Chicago, Illinois 60608 United States
Over the next generation, humanity will confront a dystopian future of climate disaster and mass extinction. Yet the only ‘solutions’ on offer are toothless cap-and-trade programmes, catastrophic geoengineering schemes, and privatized conservation, which will do nothing to reverse the damage suffered by the biosphere. Indeed, these mainstream approaches assume that hyper-consumerism in the Global North can continue unabated. It can’t.
What we can do, environmental scholars Troy Vettese and Drew Pendergrass argue, is strive for a society able to ensure high living standards while stabilizing the environment: Half-Earth socialism. This means:
• Rewilding half the earth to absorb carbon emissions and restore biodiversity
• A rapid transition to renewable energy, paired with drastic cuts in consumption by the world’s wealthiest
• Global veganism to cut down on energy and land use
• Worldwide socialist planning to efficiently and equitably manage production
• The involvement of everyone—even you!
As this thrilling and provocative book makes clear, we must humbly accept that humanity cannot fully understand or control the earth—but we can plan new energy systems, large-scale rewilding, and food production for the common good.
Troy Vettese is an environmental historian and a Max Weber fellow at the European University Institute, where he is affiliated with the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. He studies the history of environmental economics, energy, and animal life under capitalism. His writing has appeared in Bookforum, New Left Review, The Guardian, n+1 and many more publications.
Nicole Whalen is a Harper-Schmidt Fellow and a Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Her primary research lies at the intersection of political philosophy, economics, and the history of philosophy.