• Abstract In the flowering of Red-Green Thought over the past two decades, metabolic
    rift thinking is surely one of its most colorful varieties. The metabolic rift has captured
    the imagination of critical environmental scholars, becoming a shorthand for capitalism’s
    troubled relations in the web of life. This article pursues an entwined critique and
    reconstruction: of metabolic rift thinking and the possibilities for a post-Cartesian
    perspective on historical change, the world-ecology conversation. Far from dismissing
    metabolic rift thinking, my intention is to affirm its dialectical core. At stake is not
    merely the mode of explanation within environmental sociology. The impasse of
    metabolic rift thinking is suggestive of wider problems across the environmental social
    sciences, now confronted by a double challenge. One of course is the widespread—and
    reasonable—sense of urgency to evolve modes of thought appropriate to an era of
    deepening biospheric instability. The second is the widely recognized—but inadequately
    internalized—understanding that humans are part of nature.