Looking beyond the pandemic: Agroecology, and the need to rethink our food system

The on-going pandemic has laid bare the inequalities inherent in the neoliberal economy. As jobs and livelihoods of the struggling majority get severely impacted all over the world, access to food has become a critical issue for people. In this in-depth analysis of the global food system, Helena Paul underlines the growing need for reshaping our food infrastructure around agroecology, a new paradigm where producers and consumers are connected with each other, and in harmony with land and nature.

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Saving a critical pastureland in Montenegro

In September 2019, the government of Montenegro converted a huge pastureland within a proposed Regional Nature Park into a military training ground against the opposition of the local people. Traditionally, pastoralists from the surrounding areas have used this area in the Sinjajevina Mountains as the summer grazing ground for their flocks. The decision was made with no publicly available environmental, health, or economic impact evaluations, and without any substantial negotiations with the affected communities, as well as in contravention of national and international laws. Pablo Domínguez, Maja Kostić-Mandić and Milan Sekulović tell us the story of a resistance movement, which is challenging rabid nationalist discourses, incipient neoliberalism and the entrenched ethno-politics of the Balkans to save a critical ecological area from disaster in Montenegro.

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Relocalization in the time of Coronavirus: Building Sustainable Social and Economic Systems

As Coronavirus upends the international economic system, it is imperative that the world community creates alternatives which could begin to replace this iniquitous and volatile system with those which are ecologically sustainable and nurturing of the human spirit. Christophe Aguiton, Genevieve Azam, Maxime Combes, Thomas Coutrot and Jean Gadrey describe how “relocalization” could contribute to the crafting of such alternatives.

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In Defence of Life: Cajamarca, Colombia

Deep in the embrace of the Colombian Andes Mountains, farmers, youth and other environmental defenders from Cajamarca have stopped a vast gold mine, re-valued the ‘true treasures’ in their territory and begun to develop regenerative alternatives to mining ‘development’. Mariana Gomez Soto and Benjamin Hitchcock Auciello explore this story of resistance and revival. This is the second case study in the on-going collaborative series between REDWeb and the global “Yes to Life, No to Mining” (YLNM) solidarity network.

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Rethinking “Social Transformation”: Understanding the Communitarian Revolutionary Actor

As the need to counter the neoliberal assault on the planet is felt around the world, the idea of social transformation is undergoing fresh scrutiny to make it relevant to contemporary challenges. David Barkin and Alejandra Sanchez explore the unfolding socio-political experiments taking place in Latin America to give us an insight into the “Communitarian Revolutionary Actor” ushering in change on the continent.

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The Coming Green Colonialism

Given the clenching hold of inertia on international governments, not much was expected from COP25, the recently concluded U.N. Climate Change Conference. Predictably, it turned out to be a cop-out. Nnimmo Bassey gives us an idea of the frustrating and often pointless deliberations that took place inside COP25 and the dead-end they reached. As the author clearly shows, the ruling elite is utterly unable and unwilling to think in terms of alternatives to the ever failing neoliberal dispensation, and has completely abdicated any responsibility towards preventing climate chaos. A people’s struggle is the only way out.

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Landscapes of Renewal – Jukajoki, Linnunsuo and the Finnish Boreal

Finland has been affected by mass extractivism since the end of the Second World War. Peatlands, marsh-mires and old-growth forest across the country have been converted into mines and forest plantations, with huge impacts on rural communities practicing hunting, fishing, berry-gathering and small-scale farming. Over the past decade, the Finnish community of Selkie has successfully revived lands and waters damaged by extractive industries, using a blend of traditional knowledge and science. Tero Mustonen, Head of the Village of Selkie, explains how they stopped a mine and brought life back to Selkie’s rivers and marsh-mires. This is the first case study in the on-going collaborative series between REDWeb and the global “Yes to Life, No to Mining” (YLNM) solidarity network exploring emblematic examples of community resistance to extractivism and the life-sustaining alternatives they are defending and innovating.

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Eight Principles of a New Economics for the People of a Living Earth

Contemporary economics propagates the false notion that we humans are primarily financial beings whose well-being is predicated upon endless growth on the planet and the consequent generation of money. The climate emergency facing us today has shattered that premise, underlining the fact that we are first and foremost living beings whose well-being depends on the health and vitality of a living Earth. David Korten challenges the flawed theories and principles that bear major responsibility for the unfolding crisis and proposes a new set of economic principles which could help us navigate the current environmental mess.

