as an independent political force in charge of their own destiny. The climate justice movement must break with the illusions in capitalism and in electoralism.  

In “Strategy and Tactics for the Climate Justice Movement: A Critique of ‘Break Free from Fossil Fuels’ Campaign” (Nayeri, 2016), I offered a hypothetical example that if the climate justice movement had a mass movement strategy in September 2014 and would have mobilized the 300,000 (or more) who participated in The People’s Climate March in just four years we could have had about 38 million activists if each climate activist would educate, organize and mobilize a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or someone else they knew every six month so they can join and do the same. The movement could then stage massive street actions in major cities of the country. With such massive power we could certainly make history by proposing and implementing measures to transition to a post-carbon economy in time to ward off the climate catastrophe. Remember it is not the U.S. capitalist class or the U.S. capitalist government we must convince of the need for radical social change, it is the working people of the country in their millions! 

Some key elements of an action program to save the world
As argued earlier any effective action plan for the climate justice movement must also be directed toward the goal of stopping and reversing the Anthropocene.  While McKibben’s action program is largely focused on an energy revolution, the TCM proposal actually included proposals for dealing with other aspects of the planetary crisis caused by the Anthropocene.  But to stop and reverse the Anthropocene which is the immediate cause for the planetary crisis, including climate change, our action program must include the following characteristics and actionable demands: 
  • For a globally informed action program.  While an action program for any specific country must primarily deal with the particular characteristics of its economy and society it must have a global dimension. Eventually, the entire global industrial capitalist economy must be transformed to an economy that would support harmony among peoples of the world and with the rest of nature.  However, it is also true that a relatively handful countries and regions of the world economy are responsible to the lion share of the planetary crisis historically and today.  These are mostly located in the Global North.  To tackle the climate crisis, for example, effective policies must be adopted by at least the top ten polluters that are responsible for more than 70% of the world greenhouse emissions: China, U.S., E.U., India, Russian Federation, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, Canada, and Mexico.  This requires international collaboration of national climate justice movements.  To overcome the planetary crisis, we must coordinate efforts not only between national ecological movements but also with social justice movements within and between countries.  
  • For a mass movement strategy and participatory democracy.  The climate justice movement can only succeed if it adopts a mass movement strategy that embraces participatory democracy because even transitioning to a post-carbon economy will require massive transformations in the present-day industrial capitalist economy as TCM action program shows. But such massive transformation can happen if the bulk of the working people who would be its prime movers are educated, organized and mobilized as the social agency for transition to an economy and society that is in harmony with itself and with the rest of nature.  Clearly, such a mass movement will include participants from across the political and ideological spectrum. The key to unity and progress is to place the stated aims of the movement as codified in its action program above the sectional interests of all participating groups and individuals and independent of the capitalist system and its parties and politicians. 
  • For a just economy and society.   For transition to a post-carbon economy and society, the entire fossil fuel industry must be replaced with a clean renewable energy industry.  But the fossil fuel industry is at the core of the present-day industrial capitalist economy.  Petroleum, for example, is used in electricity generation, gasoline, jet fuel and heating oil, making of plastics, toys, computers, houses, cars and clothing, asphalt, rubber, wax, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, detergents, records, film, furniture, packaging, paints, fibers, upholstery and carpet foundations, among other things. Thus, we must also transform other industries such as transportation as well as agriculture.  But who will decide how this transformation occurs and that it would be just and ecologically sound?  Workers in the fossil fuel industry need to transition to good jobs with union rights in new industries that are ecologically sound.  Clearly, it must be the workers' own organizations that lead such transition in collaboration with the mass movement that demands such a transition.  History shows that in any such massive socioeconomic transition, working people will organize their dual power strucures such as workplace workers councils to control and eventually manage production. A government of working people can then arise based on such popular organizations. To leave the task of transition to the capitalist government, corporate leaders, technocrats and bureaucrats can only serve to undermine such emancipatory tendencies. 
