Nature, Science and Revolutionary Struggle

Working my way through John Bellamy Foster’s magisterial “The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology,” it dawned on me that there was a gap in my knowledge. I knew that Marx and Engels were consumed with ecological problems, even though the word wasn’t in their vocabulary. To a large extent, my awareness came from reading another great Foster book, “Marx’s Ecology.” However, I couldn’t help shake the feeling that in between Marx/ Engels and Rachel Carson it was mostly a blur. The failure of the socialist states to support Green values reinforced that feeling. From Chernobyl to the shrinking of the Aral Sea, there was not much to distinguish capitalist and socialist society.

After finishing “The Return of Nature,” that blur gave way to clarity. Foster’s intellectual history shows a chain of thinkers connecting Marx/Engels to today’s greatest ecological thinkers, from Rachel Carson to Barry Commoner. To use a cliché,

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From a stable job to a tent: A waiter’s homeless struggle | National News

Although he was living the headlines — unemployment backlogs, record jobless claims, relief-fund debates — he felt invisible.

Summer stretched on without a check. He’d struggled for years with manic depression and was getting counseling from a free clinic, but that, too, shuttered.

Running — when he could manage, given his meager diet — became a lifeline. Each sweat-drenched session felt like a rebirth, something to be proud of.

At night, he screamed into his pillow or bit his cot to soothe his nerves. Thoughts of suicide haunted him.

“In the morning I’m working on being positive and building up my body and, at night, I want to destroy myself because there wasn’t any hope,” he said.

His closest friend, Amanda, visited a few times. Sometimes, her family let him shower at their home and have a meal. Once, she arrived with a small bag of change she said was

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New York withholds millions in funding as schools struggle with reopening | Govt-and-politics

Robert Lowry, deputy director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents, said Wednesday that payments to schools during the quieter summer months amount to about $1 billion. Over the full school year, it will end up totaling about $27 billion – and the big flow of cash from Albany to the districts is set to come at the end of September.

Still, the recent drip, drip, drip of cuts so far from Albany are, Lowry said, “alarming as an indication of what could be in store for schools.”

Further, schools don’t know if the cuts so far will be temporary or permanent. They also don’t know if the cuts will be made across-the-board, which could have far more devastating impacts on less wealthy and poorer school districts in urban and rural areas, or be done on some kind of wealth-based need formula.

Lowry said school superintendents and other

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Texas schools struggle to restore special education help

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Since March, Melissa and her husband have gutted their savings, spending more than $5,000 caring for their three children. Most of the money has gone to child care and speech therapy for their daughter Nora. Two weeks ago, the couple put their house up for sale.

Five-year-old Nora is on the autism spectrum and has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, her mother says. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Nora attended school full time in the Katy Independent School District and had access to a suite of behavioral therapists, speech therapists and special education teachers. But that resource lifeline has been cut for nearly six months, and her parents have only been able to afford select specialists since.

She’s at an age when special education intervention and socializing with other kids are

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