This public lecture raises questions about the direction of mainstream discussions on energy, technology, finance, accumulation, and organising.

It is critical to recognise that energy is a labour issue if the shift away from fossil fuels is to do more than just help elites find new tools for exploiting the majority world.

Inequality is as much a problem of wealth and the rich as it is of poverty and the poor. Licensed larceny is a proxy for how effectively elites have constructed institutions that extract value from the rest of society, for example, through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to build new infrastructure. How might social justice activists best respond? What oppositional strategies unsettle elite power instead of making it stronger?

The sixth issue of the new Mausam, the India Climate Justice Collective's magazine connecting climate debates to local struggles over land, livelihood and food rights, highlights the acidification of the oceans caused by high emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases; analyses the December 2015 Paris climate agreement; and reports on a WTO judgment against India’s solar power plans.

Mainstream scientific and political work on climate change tends to be organized around a binary division between adaptation and mitigation. Global warming – modelled as a nonhuman “nature” of molecular flows and heat exchanges – is seen to impact on an undifferentiated “society”, which returns the favour by, for example, limiting greenhouse gas emissions or re-engineering “nature” so that it can absorb more of them.

Today's trade in ecosystem services tokens (carbon, biodiversity and so forth) has evolved as one component of capital’s troubled struggles to seek new global arrangements following the collapse of the compromises into which it was forced during the 20th century -- compromises that included welfarism, developmentalism and conventional environmental regulation.

The rise of ecosystem services presents both the necessity and the opportunity to rethink issues of capital and nature. This presentation from a recent Cambridge University conference entitled “Rights to Nature: Tracing Alternative Political Ecologies against the Neoliberal Environmental Agenda”, organized by Elia Apostolopoulou and Jose Cortes-Vazquez, addresses two of these issues in particular. First, what, if any, role do the novel transactions in ecosystem services that have emerged since the 1970s play in capital accumulation, and why have they emerged now?

What are the effects of capital’s restless attempts to appropriate unpaid cleanup work done by humans and the rest of nature? Neglect of this question has led to repeated confusions about what waste is and how it might better be approached. A refreshed perspective is especially important in an era in which discussions about solid waste have come to focus largely on landfills and climate discussions to focus on real or imaginary carbon sinks.

This presentation challenges the current rush towards mega infrastructure projects that are being planned the world over as a means of boosting economic recovery.

Many lawful, routine, accepted practices in today's economic system are regarded by the general public as corrupt. They have created a distorted, privatised vision of the “public interest” and represent a new trend of state capture by for-profit interests.