Type
Essay
Pages
3 pages
Word Count
1641 words
School
Saint John
Course Code
ECO 3348

Term Paper

November 18, 2020
David Targett
Dr. Kirsten Munro
Environmental Economics 3348
May 3, 2019
REVIEW ESSAY
The Ecological Rift
Capitalism’s War on the Earth
Written by John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York
Foster, John Bellamy, et al. The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth. Monthly Review Press, 2011
Goodstein, Eban S., and Stephen Polasky. Economics and the Environment. Wiley, 2017
Bullard, Robert D. Principles of Environmental Justice
Capitalism emerged as a form of economic organization during the 17th century. Individuals
began to accumulate capital and ultimately attain economic power and wealth. Everything was great,
that is, so we thought. The truth of the matter is that capitalism is an economic juggernaut that is
overexploiting the resources that nature provides to the human race, ultimately hindering the
environment’s ability to provide for the human race. The human race is inherently dependent on nature
and the environment as it provides the necessary energy and materials that allow life to flourish on this
planet. As put by the authors John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York, capitalism “the
dominant economic paradigm is built on a value system that prizes capital accumulation in the short
term, while devaluing everything else in the present and everything altogether in the future
1
. The
economic foundation upon which much of our planet’s economies run on is entirely unethical as it
values the pursuit of profit more than the intrinsic value of human life. The unethical characteristics that
define capitalism have created social and economic imbalances that span across the entire planet, while
simultaneously destroying the environment. Essentially, capitalism has created a metabolic rift, a term
coined by economist Karl Marx. The authors’ arguments for dissolving the imminent danger as a result
of capitalistic practices are inspired by Marxist ideologies. With that being said, the authors believe
“there is only one possible solution to this contradiction: an ecological and social revolution that will rid
us of the narrow profit system and replace it with a sustainable and just society”
2
.
We could be living in the shortest Anthropocene in the history of our planet as a result of our
economic foundation. Capitalism, being the juggernaut that it is, is assailing our planet on a multitude of
fronts as it seeks to expand infinitely in a world in which only finite resources exist. The result, the
creation of ecological rifts. As researched by the Stockholm Resilience Center, there are nine planetary

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