Political Economy of climate change, ecological destruction and uneven development
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AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to analyze climate change and ecological destruction through the prism of the core general principles of political economy. The paper starts with the principle of historical specificity, and the various waves of climate change through successive cooler and warmer periods on planet Earth, including the most recent climate change escalation through the open circuit associated with the treadmill of production. Then we scrutinize the principle of contradiction associated with the disembedded economy, social costs, entropy and destructive creation. The principle of uneven development is then explored through core-periphery dynamics, ecologically unequal exchange, metabolic rift and asymmetric global (in)justice. The principles of circular and cumulative causation (CCC) and uncertainty are then related to climate change dynamics through non-linear transformations, complex interaction of dominant variables, and threshold effects. Climate change and ecological destruction are impacting on most areas, especially the periphery, earlier and more intensely than previously thought likely. A political economy approach to climate change is able to enrich the analysis of ecological economics and put many critical themes in a broad context.