John Bellamy Foster writes:
A genuine solution to todays global ecological crisis requires that emphasis be placed on promoting sustainable human development and a restorative relation to the earth. Yet, such a revolutionary socio-ecological approach is almost entirely absent in those countries at the center of the world system that for centuries have plundered the resources of the earth as the counterpart to a global system of human exploitation.
Those radical ecologists seriously seeking a way out of this iron cage are therefore increasingly drawing their inspiration from ongoing third world socio-ecological revolutions in Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia, and from ecological transformations taking place in Curitiba and Porto Alegre in Brazil, and Kerala in India. It is here that struggles for ecological sustainability, substantive equality, and collectivist social organization are merging into wider movements for sustainable egalitarian communities.
In all of this South Korea stands in a unique position. A society of late capitalist development, still subject to the external hegemony of global monopoly-finance capital and the domination of the U.S. imperial state, it contains within it the possibility of a radically divergent path. Its uniqueness is tied to its history of militant labor struggles, to its strong ecological movement (symbolized today by opposition to the Saemangeum Reclamation Project), and to its centrality in the struggle against imperialism (inextricably tied to the problem of Korean unification). South Korea is therefore of critical global importance in the formation of a socialist ecology for the twenty-first century.