Political Economy of International Crisis

Economics 357L

Section VIII


If international monetary crises sum up and reflect the totality of the other crises in human society of this period, the ecological crises of this same period are even more englobing --for they express the crisis not only within human society but between that society and the rest of nature. Many aspects of the crises we have been studying are intimately connected to other crises in the environment. Some are obvious, such as food or energy. Others are less so.

In the case of food the effects work both ways: the search to increase food production, e.g., gaining land for cattle raising, or increasing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides may poison the earth and humans with it, e.g., deforestation with its burning may contribute to the Greenhouse effect, chemical applications and run-off may destroy both plants and animals, including human life. In the oppose direction, environomental destruction, such as desertification, deforestation (by logging), and urban sprawl may undermine the possibilities of increasing people's ability to grow food. In the case of energy, not only may certain approaches to obtaining non-human energy (such as strip mining, uranium mining, nuclear power, coal burning, wood cutting for fuel and so on) cause environmental destruction (destruction of ecosystems, radioactivity poisoning, acid rain, Greenhouse effect, deforestation) but these approaches may in turn result from a strategic withdrawal of human energy (rising entrophy in the labor force leading to the substitution of non-human for human energy).

In other cases, such as monetary or immigration crises the relationship between movements of money or people may no be so obviously tied to environmental problems. Yet, money may flow to build debt that will be repaid through environmental destruction (logging for timber export revenues) and people may move in response to the degradation or collapse of ecosystems (drought, desertification and the movement of nomads in the Sahel, deforestation and rural-urban or urban-rural migration in Mexico and Brazil).

Much more generally, many of the environmental crises of the recent periods are the by-product of the decades of rapid economic growth associated with the Keynesian era in which the mobilization of non-human resources was a vital component of managing human ones and there were few social or political constraints on this process. In the absense of markets, and thus of spontaneous market responses, to the spreading pollution of air, land and water, to all kinds of environmental destruction, to a deteriorating ozone shield, to acid rain, to the poisoning of the oceans and so on, it has only been social and political mass mobilization which has forced recognition of these problems and slammed them onto the political agenda. Many of these "crises", at least in certain of their moments, are quite old -even predating Keynesianism- yet their emergence into public understanding has come only as part of a general questioning and challenging of the nature and priorities of contemporary economic organization (i.e., Western capitalism and Eastern socialism). Thus these crises are not merely physical or biological phenomena but are immanently political ones. There coming into social being, their evolution and the possibilities of the their eventual solution has and will be unavoidably political.


1. The Destruction of the Land World

Because the ecological crises of the land world -the destruction of forests, the spread of deserts, urban sprawl, water pollution and so on- most directly engage so many people, they are by far the most commented upon, analysed and fought over. The materials below represent only a sampling of the vast literature that has been generated by the on-going debates and struggles.

A. Deforestation

The constant destruction of the world's forests for timber, firewood or land has not only contributed to environmental crises (Global Warming, erosion, flooding) but has generated two kinds of reactions: socio-politico-spiritual responses which call for the preservation of forests both as wilderness and as cultural locales of human life -these have come both from indigenous peoples and from environmental activists- and a technocratic "resources management" approach which calls for increasing the efficiency of exploitation. For a theoretical critique of the latter see the article by Wolfgang Sachs in the section below on the "anti- developmentalists". Before, or while, reading this material you might want to go see the new film Ferngully, an animated, fairy-tale tribute to the spiritual value of the rainforest and a plea to end its destruction. Part of the proceeds go to efforts to save the rainforests. A complementary film, made a few years ago is The Emerald Forest focused on the destruction of indigenous humans rather than fairies. Activists from Brazil, where the film takes place, have lauded its representation of the close connection between indigenous peoples and their forest.

Robert J.A. Goodland, Amazon Jungle: Green Hell to Red Desert, Oxford: Elsevier Press, 1975.

Marion Clawson, Forests For Whom and For What? Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, for Resources for the Future, 1975.

Technocratic response to growing contestation of forest destruction. Resources for the Future is an elite think tank which thinks about aspects of the Earth as "resources" and plans their management -very much in the spirit of the early T. Roosevelt "conservation" approach.

