Recent Posts

ECOTOPIA: An Elitist Liberal Utopia?

ECOTOPIA: An Elitist Liberal Utopia?

by Niklas Lollo, PhD student at UC Berkeley, Since 1972, Ecotopia has inspired many to envision, and perhaps even foster, a more ecological society. In Ernest Callenbach’s novel, we are transported to a contemporary America, albeit an America that has been torn in two through […]

Utilitarianism made for ‘Hard Times’ in Dickens’ England

Utilitarianism made for ‘Hard Times’ in Dickens’ England

by Anya VerKamp, Charles Dickens, an author witnessing firsthand the harsh impacts of the industrial revolution, wrote a novel that contains in it some of the themes still present in degrowth discourse today. His novel Hard Times demonstrates the invasion of utilitarianism and its economic […]

No One Noticed

No One Noticed

NO ONE NOTICED

No one noticed
When the sparrows left
It was just another 
smoggy winter morning

People drove their cars
dropped their children off
At air conditioned schools
Where they learned
Pollution is a bad thing

Meanwhile, a sexual predator
Built his temple of learning
Right on the Vasant Kunj ridge
Next to gigantic malls
Where the city discovered 
Lingerie and Lamborghini

It was just another 
smoggy winter morning
And stuck on flyovers
No one noticed 
That they spent more time on roads
Than with family and friends

So the city of traders
Traded its sparrows, 
for SUVs
And children’s lungs
for Diwali firecrackers
Pollution was good for business

And as a million bonfires
lit up in Punjab and Haryana
Delhi bought air purifiers,
masks, cough syrup 
and tweeted in anger

But it all started 
on a smoggy winter morning
when the last sparrow left.
No none noticed,
as that ever useful smog
hid us from our conscience.

                               —— Amitangshu Acharya

The Will of Life by Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi

The Will of Life by Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi

Watching Paul Mason’s Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere performed at the Young Vic, was an emotional experience. An influential commentator on global politics and events, Mason has had a busy career. This performance that was aired on BBC2 on the 22nd July, and I feel it […]

Mad Max Fury Road: A two-step with ecofeminism?

Mad Max Fury Road: A two-step with ecofeminism?

“Who killed the world?” The Splendid Angharad (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) asks in Mad Max’s (Tom Hardy) post-apocalyptic world of fire and blood. The answer to her question floats across the white noise that accompanies the starting credits of Mad Max: Fury Road: “We are killing for […]

Standard Oil Co by Pablo Neruda

Standard Oil Co by Pablo Neruda

The discussion of peak oil and the worldwide struggle against oil companies fracking and exploitation brings us back to this poem by Pablo Neruda’s. Food for thought…

Standard Oil Co.

 
When the drill bored down
toward the stony fissures
and plunged its implacable intestine
into the subterranean estates,
and dead years, eyes
of the ages, imprisoned
plants’ roots
and scaly systems
became strata of water,
fire shot up through the tubes
transformed into cold liquid,
in the customs house of the heights,
issuing from its world of sinister depth,
it encountered a pale engineer
and a title deed.

However entangled the petroleum’s
arteries may be, however the layers
may change their silent site
and move their sovereignty
amid the earth’s bowels,
when the fountain gushes
its paraffin foliage,

Standard Oil arrived beforehand
with its checks and its guns,
with its governments and its prisoners.

Their obese emperors
from New York are suave
smiling assassins
who buy silk, nylon, cigars,
petty tyrants and dictators.
They buy countries, people, seas,
police, county councils,
distant regions where
the poor hoard their corn
like misers their gold:

Standard Oil awakens them,
clothes them in uniforms, designates
which brother is the enemy.
The Paraguayan fights its war,
And the Bolivian wastes away
in the jungle with its machine gun.

A President assassinated
for a drop of petroleum,
a million-acre
mortgage, a swift
execution on a morning
mortal with light, petrified,
a new prison camp for
subversives, in Patagonia,
a betrayal, scattered shots
beneath a petroliferous moon,
a subtle change of ministers
in the capital, a whisper
like an oil tide,
and zap, you’ll see

Now Standard Oil’s letters
shine above the clouds,
above the seas, in your home,
illuminating their dominions.

 
                               ——Pablo Neruda
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

by Elliot Hurst The Dispossessed is an amazing utopian sci-fi novel, and everyone should read it. It won all the prizes when it came out and is considered a classic. Ursula Le Guin grew up with an anthropologist father. As she puts it ‘Even though […]

Entropia by Samuel Alexander

Entropia by Samuel Alexander

by Kevin Karaca | @kevinkaraca Peak Oil is around the corner. The rise in the political-right sends hints that the neoliberal project is coming to an end. Economic growth is being questioned by many. What could a post-growth society look like? It’s the third decade of […]