When we think about the relationship between capitalism and the environment, it’s all too easy to see them as separate spheres bouncing into one another — capitalism devouring nature, like when a forest is razed for development, or nature threatening capitalist progress, like when a natural disaster later wipes out that development. Raj Patel and Jason Moore see the relationship as much more complicated, while also arguing that the environmental crises we face today are the inherent products of the way that capitalism operates. They trace the relationship between capital and the environment through seven cheap things: nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives.
Raj Patel is Research Professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and a senior research associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University. Jason Moore is Associate Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University. They are the authors of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet (US: UC Press / UK: Verso).