Rachel Grossman and Lenny Siegel, "Weyerhauser in Indonesia," Pacific Research, Vol. 9, No. 7, 1977.

Radical researchers on American corporate profit making in cahoots with local military and at the expense of both people and land.

S.K. Chauhan, "Tree Huggers Save Forests," Development Forum, Vol. 6, No. 8, 1978.

About the mouvement in South Asia to fight deforestation and preserve forests and the ways of life associated with them.

Val Plumwood and Richard Routley, "World Rainforest Destruction -the Social Factors," The Ecologist, Vol. 12, No. 1, 1982, pp. 4-22.

J. Donald Huges and J.V. Thirgood, "Deforestation in Ancient Greece and Rome: A Cause of Collapse?" The Ecologist, Vol. 12, No. 5, Sept./Oct. 1982, pp. 196-208.

*Nicholas Guppy, "Tropical Deforestation: A Global View," Foreign Affairs, Spring 1984, pp. 928-965.

Awareness of the accelerating destruction of tropical rainforests pokes its way into the reading consciousness of the policy elite. "The tropical rain forest, today everywhere threatened with accelerating destruction, if conserved could be one of humanity's greatest renewable resources." "More obviously, however, rain forest is a source of raw materials . . . "--there's profit in them thar jungles! Guppy recognizes some of the social and political forces at work but winds up with a naive proposal for a new OPEC called OTEC to raise prices and preserve forests - all in the hands of the those now responsible for the destruction (local governments, the IMF and the World Bank).

Norman Myers, "Tropical Deforestation and Species Extinctions: The Latest News," Futures, October 1985. pp. 451- 462.

"The Struggle Against Logging in Sarawak," Cultural Survival Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 4, 1987, pp. 20-23.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia, "Malaysia Update: Logging-Post Blockade in Sarawak," Cultural Survival Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1988, pp. 64-67.

Jason W. Clay, Indigenous Peoples and Tropical Forests: Models of Land Use and Management from Latin America, Cultural Survival Report 27, 1988. (128p)

This report "summarizes the research undertaken to date on activities used by indigenous peoples to sustain their populations and the environment: gathering forest products, hunting, aquaculture, shifting agriculture, permanent agriculture, and upgrading of the natural resource base."

*Jason W. Clay, "Editorial: Defending the Forests," and Linda Greenbaum, "Plundering the Timber on Brazilian Indian Reservations," Cultural Survival Quarterly, Vol 13, No. 1, 1989.

Brief overview of the conflict between capitalist exploitation and indigenous survival in tropical rainforests and then a more detailed article on colusion between lumber interests and FUNAI, the Brazilian agency which is supposed to protect Indian rights but does not.

"War in the Amazon" Special issue of Report on the Americas, Vol XXIII, No. 1, May 1989.

Series of articles on trible efforts to counter the intrusion of miners and land grabbers and the systematic destruction of their world.

Alan Whittaker (ed) West Papua: Plunder in Paradise, The Anti-Slavery Society, 1990.

"In May 1963, a rigged 'Act of Free Choice' condemned the people of West Papua to ne of the most brutal forms of colonialization at the hands of Indonesia. . . . The People of West Papua have suffered sincethat time - both physically and culturally. . . . so far perhaps as many as 300, 000 West Papuans have been killed." Slaughter, deforestation, pollution and transmigration in the land of Freeport-McMoran's mines -the company that wants to develop Barton Springs and on whose board of directors sits Bill Cunningham, UT president and soon-to be Chancellor of the UT system.

Boyce Richardson, Strangers Devour the Land, 1991.

"Hydro-Quebec is annihilating one of the last subsistence hunting cultures in North America and poses a threat to the global environment. Thousands of Cree Indians who[se tribe] have lived in the James Bay region for centuries saw their villages, hunting [forests] and fishing territories and sacred burial grounds flooded by the first phase of hydroelectric developmenjt, James Bay Phase I which was completed in 1985." Phase II is following and also being fought by the Cree and many other environmental activists in North America.

Felicity Barringer, "Bush Seeks Shift in Logging Rules," The New York Times, July 13, 2004.
Article about Bush Administration "scuttling a rule from the Clinton administration that ut nearly 60 million acres of national forest largely off limits to logging, mining or other development".
Bill Clinton, "Our Forests May be on a Road to Ruin" Los Angles Times, August 4, 2004.
Clinton responds to Bush's attack on the "Roadless Area Conservation Rule".
Larry Rohter, "Mapuche Indians in Chile Struggle to Take Back Forests," The New York Times, August 11, 2004.
One of many cases of indigenous peoples trying to recuperate lands (in this case forests) stolen from them by conquerors.
Felicity Barringer, "Administration Overhauls Rules for U.S. Forests" The New York Times,December 23, 2004.
Report on Bush Administration's new rules making it easier to log, drill and permit off-road vehicles in national forests.
Chris Kraul, "Creating a logjam in Honduras", The Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2005.
Story of a struggle, led by a priest, to limit deforestation in Honduras.
Lorraine Orlandi, "Peasants Pay with Blood to Save Mexico Forest," Reuters, July 22, 2005.
Story of one, among many struggles in Mexico, to limit deforestation and the violence used against those fighting to stop the rape of nature for quick profits.
Stephan Leahy, "Will Forests Adapt to a Warmer World?" Interpress Service, November 20,2006.
Added to rapacious profit seeking and logging that has been causing deforestation is now the issue of global warming and its possible effects on forests around the world.
Josh Schlossberg, "Here's a Bad Idea: Gas from Trees", The Eugene Register Guard, April 27, 2008.
First ethanol from corn, that has reduced food supplies and contributed to a growing food crisis, now the energy industry looks to expand its exploitation to "woody biomass."
Dan Shapley, "Bush Opens Back Door for Logging National Forests," The Daily Green, April 11, 2008 and Dan Frosch, "US, After a Court Reversal,Issues New Rules for Forests," The New York Times, April 11, 2008.
Continuing saga of the attempts of the Bush administration to undercut environmental protections of national forests and hand them over to logging companies and other businesses.
Lester Brown,Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Earth Policy Institute, 2008, Chapter 5: Natural Systems Under Stress.
The chapter from Brown's book that deals with deforestation, desertification, declining fishing and extinctions around the world.

B. Desertification

This aspect of ecological destruction we have already touched upon briefly in the last section (deforestation is a fundamental cause of desertification) and in the food section while looking at the famines of the Sahel and Afghanistan. The problem is an old one, familiar to Americans during the Depression when part of the central plains turned to desert and dust and sent tens of thousands migrating to other parts of the country. The process is an old one and a contemporary one with famous case studies that date from the Middle East, Western Europe and colonial India to the infamous disasters in Soviet attempts to cultivate inappropriate steppe lands -an error comparable to the attempts discussed above to cultivate the ground under tropical rainforests.

Erik P. Eckholm, Losing Ground: Environmental Stress and World Food Prospects, New York: W.W. Norton, 1976.

A World Watch book. See especially chapters 3: "Two Costly Lessons: The Dust Bowl [U.S.] and the Virgins Lands [USSR]" and 4: "Encroaching Deserts".

Erik P. Eckholm, Spreading-Deserts -the Hand of Man, Worldwatch Paper Series, August 1977.

Lester Brown,Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Earth Policy Institute, 2008, Chapter 5: Natural Systems Under Stress.

The chapter from Brown's book that deals with deforestation, desertification, declining fishing and extinctions around the world.

C. Animal Rights

Although integral to many views of ecological crisis, the specific concern with the rights of non-human animals has recently emerged as both an issue and a movement. Partly this movement is an outgrowth of philosophies (such as Hindu beliefs which dictate "vegetarianism", or some versions of "deep ecology" -see below) which rever all forms of life, partly it is simply a reaction against the cruel industrial treatment of animals in everything from the food, through the fashion, to the cosmetic industries. The perspective of "animal rights" englobes both a celebration of life- form diversity and a revulsion against the thoughtless subordination of non-human life to the endless proliferation of commerical products that feeds mindless consumerism.

Peter Singer (ed) In Defense of Animals, New York: Basil Blackwell, 1985.

Roderick Frazier Nash, The Rights of Nature, Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1989.

Rik Scarce, Eco-Warriors: Understanding the Radical Environmental Movement, Chicago: Noble Press, 1990. Chapter 7: Animal Liberation: From Labs to Hunt Sabs.

PETA News (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Animals' Agenda.

2. The Destruction of the Ocean World

Remote from most of society's daily activities and phyically vast beyond comprehension, the destruction of the ocean, while perhaps of the greatest long-run consequence for life upon this planet, has been far from uppermost in people's consciousness of ecological threat and break down. Only the destruction of ocean species such as whales or dolphins have caught the imagination and attention of large numbers of people who live away from shore. [See: Where Have All the Dolphins Gone? obtainable from The Video Project (415) 655-9050.] Along the shoreline, however, people in regular contact with the world's oceans have been much more aware of the accelerating degradation of their immediate environoment. They find oil, dead animals and medical wastes like syringes strewn upon their beaches. Where they seek to make their living from the sea they have also experienced the destruction, in declining fish catches, oyster crops or seaweed harvests. For many small fishing communities, especially in the Third World, destruction of the ocean, like the encroachment and takeover of fishing territories by big outside companies, is the death of their world, their cultural and the meaning of their lives.

Among militant environmental groups concerned with the ecological problems of the oceans are Sea Shepards and Greenpeace. See the material on these groups in the section below about the ecological movement.

Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us, New York: New American Library, 1961.

*Jacques Cousteau, "Conversations with Jacques Cousteau," U.S.News & World Report, June 24, 1985.

"Fishing Communities", special isse of Cultural Survival Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 4, 1987.

A dozen articles explore case studies of the threat to indigenous fishing communities by commerical interests and ecological destruction.

"Science study predicts collapse of all seafood fisheries by 2050," Stanford Report, November 2, 2006.

3. The Destruction of the Air and Atmosphere

Carl Sagan, "The Hole in the Ozone Layer," Parade Magazine, September 11, 1988.

*Cynthia Pollock Shea, "Mending the Earth's Shield, " World Watch, Vol. 2, No. 1, January-February 1989, pp. 27-34.

Shea is senior researcher at Worldwatch Institute and author of Protecting Life on Earth: Steps to Save the Ozone Layer. Subtitle of article: "Synthetic Chemical Compounds are Erodoing the Ozone Layer that Protects the Earth from Dangerous Solar Rays. Technologies Exist to Slash Their Use, But Does the Political Will?"

"Missing: Bits of an Ozone Layer," The Economist, March 11, 1989, p. 43.

*Michael D. Lemonick, "Global Warming: Feeling the Heat," Time, January 2, 1989, pp. 36-39.

4. The Pollution of Outer Space

To be filled in -concerns both the industrialization and pollution of space, from Earth orbit to the moon and beyond, from Outland to Alien.


1. Background and History

Paul Ehrlich, "Eco-Castastrophe," in Ramparts (eds) Divided We Stand, San Francisco: Canfield Press, 1970, pp. 118- 122.

Ehrlich is best known for his book The Population Bomb and its neo-malthusianism -which we discussed in the section on food crises. Here he aims at the emerging ecological crisis and, not surprisingly, finds overpopulation to be a fundamental cause.

*Katherine Barkley and Steve Weisman, "The Eco-Establishment," Ramparts, May 1970.

Early radical run-down on the emerging eco-technocracy that emphasizes the usefulness of the environmental movement to business objectives of rationalization. Ex-post the analysis appears as far too pessimistic but still an antidote to the lure of eco-technocratic thinking. Another, less radical but useful overview of the early part of this history is Carl H. Moneyhorn, "The Environmental Crisis and American Politics 1860-1920," The Ecologist, Vol. 12, No. 1, Jan./Feb. 1982.

Barry Commoner, The Closing Circle: Nature, Man & Technology, New York: A.A.Knopf, 1971.

Commoner, whom we have encountered before in the energy section with his analysis of thermodynamics and waste, here takes on broader issues of human relations with nature and the consequent environmental degradation.

Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang, New York: Avon, 1975.

Abbey, one of the patron saints of American radical environmentalists, has written several other books as well: Abbey's Road, Hayduke Lives!, Desert Solitaire, One Life at a Time Please.

Robert Hunter, Warriors of the Rainbow: A Chronicle of the Greenpeace Movement, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

Francis Sandbachk, "The Environmental Movement," from Evironment, Ideology and Policy, 1980.

Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd, New York: W.W.Norton, 1982.

Also see Chapter 6: "The Sea Shepards: Bringing Justice to the High Seas," in Rik Scarce, Eco-Warriors: Understanding the Radical Environmental Movement, Chicago: Noble Press, 1990.

Stephen Fox, The American Conservation Movement: John Muir and His Legacy, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

Also see Muir's own books, e.g., The Yosemite, My First Summer in the Sierra, A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf.

Peter Borrell, "Environmentalism at a Crossroads," Amicus Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3, Summer 1987.

Werner Hülsberg, The German Greens: A Social and Political Profile, London: Verso, 1988.

A sympathetic analysis of the environmental movement which has most deeply penetrated the electoral political process in its attempts to bring about change.

Rik Scarce, Eco-Warriors: Understanding the Radical Environmental Movement, Chicago: Noble Press, 1990.

The best available overview of the development of radical environmental movement (radical as opposed to the more traditional "conservation" movement that dates back to Teddy Roosevelt. Has chapters on Greenpeace, Earth First!, the Sea Shepards, animal rights activists and particular episodes of struggle.

Angela Gennino (ed) Amazonia: Voices from the Rainforest, A Resource and Action Guide, Rainforest Action Network, 1990. (92p)

Daniel Stiles, "Patronage in the Philippines: Enviornmental and Cultural Survival in Palawan Province," Cultural Survival Quarterly, Summer 1991, pp. 71-75.

*Devon Peña, "The Brown and the Green: Chicanos and Environmental Politics in the Upper Rio Grande," Captialism, Nature & Socialism (forthcoming)

2. Ideology: Beyond Anthropomorphism: Deep Ecology

For some the most radical of environmental perspectives, "deep ecology" takes on the anthropomorphism, or human- centered, tradition of Western thought and demands a rethinking of the relations between humans and the rest of nature as one in which humans think and act as one among many (bio-centrism), rather than one over all. Thus they reject both the view that humans have a right to exploit the rest of nature as well as the view that we are "stewarts" of it, calling instead for a more humble participation.

Aldo Leopold, A Sand Country Almanac, New York: Ballantine, (1948) 1966.

Classic text of the deep ecological "biocentric land ethic".

Morris Berman, The Reenchantment of the World, Ithaca: Cornell, 1981.

Critique of Western scientific consciousness and argument for a "politics of consciousness."

George Sessions, Deep Ecology, Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1985.

Bill Duval, "Some Sources of Deep Ecology," from Bill Duval and George Sessions, Deep Ecology, 1985, Chapter 6. Reprinted from Sessions' book Deep Ecology.

*George Sessions, "The Deep Ecology Movement," Environmental Review, Vol. 11, No. 2, Summer 1987, pp. 105-125. (Also accessible through UT's Library Databases)

Good overview of the deep ecology movement with four pages of useful references to the literature.

Dave Foreman and Bill Haywood (eds) Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching, 2nd edition, Tucson: Ned Ludd, 1987.

Earth First!'s practical how-to-stop-them handbook for eco-warriors out to defend the wilderness against all comers

Miss Ann Thropy, "Deep Ecology as Strategic Knowledge," The Fifth Estate,Vol. 24, No. 1, (331) Spring 1989.

John Davis (ed) The Earth First! Reader: Ten Years of Radical Environmentalism, Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1991.

3. Ideology: Ecology, Capitalism and Patriarchy

a. The Anarchists and Social Ecology

Murray Bookchin, "Toward a Philosophy of Nature - The Bases for an Ecological Ethics," (Sept. 1982) in Michael Tobias (ed), Deep Ecology, San Diego: Avant Books, 1985. pp. 213-239.

Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom: The emergence and Dissolution of HIerarchy, Palo Alto: Cheshire Books, 1982.

Major work by the anarchist founder of "social ecology."

George Bradford, "Return of the Son of Deep Ecology: The Ethics of Permanent Crisis and the Permanent Crisis in Ethics," Fifth Estate, Vol. 24, No. 1 (331), Spring 1989.

b. The Marxists, Class Struggle and Environmentalism

Nineteenth century cityboys as they were, most of the work of the founding fathers of Marxism was focused on the urban development of industry and the social conflicts accompanying it. There they observed the harm brought to humans both in the factories and in the community, including the horrific living environments of satanic mill towns like Manchester. Therefore, references to the relationships between capitalist development and environmental degradation appear in their work as the quotes below illustrate. However, with their typical Western enlightenment orientation toward the capabilities of humans and their Hegelian roots that privileged the humand mind over that of other animals, they had absolutely no tendencies toward biocentricity or "deep ecology".

Frederick Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, New York: International Publishers, 1975, Vol. 4, especially the sections on "The Great Towns" and "Results". (Originally published 1845)

A book that gathered together the kind of empirical observations which would provide the grist for Marxist theoretical mill -for analysis and political conclusions. Although the focus is on the working class's living conditions, the observations includes the environmental horrors generated by industrialization. In his descriptions of Manchester we find the following: "Right and left a multitude of covered passages lead from the main steet into numerous courts, and he who turns in thither gets into a filth and disgusting grime, the equal of which is not to be found - especially in the courts which lead down to the Irk, and which contain unqualifiedly the most horrible dwellings which I have yet beheld. In one of these courts there stands directly at the entrance, at the end of the covered passage, a privy without a door, so dirty that the inhabitants can pass into and out of the ocurt only by apssing through foul pools of stagnant urine and excrement. . . At the bottom flows, or rather stagnates, the Irk, a narrow, coal-black, foul smelling stream, full of débris and refuse, which it deposits on the shallower right bank. In dry weather, a long string of the most disgusting, blackish-green, slime pools are left standing on this bank, from the depths of which bubbles of miasmatic gas constantly arise and give forth a stench unendurable even on the bridge forty or fifty feet above the surface of the stream. . . .Above the bridge are tanneries, bonemills and gasworks, from which all drains and refuse find their way into the Irk, which receives further the contents of all the neigboring sewers and privies." (pp. 351- 352) In the second passage cited, Engels examines the dire consequences of such toxic pollution for the health of the workers.

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I, Chapter 15, section 10: "Large-scale Industry and Agriculture". (Originally published 1867).

"Capitalist production . . .disturbs the metabolic intraction between man and the earth, i.e., it prevents the return to the soil of its constitutent elements consumed by man in the form of food and clothing; hence it hinders the operation of the eternal natural condition for the lasting fertility of the soil. Thus it destroys at the same time the physical health of the urban worker and the intellectual life of the rural worker. . . . Capitalist production, therefore, only develops the techniques and the degree of combination of the social process of production by simultaneously undermining the orgiinal sources of all wealth - the soil and and worker."

Frederick Engels, Anti-Dürhing, Part III, section III: "Production" in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, New York: International Publishers, 1987, Vol. 25, p. 282. (Originally published 1878)

"Abolition of the antithesis between town and country is not merely possible. It has become a direct necessity of industrial production itself, just as it has become a necessity of agricultural production and moreover, of public health. The present poisoning of the air, water and land can only be put an end to by the fusion of town and country; and only this fusion will change the situation of the masses now languishing in the towns, and enable their excrement to be used for the production of plants instead of for the production of disease."

c. The Anti-developmentalists

In reaction to the depredations of capital in the Third World and the failure of business investment or of business-allied governmental "development" policies to do other than worsen the conditions of poverty, there has developed over the last 20 years an "anti-development" movement. Inspired by the researches and visions of writers like Karl Polanyi and Louis Dumont which have identified the market (or the economy more generally -what Marxists would call capitalism) with the destruction of cultures and well being, a growing number of Third World spokespeople have come to reject not only capitalist but also socialist "development" in favor of grassroots control over social evolution. In the process they have developed a critique of markets, of their managers and of their ideologies of efficiency, growth and development. Among the most original and prolific of these authors is Ivan Illich who has worked for years at an independent institute in Cuernevaca, Mexico. Among his many books are: Deschooling Society, Tools for Conviviality, Toward a History of Needs, ShadowWork, and Gender. The first article in the list that follows gives a flavor of the character of the critique which he and others have been developing.

Ivan Illich, "Energy and Equity," in Toward a History of Needs, Berkeley: Heyday Books, 1977. (Originally published in Paris in 1973.)

*Wolfgang Sachs, "The Gospel of Global Efficiency: On World Watch and other Reports on the Stte of the World," ifda dossier 68, November/December 1988.

Critique of the world view and approaches of the emerging eco-technocracy.

J. Bandyopadhyay and V. Shiva, "Political Economy of Ecology Movements," ifda dossier 71, May/June 1989.

V. Shiva, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development, London: Zed Books, 1989.

*Wolfgang Sachs, "Environment [On the Archeology of the Development Idea 5]," in Wolfgang Sachs (ed) The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power, New Jersey: Zed Books, 1992.

A critique of the managerial concept of "environmental" and "ecological science" together with an appeal for alternative approaches to thinking about the human interface with the rest of nature.

d. Ideology: Return of the Earth Mother: Eco-feminism

Judith Plant (ed) Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism, Philidelphia: New Society, 1989.

Karen J. Warren, "The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism," Environmental Ethics, Vol. 12, No. 2, Summer 1990.

4. Ecological Crises and Hunger

In as much as the major famines of the last 20 years have occurred in areas subject to deforestation and dessertification, this topic is closely related to those discussed above. Yet there is, as we saw in the section on food crises, considerable mediation between destruction of the environment and destruction of people's ability to eat. This is true in the 3rd World where overt famines are still a scourge and true in "developed" countries where rising wages and agricultural productivity have fueled both hunger (for those at the bottom of the wage/unwaged hierarchy) and ecological disaster (from overuse of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers from urban sprawl and the destruction of wilderness to feed suburban appetites for lumber). Many of the readings from the food crises section are applicable here including a few listed below.

Harry Cleaver, "The Contradictions of the Green Revolution," Monthly Review, June 1972, especially the section on "Ecological Contradictions", pp. 98-100.

Touches on ecosystem simplifications such as mono-cropping and disease vulnerability, chemical poisonings, and eutrophication -all associated with the unconstrained desire to minimize costs and maximize output.

Jon Tinker, "Sudan Challenges the Sand-Dragon," New Scientist, February 24, 1977, pp. 448-450.

"As the United Nations prepares for a major conference on desertification in September, Sudan must choose between irrigation boondoggles and action to halt the desert creep which threatens its whole agricultural base."

Lester Brown, World Wide Loss of Cropland, Worldwatch Paper Series, October 1978.

Lester Brown, "Feeding Six Billion," World Watch, Vol. 2, No. 5, September-October 1989, pp. 32-40.

5. Ecological Crises and Energy

In the wake of the oil spills from the Exxon tanker Valdez and from tankers ruptured during the Gulf War, the issue of the relation between energy and ecological crisis has been headline news. But then such has been the case for quite some time now. >From the publicizing of the dangers of radioactivity done by the anti-nuclear power movement to that of the dangers of the exploitation of the Artic oil reserves, to the preoccupation with the Green-house effect brought on by atmospheric overwarming triggered by too much carbon fuel burning and CO2 emissons, such linkages have almost become commonplaces. They have also come to the fore in the wake of the Gulf Crisis because of the Bush White House attempt to use the War to push a National Energy Strategy than includes opening the remaining Alaskan Wilderness to drilling and revitalizing the nuclear power industry -which, as we have seen, has been in a stagnant state since the mid-1970s due to popular opposition.

Barry Weisberg, "(The Ecology of Oil) Raping Alaska," in Ramparts (eds) Divided We Stand, San Francisco: Canfield Press, 1970, pp. 63-71.

Julia C. Allen, "Wood Energy and Preservation of Woodlands in Semi-Arid Developing Countries: The Case of Dodoma Region, Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, 19, 1985, pp. 59-84.

Christopher Flavin, Reassessing Nuclear Power: The Fallout from Chernobyl, Worldwatch Paper, 1987.

Flavin is VP for research at Worldwatch Institute.

Christopher Flavin, "The Case Against Reviving Nuclear Power," World Watch, Vol.1, No. 4, July-August 1988, pp. 27- 35.

Flavin is VP for research at Worldwatch Institute.

Glenn Garelik, "Nuclear Power Plots a Comeback," Time, January 2, 1989, p. 41.

Karl Grossman, "The Nuclear Industry's Secret PR Strategy," EXTRA!, March 1992, pp. 15-16.

EXTRA! is a publication of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting). This article reports on the "massive public relations effort backed by both the nuclear industry and state and local governments" to "neutralize" opposition to the first high-level nuclear waste dump and revive the demand for nukes.

6. Ecological Crises and Debt

Linkages between debt crises and ecological crises have been clear, especially in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa, where money has been borrowed and spent in development projects that have brought ecological disaster and inadequate returns to finance debt repayment. They have also been clear in the efforts to speed exports (e.g., of timber) to earn the foreign exchange necessary to repay the debt which in turn have aggrevated the environmental destruction financed by prior borrowing. There have been some efforts by environmental groups to turn this situation to account by buying debt and cancelling it in exchange for wilderness preservation.

Philip Shabecoff, "Global Bankers and Ecology: Amazon Rain Forest Tells the Story," New York Times, September 29, 1987, p. 2.

*"Conservation Groups Help to Bail Out the Big Banks," Business & Society Review, #65, Spring, 1988, pp. 34-38.

"Using Red Ink to Keep Tropical Forests Green," U.S. News & World Report, March 6, 1989, pp. 48-49.

Peter T. Kilborn, "Debt Policy Shift on 3rd World," New York Times, March 11, 1989.

7. Ecological Crises and Immigration

On the one hand, immigration has occurred out of areas of ecological disaster (e.g., nomads moving out of the Sahara litoral); on the other hand it has often brought such disaster with it. Prime examples of the latter are Brazilian and Indonesian schemes to settle large numbers of immigrants from dense population centers in tracts of cleared tropical rain forest. Some of this is discussed above under the rubric of deforestation.

Charles Secrett, "The Environmental Impact of Transmigration," The Ecologist: Journal of the Post-Industrial Age, Vol. 16, No. 2/3, 1986, pp. 77-88.

"Eighty percent of the Transmigration sites [created as places into which to move people displaced from Sumatra and Java islands in Indonesia] to be set up during Indonesia's current Five-Year Plan will be hacked out of untouched jungle. The result will be the overall loss of at least 3.3 million hectares of some of the richest rainforest in the world. By supporting such destruction, the World Bank is breaking its own environmental and economic guidelines. Alternatives exist -and the Bank should promote them. Otherwise, it should withdraw funding entirely."

8. Resources

Johnny Sagebrush (ed) Little Green Songbook, Tucson: Ned Ludd, 1986.

Environmental protest songs, pattern on the Little Red Songbook of the IWW.

Brad Erickson (ed) Call to Action: Handbook for Ecology, Peace and Justice, San Franciso: Sierra Club Books, 1990.

Especially sections on Atmosphere, Healing the Earth and Poison and Power.

Cultural Survival Quarterly.

Journal produced by Cultural Survival, a group of anthopologists-activists concerned with the struggle of indigenous peoples for survival. They have produced a great many reports on various issues of environmental concern in so far as they involve -as they often do- indigenous peoples. A catalogue of their publications can be obtained from Clutral Survival Publications, 53A Church St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

Angela Gennino (ed) Amazonia: Voices from the Rainforest, A Resource and Action Guide, Rainforest Action Network, 1990. (92p)

Listing of some 150 activist organizations working on Amazonia issues in Latin America, Europe, North America and in the Asia/Pacific area. Contains partial bibliography of recommended books and films and gives an overview of the present situation. "Highly recomended for anyone interested in the politics behind rainforest deforestation and in the global movement to stop it."

Don Ritter, Ecolinking: Everyone's Guide to Online Environmental Information, Berkeley: Peachpit Press, 1992.

How to do it. How to link into the cyberspacial nerve system of environmental information, discussion and activism to learn, download and contribute to an increasingly global mobilization.

Buzzworm (ed) 1992: Earth Journal: Environmental Almanac and Resource Directory, Boulder: Buzzworm Books, 1992.

Rich, though incomplete, sourcebook of materials on ecological issues.

Institute for Social Ecology, P.O.Box 89, Plainfield, Vermont 05667 (802) 454-8493.

Murray Bookchin's institute which teaches courses and programs in the principles and practices of "social ecology" -see the section above on anarchism and ecology.

Ecological Crisis Biblio