  • For a sustainably sized population and steady-state ecologically-sound economy that serves basic needs.   The action programs under discussion not only assume that the U.S. economy will maintain its capitalist character but also its huge size and continued growth. The same is true for the world economy.  But to have an ecologically sustainable economy and society the size of the world economy and industrial capitalist countries must shrink substantially.  Currently, the world economy is appropriating most of life-sustaining resources of the planet, mostly consumed by the majority of people of the Global North and the capitalist class and upper-middle classes of the Global South.  For this purpose, a majority of productive land and fresh water is appropriated to meet the demands of the capitalist world economy.  About 80% of the world resources are consumed in the Global North with 20% of the population. Meanwhile, over 2.1 billion people in the Global South lived on less than US $ 3.10 a day in 2012.  Thus, we need a transition to significantly smaller economies in the U.S. and the Global North while supporting human development programs in the Global South that should continue to growth until parity is reached between the two. The transition will include de-industrialization (phasing out of industries such as fossil fuels, much of the chemical industry, nuclear and arms industries, advertising, marketing, much of international and long-distance transportation and travel amongs others as well as re-industrialization programs--finding ecologically friendly technologies for still necessary production sectors such as agroecology, health, education, culture, housing, transport, etc.).  The capitalist economies are concentrated driven by the needs of capital accumulation and world finance. The ecologically-sound and just economies of the future will focus on local and regional configulations that meet basic needs.  It must be stressed that to consume less in the hyper-consumerist societies of the Global North is not a sacrifice (as TCM tends to say).  It is indeed part of the process of human emancipation from commodity-worship culture which has replaced human natural needs with a capitalistic never ending hunger for having more. In fact, the process of detoxification of consumption actually can be a fun and liberating experience (Alexander, 2014; Trainer, 2015) Clearly, this effort must be led by the working people (workers and family farmers, consumer and cooperative, etc.) and by the ecology movement and consumer councils. Increasingly, production will be carried out by the self-organized and self-active ecologically conscious working people. At the same time, through empowerment of women and mass education volunteer family planning efforts will lead to a shrinking of the world population to reduce the use of life-sustaining resources to allow food, water and ample room for wildlife to reclaim lost territory and to thrive. The right to liberty and pursuit of happiness is not just a human right, it belongs to all species. There must be systematic withdrawal of humanity from regions already colonized without regard for the rest of life on Earth until an ecological balance is reached.  
  • For an ecocentric ecological socialist world. The capitalist society we are born into cultivates a culture of egoistic individualism and the insatiable desire for accumulation of possessions. In this we follow the mantra of the capitalist class: ceaseless capital accumulation that finds its reflection in the mass consumer culture. What we produce, how we produce them and how much we produce decide not just who we become and our relations with fellow human beings but also humanity’s relationship with the rest of nature.  In a capitalist economy, it is the capitalist class that decide these questions.  Working people have to follow the “market signals,” that is, to respond to the collective decisions of the capitalist class, in order to live. We spend the best years of our lives and increasingly the major part of it to become or remain employable because not only we need to work in order to live but also we find our worth in how employable we are.  This is one reason working people crushed under the capitalist machine tend to lose their sense of self-worth. The self-employed are also at the mercy of the market as are the most powerful governments in the world (hence the endless debate about how to respond to "the market"). Yet it is self-evident that the capitalist class’ primarily concern with their profitability and accumulation of capital gives the back seat to the health of the people or the planet (Although defenders of capitalism have argued that capitalist greed is good for common good the same economic profession admits to the problem of externalities such as pollution).  Social reformers have tried for as long as capitalism has existed to make it compatible with human needs and to a much lesser extent and more recently the ecological health of the planet.  It is self-evident that they have failed. Despite of some helpful reforms (patch work really) are we not facing the Anthropocene and its planetary crisis that can spell the end of the world as we know it?  The key problem has been the ideological hegemony of the capitalist class not only among the broad sections of the working people worldwide but also among those who have joined the resistance to manifestation of the crisis.  Many current in the ecological movements are still hoping for Green Capitalism and in the movement of the working people and the oppressed still awaits for a “benevolent leader,” a “pro-labor” politician, or a “lesser evil” candidate for office.   The just and ecological society we must built can only arise only if the working people in their multitude begin to lose their illusion in the capitalist system and start to self-organize and become self-active to overcome the capitalist power structure through their struggle for social and ecological justice.  Our education comes from these struggles as well as what we learn from the collective memory of the humanity. Only by replacing the capitalist egoistical culture of having with an ecologically conscious and socially just culture of being and caring can we overcome the crisis and open the way to unprecedented human development as human labor itself will become an act of cooperation of freely associated ecocentric producers that will be the herald of the ecocentric ecological socialist world. 
Dedication: This essay is dedicated to the activists of the Sonoma County who I have the pleasure to work with.  It was prepared in part as my contribution to our annual retreat next weekend.   

