The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has released a comprehensive and alarming report detailing the extent to which humanity is destroying Earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity, the life we share this planet with and our very life support system. The report states that the “culprits are, in descending order: (1) changes in land and sea use; (2) direct exploitation of organisms; (3) climate change; (4) pollution and (5) invasive alien species.”
The rapidly unfolding ecological crisis is much larger than carbon emissions. It’s not just climate change, but also mass extinction and degradation of land and water. It’s about how we fundamentally relate to each other, the land, and life on Earth. It’s about a system of extraction and exploitation will destroy everything if we don’t replace it as soon as possible. There is no viable path forward for humanity under capitalism; our only hope lies in ecosocialism.
Ecological sustainability is not just another issue, or just another campaign, but a base principle that can and must be integrated into everything we do—it must be as fundamental as control of the means of production. In the heart of the United States empire, every aspect of our capitalist society is designed to obscure the ecological and social toll of its production and consumption, and it’s time to turn on the light if we want to create a truly just and sustainable society.
It is difficult to process death and destruction on this scale. And the task of urgently building a society structured around cooperation, people, and planet while dismantling the status quo structured around competition and profit is extraordinarily daunting. But we can do it together—solidarity is the most powerful force we have.
A better world is not only possible, but necessary. And we were born just in time to be heroes.