Building an ecological civilization that is socially just will not automatically happen in post-capitalist societies. It will occur only through the concerted action and constant vigilance of an engaged population.
by Fred Magdoff
Monthly Review, January 2010
Given the overwhelming harm being done to the world’s environment and to its people, it is essential today to consider how we might organize a truly ecological civilization—one that exists in harmony with natural systems—instead of trying to overwhelm and dominate nature. This is not just an ethical issue; it is essential for our survival as a species and the survival of many other species that we reverse the degradation of the earth’s life support systems that once provided dependable climate, clean air, clean water (fresh and ocean), bountiful oceans, and healthy and productive soils.
There are numerous ways to approach and think about the enormous harm that has been done to the environment. I will discuss the following:
(1) the critical characteristics that underlie strong ecosystems;
(2) why societies are not adequately implementing ecological approaches; and
(3) how we might use characteristics of strong natural ecosystems as a framework to consider a future ecological civilization.