Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System

By Ian Angus

Published by MR Press in June 2016 280 pages $19

A crisp, eloquent, and deeply informed call to arms by a leading eco-socialist. — Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums and In Praise of Barbarians: Essays against Empire

Ian Angus has long been a major figure among those seeking to combine the best of Marxist theory and ecological science—a goal that Angus himself has often described as ‘making the greens redder and the reds greener’. With his newest offering he has advanced that goal tremendously. Over the past 15 years or so just a handful of the most impressive ecosocialist books have attained a ‘must-read’ status. Add Facing the Anthropocene to that list. — Simon Butler, climate justice activist


Science tells us that a new and dangerous stage in planetary evolution has begun—the Anthropocene, a time of rising temperatures, extreme weather, rising oceans, and mass species extinctions. Humanity faces not just more pollution or warmer weather, but a crisis of the Earth System. If business as usual continues, this century will be marked by rapid deterioration of our physical, social, and economic environment. Large parts of Earth will become uninhabitable, and civilization itself will be threatened. Facing the Anthropocene shows what has caused this planetary emergency, and what we must do to meet the challenge.

Bridging the gap between Earth System science and ecological Marxism, Ian Angus examines not only the latest scientific findings about the physical causes and consequences of the Anthropocene transition, but also the social and economic trends that underlie the crisis. Cogent and compellingly written, Facing the Anthropocene offers a unique synthesis of natural and social science that illustrates how capitalism’s inexorable drive for growth, powered by the rapid burning of fossil fuels that took millions of years to form, has driven our world to the brink of disaster. Survival in the Anthropocene, Angus argues, requires radical social change, replacing fossil capitalism with a new, ecosocialist civilization.

Ian Angus is editor of the online ecosocialist journal Climate and Capitalism, and co-author of the Belém Ecosocialist Declaration. His previous books include Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis (with Simon Butler) and The Global Fight for Climate Justice.

Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System can be purchased from MR Press here.

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