A quite interesting (and long) review of climate change and revolutionary responses, looking at the political, social and economic dynamics of Syria, the seventeenth century Ottoman empire and the Arab spring as examples.
How can climate justice activists stop capitalism’s drive to catastrophe? The author of Fossil Capital considers lessons from past revolutions and proposes an action program for today.
People increasingly see the environmental crisis as a national priority. This is an opportunity for bold action from government
Not directly related to degrowth but important I believe.
The big pitch for 5G is that the networks dramatically increase the speed of wireless communications. Not only will this innovation improve download speeds of high definition video, it will allow for virtually instantaneous connections between gadgets, thereby allowing for everything from virtual reality game-playing in real time, to driver-less cars with much better reaction times than humans (thereby reducing the likelihood of traffic fatalities) to surgeons in far-away communities able to conduct delicate surgeries using robotic mechanisms.  Intriguing as these technological novelties may be, they do come with a significant downside. A multitude of peer-reviewed scientific studies have pointed to the negative health impacts associated with the microwave radiation used in existing wireless networks. These include childhood cancer and behavioural effects, brain tumours, neurological effects including memory and cognitive deficits, male infertility effects, neuropsychiatric effects including depression, Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, DNA damage, and malignant melanoma.
A thought provoking overview and critique of the Green New Deal (GND). The clip below being but one element covered in this longish review.
The central ambivalence running through the essay is whether the Green New Deal is too radical to be implemented (given the exigencies of capitalist growth, capital’s capture of our political system, and the balance of class forces) or, on the contrary, it is not radical enough, a mere ornamental reform that allows pretty much all of the aforementioned to continue uninterrupted.
The release of methane and carbon dioxide from thawing permafrost will accelerate global warming and [could] add up to $70 trillion (£54tn) to the world’s climate bill, according to the most advanced study yet of the economic consequences of a melting Arctic.
Download the 11 page Nature study at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09863-x.pdf
Central to the official green growth discourse is the conjecture that absolute decoupling can be achieved with certain market instruments. This paper evaluates this claim focusing on the role of technology, while changes in GDP composition are treated elsewhere. Some fundamental difficulties for absolute decoupling, referring specifically to thermodynamic costs, are identified through a stylized model based on empirical knowledge on innovation and learning. Normally, monetary costs decrease more slowly than production grows, and this is unlikely to change should monetary costs align with thermodynamic costs, except, potentially, in the transition after the price reform. Furthermore, thermodynamic efficiency must eventually saturate for physical reasons. While this model, as usual, introduces technological innovation just as a source of efficiency, innovation also creates challenges: therefore, attempts to sustain growth by ever-accelerating innovation collide also with the limited reaction capacity of people and institutions. Information technology could disrupt innovation dynamics in the future, permitting quicker gains in eco-efficiency, but only up to saturation and exacerbating the downsides of innovation. These observations suggest that long-term sustainability requires much deeper transformations than the green growth discourse presumes, exposing the need to rethink scales, tempos and institutions, in line with ecological economics and the degrowth literature.
The notion of green growth has emerged as a dominant policy response to climate change and ecological breakdown. Green growth theory asserts that continued economic expansion is compatible with our planet’s ecology, as technological change and substitution will allow us to absolutely decouple GDP growth from resource use and carbon emissions. This claim is now assumed in national and international policy, including in the Sustainable Development Goals. But empirical evidence on resource use and carbon emissions does not support green growth theory. Examining relevant studies on historical trends and model-based projections, we find that: (1) there is no empirical evidence that absolute decoupling from resource use can be achieved on a global scale against a background of continued economic growth, and (2) absolute decoupling from carbon emissions is highly unlikely to be achieved at a rate rapid enough to prevent global warming over 1.5°C or 2°C, even under optimistic policy conditions. We conclude that green growth is likely to be a misguided objective, and that policymakers need to look toward alternative strategies.