Alexander, Samuel.“Ted Trainer and The Simpler Way,” Simplicity Institute, 2012.
Angus, Ian. Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Fuel Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System. 2016.
Davies, Jeremy. The Birth of the Anthropocene. 2016. 
Easterlin, Richard E. “The Worldwide Standard of Living Since 1800.” Journal of Economic Perspective, volume 14, no. 1, Winter 2000—pp. 7–26.
Foster, John Bellamy. "Forward" to Ian Angus' Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Fuel Capitasm and the Crisis of the Earth System.  2016. 
Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. Climate. 2014. 
Klein, Naomi; David Suzuki; Leonard Cohen; Donald Sutherland, Ellen Page September, The Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and for One Another. September  2015. Reprinted in Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism
McKibben, Bill. “A Wold At War,” New Republic, August 15, 2016. Reprinted in Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism.
Mitchel, Thom. “Sketching The Fight: Bill McKibben On How To Save The Planet,”, April 24, 2016. Reprinted in Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism. 
Nayeri, Kamran. “Economics, Socialism and Ecology: A Critical Outline, Part 2.” Philosophers for Change. October 29, 2013. Reprinted in Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism
-------------------. "People’s Climate March Was a Huge Success; What to Do Next?"Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism. October 1, 2014a. 
-------------------.  “Why the San Francisco Bay Area's Call for "Getting Out the Vote" for Democrats Is a Grave Mistake.” Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism. October 26, 2014b. 
-------------------.  “The Climate Movement Should Demand: ‘Tax Greenhouse Gases Emissions With Subsidies for Low-Income People’”, Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism. June 26, 2015. 
-------------------.  “After Paris: To Succeed the Climate Justice Movement Must Lead.” Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism. January 4, 2016a. 
-------------------.  “Strategy and Tactics for the Climate Justice Movement: A Critique of ‘Break Free from Fossil Fuels’ Campaign,” Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism, March 31, 2016b. 
Rockström , Johan; Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F. Stuart III Chapin , Eric Lambin , Timothy M. Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke , Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Björn Nykvist, Cynthia A. de Wit, Terry Hughes , Sander van der Leeuw, Henning Rodhe, Sverker Sörlin , Peter K. Snyder, Robert Costanza , Uno Svedin, Malin Falkenmark , Louise Karlberg, Robert W. Corell, Victoria J. Fabry , James Hansen, Brian Walker , Diana Liverman , Katherine Richardson, Paul Crutzen  and Jonathan Foley. “Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity.” Ecology and Society, Vol. 14, Issue 2. 2009. 
Steffen, Will, Katherine Richardson, Johan Rockström, Sarah E. Cornell, Ingo Fetzer, Elena M. Bennett, R. Biggs, Stephen R. Carpenter, Wim de Vries, Cynthia A. de Wit, Carl Folke, Dieter Gerten, Jens Heinke, Georgina M. Mace, Linn M. Persson, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, B. Reyers1, Sverker Sörlin. “Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet.” Science, January 15, 2015a.
Steffen, Will. Wendy Broadgate, Lisa Deutch, Owen Gafffney, Cornelia Ludwig. "The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration," Anthropocene Review, Januaray 16, 2015b.
Trainer, Ted. “The Case for Simplicity ,” Simplicity Institute, 2015.
Wilson. Edward O. Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life. 2016.
Worl Bank. "The World Economy and Developing Countries Since World War II," Statistical Appendix. no date. 


Chandler Davis said...

Thanks for bold thinking, Kamran. As you say, such a program can be implemented only democratically; so it requires millions of partisans--- as you also say. I can not offer you millions. But you are not alone.


Ezra Silk said...

Hi Kamran,

Thanks for this thoughtful piece. I appreciate you reading through the Victory Plan and acknowledging it. Please send me an email at and perhaps we can discuss next week?


Ezra Silk said...

Also, you might find the work of Frank Rotering of interest:

Kamran Nayeri said...

Dear Ezra:

Thank you very much for your kind words. I did want to send you a link to the essay when I published it but could not locate an email address for you. I am glad you came across the essay. Yes, we should definitely talk and I have written you with my phone number. Thank you, also, for Frank Rotering's blog address. Is there any particular item you wanted me or OPITW reader to read or the general blog is what you think I (we) should become familiar with? We can discuss this over the phone as well.

Keep up the good work,


Shwaydogg said...

Agreed, Kamran thanks for the insightful writing!

For anyone interested in reading and/or commenting on the full text of Ezra Silk's and the Climate Mobilization Project's Victory Plan you can do so here: