Global communities have arrived at a critical crossroads. The planet is heating up at a historically unprecedented rate and the ecological conditions sustaining vast species, including our own, are poised at irreversible tipping points. Time is up to avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. In such dire circumstances, 'business as usual' – and by extension 'politics as usual' – can no longer be accommodated.
The Extinction Curve charts the dynamics of the economic and social relations driving this perilous climate endgame. Recent economic crises have fractured consent over the consequences of growth and globalisation, and political fracturing is now at a defining moment. Ultra-right nationalism, shaped by the vested interests of a tiny minority at the expense of the global majority, threatens descent into a darker and more fortressed world. In contrast, enhanced progressive and environmental activism presents hope of an alternative course.
The 50-year attempt by the mainstream environmental movement to create a greener capitalism has failed to reach the required objectives. The Extinction Curve argues that reversing the extinction curve requires ending the growth pandemic embedded within the core of capitalism as a mode of production and consumption. It maps fresh directions for a democratic social, economic and sustainable ecological transformation in the interests of the global majority and, crucially, demonstrates how this can be achieved.
Chapter 1. At Dante's Gate
Chapter 2. Beyond the Holocene Edge
Chapter 3. The Extinction Code within the Capitalist Growth Protocol
Chapter 4. Fracturing Consent: Minions, Mercenaries, Malcontents and Les Miserables
Chapter 5. Rebelling for a Green Capitalism is a Dead End
Chapter 6. Green Gloom, Busted Boom, Barbarous Doom: What's Left?
Chapter 7. Common Cause: Equality, Ecology, Re-Construction
John van der Velden is an independent socialist writer living in Canberra, Australia. He was a national convenor, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Caucus, in the initial multi-party Socialist Alliance. He writes on matters of political economy, class structure and the climate emergency.
Rob White is a Distinguished Professor of Criminology at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Considered a pioneer in the field of green criminology, he has a particular interest in transnational environmental crime and eco-justice. His published books include Crimes Against Nature (2008), Transnational Environmental Crime (2011), Environmental Harm (2013) and Climate Change Criminology (2018).