Capital, Labor and the Environment
Environmental degradation is the outcome of many diverse and interacting processes in capitalism. The production of commodities with the motive of profit plays a substantial role in this degradation, as it has been well-documented by the eco- socialist literature. However, at the same time, pollution and natural resource exhaustion have serious negative effects on capital and labor in capitalist societies. In particular, to the extent that ecological degradation is generalized and affects the regulating conditions of production, the cost, value and price of commodities tend to increase and thus give rise to reactions to it by affected producers. On the other hand, to the extent that deteriorating ecological conditions are not generalized, but only affect certain capitals in different locations or sectors, changes in profits and rents can trigger economic and political reactions to contain or eliminate these negative effects.