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Market Fundamentalism vs. Community Rights on the Danish Coastline

In the early 2000s, the market forces tried to upend the quiet lives of the fishing communities in northern Denmark, intending to make a fast buck on the fishing riches of the Bay of Jammerbugt coastline. Mathilde Autzen recounts the inspiring story of a smart and bold pushback organized by the Thorupstrand community to reclaim their fishing rights and lay the foundation of a sustainable future.

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How noble was the Nobel this time?

William Nordhaus was recently awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on how to address climate change using cost-benefit analysis of limiting greenhouse gases. Gurudas Nulkar helps us understand the intricate nature of Nordhaus’ research and explains why it needs closer scrutiny before any conclusions can be drawn about the long-term benefits of his work on climate change.

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Ecofeminism as Politics: nature, Marx and the postmodern (2nd edition) by Ariel Salleh.

“Ecofeminism as Politics: nature, Marx and the postmodern”, by Ariel Salleh is a seminal work, which helped redirect the often floundering debate on international environmental crises in the 1990s towards the “eurocentric capitalist patriarchal culture built on the domination of Nature, and domination of Woman ‘as nature.’ In the last twenty years, Salleh’s book has challenged us to decipher the essential link between green politics, eco-socialism, post-colonial theory and eco-feminism as we try to design meaningful alternatives to the current neoliberal dispensation. David Pellow helps us grasp Ariel Salleh’s incisive logic in this review of the second edition of her book.

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RED Conversations Series – The Emerging Idea of “Radical Well-Being”

Paul Robbins talks with Ashish Kothari about the idea of “Radical Well-Being” and the road towards realizing it. This conversation is based on a presentation made by Ashish at the 2nd Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) held in Oslo, June 2018.

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REDWeb Anniversary Series – “From Socialism to Eco-socialism – Turning Points On a Personal Journey Through The Marxist Theory of Socialism”

REDWeb completes its first year in September, and Saral Sarkar launches our anniversary initiative to understand and assess the work of Karl Marx in the context of the search for transformative alternatives. Sarkar uses his considerable experience as an analyst and an activist to help us fathom the immense integrity of Marx’s work as well as its imperfections. In this world ravaged and battered by ecological crises and economic peril for the vast majority of people, could eco-socialism be that viable path towards meaningful transformation that Marx had imagined and parsed for us?

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Reflections on the Founding of the First Ecosocialist International

The search for transformative alternatives to the current miasma of neoliberalism is very much on. Ecosocialism is one such idea finding resonance in many parts of the world. Quincy Saul recounts the thinking and the efforts behind the founding of the First Ecosocialist International.

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Mapping Grassroots Solutions: Lessons learned from the Utah Resilience Map Project

As grassroots solutions to the current neoliberal orthodoxy emerge all around us, it is important to figure out a way to make them physically accessible for people. Emily Nicolosi writes about the Utah Resilience Map, a path breaking effort putting alternatives emerging in and around Salt Lake City on a map. It’s a bold initiative which challenges the stranglehold of corporate online mapping and an emerging template for replication at other places.

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RED Conversations Series – “Alternative Futures: India Unshackled”

Ashish Kothari was recently on a book tour in the U.S., promoting “Alternative Futures: India Unshackled”, a book he recently co-edited with K.J. Joy. Here, he discusses the main themes of the book with Pallav Das and an audience at “Busboys and Poets”, an activist book-store in Washington D.C.

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Engaging with the Plutocene

The neoliberal dispensation governing the world is pushing it towards an ecological catastrophe while ensuring the economic and political supremacy of an entrenched elite class. Using an income-based class perspective, Marko Ulvilla and Kristoffer Wilen discuss the ways in which we could create ecologically sustainable and socially equitable post-growth societies.

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The Green Party of Germany – From Beacon of Hope to a Bog-standard Party

How do we think about alternative politics in light of the current stresses on the environment and the phenomenal increase in inequality, worldwide? Probably, the best place to start is to learn from similar experiments which took place in recent history. Saral Sarkar helps us understand the intellectual debate on the economy, ecology and social relations that took place within “green” politics in Germany, and its ramifications for the contemporary search for alternatives.

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