Photo courtesy of Rob Wilson Photography @RobWilsonFoto,


U.S. imperialism and its allies are fueling intensifying existential crises for humanity and all life on Earth.  These crises include the approaching collapse of global ecosystems, the escalation towards world war and nuclear annihilation, the spread of global pandemics, the increasing global disparities in wealth and power, and the growing white supremacist and fascist mobilizations worldwide. 

This is Part 1 of a four part series on imperialism.  In this episode, we’ll focus on the destructive impact of imperialism on our global environment and the ways global movements and peoples are fighting for a healthy and sustainable planet.

Segment 1: Historical Roots of Imperialism & Ecocide

Imperialism is an advanced stage of capitalism where the few wealthiest and most powerful nations use violence or coercion to capture the land, resources, and labor power from the rest of the world for their own benefit.  Pacifica’s Esther Iverem speaks with Dr. Gerald Horne about the roots of the industrial revolution and the U.S. empire, based in a history of white supremacy, slavery, settler colonialism, and genocide.  Dr. Horne is Professor of History and African-American Studies at the University of Houston, an activist, and a prolific author.

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Dr. Gerald Horne is the author of more than 30 books and 100 scholarly articles and reviews.  See a partial list here.

Segment 2: Indigenous Protectors of Mother Earth

For over 500 years, white supremacist genocide against Indigenous peoples and the settler colonial theft of their resources, has fueled the rapacious US empire that now threatens the survival of all life on our planet.  Today, Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of protecting the global environment. For nearly half a century, the International Indian Treaty Council, IITC, has courageously advocated for the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples, and for the health of global ecosystems.  Andrea Carmen, IITC’s Executive Director for the past 30 years, had this conversation with Pacifica producer Ken Yale. 

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Listen to the full interview with Andrea Carmen here:


Check out the extensive resources and activities of the International Indian Treaty Council.

Segment 3: New Forms of Global Domination 

As more and more colonized peoples fought for liberation and won independence after World War II, imperialists developed new forms of global domination and profiteering. US imperialism’s sociopathic drive to control the world’s oil and strategic energy resources is now a leading cause of imperial wars, global impoverishment, and ecological destruction.  Vijay Prashad is Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Chief Correspondent for Globetrotter, and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books.  He spoke with Pacifica’s Ken Yale about the impact of imperialism on the world’s nations, peoples, and ecosystems.

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Listen to the full interview with Vijay Prashad here:


Check out these extensive anti-imperialist resources from Vijay Prashad and his networks: 

Segment 4: Imperialism At Home 

Dr. Margaret Flowers is a pediatrician and veteran human rights activist, Co-Founder of Popular Resistance, National Coordinator of the Health Over Profit For Everyone Campaign, and host of the Pacifica radio show and podcast, “Clearing the Fog.”  She spoke with Esther Iverem about the impacts of imperialism and multinational corporations on the U.S. environment, and how these impacts are perpetuating and deepening racial and class disparities within the country.  

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Check out these resources and activities from Dr. Margaret Flowers and her networks: 

Segment 5: War on the Environment

In addition to the massive death and destruction caused by U.S. wars around the world, the U.S. military is one of the largest polluters of the global environment.  David Swanson, Co-founder and Executive Director of the organization, World BEYOND War, made this presentation about the connection between war and environment at the opening plenary of the annual No War conference at American University in 2017.

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Artist Credits:

  • Los Baby’s, “Jinetes en el Cielo (Ghost Riders in the Sky)”
  • Taboo, “Stand Up / Stand N Rock”
  • Mos Def, “New World Water”
  • Tracy Chapman, “The Rape of the World”


This program was co-produced by Esther Iverem, Polina Vasiliev and Ken Yale, and hosted by Esther Iverem.  The executive producers of “Covid, Race and Democracy” are Akua Holt, Polina Vasiliev, and Steve Zeltzer.  Special thanks to the Pacifica Covid Task Force.