27: #MeToo vs. Kavanaugh; Ashley Dawson on Climate Change and Capitalism

September 26, 2018

This week, we talk to Ashley Dawson about capitalism and climate change. In our intro, we talk about the unfolding and cascading allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — and what this says about the power of #MeToo.

Ashley Dawson is a professor at the City University of New York and the author of many books, including Extinction: A Radical History and, most recently, Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change. He is working on a new book about energy transition and energy democracy, and he’s the founder of the Climate Action Lab.

On the first anniversary of Hurricane María, we talked to Ashley about why storms are increasing in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. We also discuss “climate apartheid” and how race, class and global inequalities shape how the effects of climate change are experienced.

We talk about how Trump’s economic nationalism is fueling right-wing climate change denial — and why liberal, market-oriented solutions do not offer an alternative. Instead, Ashley points to the power of social movements, both in the global South and here in the U.S., to demand real reforms. Ultimately, however, saving the climate will require going beyond capitalism and linking the struggle for the environment to the fight for a socialist society organized on an entirely different basis.

Links for this week’s interview:

Ashley Dawson’s book Extreme Cities discusses why cities are ground zero for climate change and is available from Verso Books (http://bit.ly/ExtremeCities).

In this Socialist Worker interview, Danny talked to Ashley about his book Extreme Cities and the impacts of flooding and hurricanes in urban areas (http://bit.ly/DawsonSW).

Socialist Worker had recent coverage of Hurricane Florence’s impact on North Carolina’s poor (http://bit.ly/FlorenceSW) as well as a piece on recovery and resistance in Puerto Rico a year after María (http://bit.ly/PuertoRicoRecoverySW).

Links for this week’s intro:

Socialist Worker editorial on what the fight against Kavanaugh’s nomination represents (http://bit.ly/KavanaughEditorialSW).

Nicole Colson on #MeToo vs. the Senate (http://bit.ly/MeToovsSenate).

Music and audio for this episode:

The Boy & Sister Alma, “Lizard Eyes” (Dead Sea Captains Remix)
Radiohead, “Creep”
Lana del Rey, “Ultraviolence”
Beastie Boys, “Time To Build”
The Pixies, “Monkey Gone To Heaven”
Marvin Gaye, “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”
Talking Heads, “(Nothing But) Flowers”