Civilisational collapse has a bright past – but a dark future

Is the collapse of a civilisation necessarily calamitous? The failure of the Egyptian Old Kingdom towards the end of the 2nd millennium BCE was accompanied by riots, tomb-raids and even cannibalism. ‘The whole of Upper Egypt died of hunger and each individual had...

Forget the Anthropocene: we’ve entered the synthetic age

Nature itself will be shaped by processes redesigned and ‘improved’ by geneticists and engineers. We should call this transition the beginning of a ‘synthetic age’, a time in which background constants are increasingly replaced by artificial and ‘improved’ versions of...

Kevin Laland: Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul?

When researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained mice to fear the smell of almonds (by pairing it with electric shocks), they found, to their consternation, that both the children and grandchildren of these mice were spontaneously afraid of the same smell. That...

Astra Taylor: Time’s up for capitalism. But what comes next?

What is the relationship of democracy to time? This question may seem abstract but is actually foundational. … Every person, whether or not they have children, exists as both a successor and an ancestor. We are all born into a world we did not make, subject to...

Nature crisis: Humans ‘threaten 1m species with extinction’

On land, in the seas, in the sky, the devastating impact of humans on nature is laid bare in a compelling UN report. One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. Nature everywhere is declining at a speed never previously seen and our need...

George Monbiot: Dare to declare capitalism dead

For most of my adult life I’ve railed against “corporate capitalism”, “consumer capitalism” and “crony capitalism”. It took me a long time to see that the problem is not the adjective but the noun. While some people have rejected capitalism gladly and swiftly, I’ve...

The Marxist turn in animal liberation?

Daniel Werding, Christin Bernhold and David Müller are members of the Alliance for Marxism and Animal Liberation. The Alliance is a political association of various animal liberation groups centered in Germany and Switzerland. It was formed to support research,...

Don’t believe carbon pricing really works? Just ask B.C.

With the federal government’s backstop price on carbon pollution taking effect in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick, opponents of this vital climate solution have ratcheted up the bombast. However, British Columbia’s experience with its carbon tax...

Canada warming at twice the global rate

“Canada is, on average, experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average, according to a new government report. The study — Canada’s Changing Climate Report (CCCR) —...

Natural Climate Solutions

The idea that ecological restoration ought to be a key part of preventing climate catastrophe is the focus of the recently launched site Natural Climate Solutions. One of the founders, George Monbiot, writes: “The greatest potential identified so far – as so...