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Homeowner associations restrict eco-friendly practices in favor of aesthetics

This post comes to us via the Land Institute's Prairie Writers Circle. ----- Susana Tregobov dries clothes on a line behind her Maryland townhouse, saving energy and money. But now her homeowners association has ordered her to bring in the laundry. The crackdown came after a neighbor complained that the clothesline "makes our community look like Dundalk," a low-income part of Baltimore. Tregobov and her husband plan to fight for their right to a clothesline, but the odds are against them. Although their state recently passed a law protecting homeowners' rights to erect solar panels for generating electricity, it is …

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Can capitalism be harnessed to solve environmental problems, or is capitalism itself the problem?

When right-wing pundits and corporate flacks compare environmentalists to watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside), they mean it as a slur. But when eco-socialists look at the wider environmental movement, they see a big green tomato that had better ripen up, and soon. Hybridizing the analyses of Karl Marx with those of modern-day ecological economists, they maintain that we'll never stop degrading the ecosphere unless we tackle capitalism and the unsustainable growth that lies at its core. For at least one part of their argument -- that economic growth is out of control -- eco-socialists can call …