John Bellamy Foster: The Financialization of Nature


Image by Scott Oves via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

theAnalysis-news on Jul 8, 2022

John Bellamy Foster explains the ‘solution’ master-minded by global finance to resolve the imminent environmental crisis: create a multi-quadrillion dollar’s worth of assets on the back of everything nature does and expropriate it from the global commons to make a profit. Worse still: it is already happening.

Lynn Fries interviews Foster on GPEnewsdocs.

He’ll be talking about the financialization of the earth as a new ecological regime. A regime where the rapid financialization of nature is promoting a Great Expropriation of the global commons and the dispossession of humanity on a scale that exceeds all previous human history. And which is accelerating the destruction of planetary ecosystems and of the earth as a safe home for humanity. All in the name of saving nature by turning it into a market.



“The scientific reports although the IPCC have tried to keep up with this, but all of their reports I think all the way along have underestimated the speed with which we are transforming nature. And this is under the pressure of a system of capital accumulation geared to exponential growth.

“At this point, we generate vast, vast amounts of economic and ecological waste. Things that people neither need nor really want. We have a marketing system, a massive multi-trillion dollar marketing system, geared to getting people to buy more and more. And our system is geared to the fastest growth possible. And in order to compound that even in periods of economic expansion, we draw more and more on extracting from natural systems.

“This is a high-energy intensive system. It doesn’t take care of people’s needs. The wealth created is not going to the populations. And in the dominant ideology, they don’t even talk about trickle-down anymore, which they talked about in my youth, because everyone knows that that’s false.

“So we are creating a system that doesn’t benefit the human population economically, while we’re actually destroying the entire earth. And the motor of this is a capital accumulation process. That is now highly financially and globalized and has become the enemy of humanity and the planet. We put profits before people and the planet in all cases in this society. You can’t solve things that way.” — John Bellamy Foster

See also:

Nature as a Mode of Accumulation: Capitalism and the Financialization of the Earth, by John Bellamy Foster

The Defense of Nature: Resisting the Financializaton of the Earth, by John Bellamy Foster

From the archives:

Must Collapse Be Inevitable? Imagining A “Half-Earth” Sustainable Economy, by Pete Dolack

The Chris Hedges Report: Splinterlands’ Climate Dystopia, with John Feffer

Banks Fueling Global Warming Is Business As Usual, by Pete Dolack

Another Global Warming Worry: Parts of Earth Could Become Uninhabitable, by Pete Dolack + A Dire Warning About the End of Human Civilization

Privatizing Nature, by William T. Hathaway

Earth Burns and the Capitalist World Talks, by Pete Dolack

Those Least Responsible For Global Warming Will Pay The Highest Price For It, by Pete Dolack

Ian Angus: Facing the Anthropocene: The Earth’s New Geological Era

John Bellamy Foster: The Anthropocene and Socialist Politics + Tariq Ali: The American Empire and its Discontents

Marxism, Capitalism and The Environment by Deirdre Griswold

13 thoughts on “John Bellamy Foster: The Financialization of Nature

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  11. This was all too technical for me, except for the shocker at the beginning of the talk. Most of us thought that COP26 (Glasgow, November 2021) had accomplished absolutely nothing. But COP26 was really just a distraction, while the Big Money people were plotting how to take over the entire ecosystem. In “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Garrett Hardin suggested that we preserve nature by privatizing it. But Hardin gave only one example, and he got that example backwards, as Elinor Ostrom later explained. Still, these Big Money people are ignoring Ostrom and going by Hardin’s idea: Privatize everything. So we must overthrow them or die.

  12. A quip for the seemingly vast majority of humanity with a short attention span. “Neoliberal Capitalisms Global Financial System claims that Mother Nature is a whore.”

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