About this site

The struggle for ecosocialism

Those of us who inhabit planet Earth in the 21st century face a huge problem. Our own species, homo sapiens – modern humans – are trashing the only planet we have at an ever-increasing rate. If this continues the ability of this planet to sustain life – human life in particular – could be destroyed within decades.

This site recognises that:

We are facing an existential environmental crisis driven by climate change, and we have only 10 years before feedback processes take it out of control.

The crisis is at the same time multi-dimensional taking the form of ‘planetary boundaries’ – the crossing of any of which can do irreversible damage to the ecosystems of the planet.

We desperately need an exit strategy from fossil energy based on a socially and economically just transition to renewables.

We are facing the biggest biodiversity crisis since the demise of the dinosaurs.

At its current rate of growth the global economy – which doubles every 23 years – is completely unsustainable.

We need a completely new relationship with the natural world.

We need to build a mass movement capable of both defend the planet here and now and preparing the ground for a future ecosocialist society. This means spelling out what such a society would look like and what its relationship with nature should be.

Prior to my commitment to the environmental struggle (20 years ago) I was a shop steward in the Oxford car industry. An experience I have recounted in my book Militant Years published in 2010.

Since then I have been promoting an ecosocialist world view as well as supporting a number of environmental campaigns such as the Campaign Against Climate Change and its trade union group. I joined the Labour Party in 2015, to support Jeremy Corbyn and I am a member of SERA, Labour’s environmental campaign. I am also a supporter of the Red Green Labour network, an ecosocialist current inside the Labour party seeking to raise the profile of the ecological issues.

I have written extensively on ecological issues for environmental and radical left journals such as International Viewpoint, Socialist Resistance, and latterly for Anticapitalistic Resistance. Most of these articles – going back to 2012 – are available on this site, including a number of important debates.

Alternative positions

During this time I have been out of step with many – probably most – on the radical left regarding some important analytical and strategic choices involved in the struggle. I have never accepted, for example, that global socialist (or indeed ecosocialist) revolution is just around the corner: i.e. that there is a realistic chance of it happening in the 10 and can be the answer to climate change in the 10 years we have left to halt global warming. It would at least be reckless to rely on it.

I have argued instead a transitional approach: i.e. forcing capitalism to make major changes, in the here and now, to defend the planet as an essential part of an ongoing struggle for a future post-capitalist ecosocialist society. The problem is, we can’t build ecosocialism (or anything else), on a dead planet.

The most important controversial issue has been on the implications of the rising human population numbers – though I remain baffled as to why. I have never been able to accept the dominant view on the radical left that the rising human population of the planet (by 80m a year) has zero impact on the planets environment and ecosystems. It is at least an issue that the left should discuss – while opposing any and all forms of population control. There should be no taboo subjects if we are to address the ecological crisis effectively.

I published my book Facing the Apocalypse – Arguments for ecosocialism in February 2019 in order to advocate these alternative positions and this site will allow me to continue to debate them more effectively.


Comments on the articles on this site are strongly welcomed. The site, however, is an expressly ecosocialist site and comments and articles should express that point of view. Comments that defend anti-socialist, pro-capitalist, racist, homophobic, sexist views or abusive or derogatory comments from climate deniers, or anyone else, will not be accepted.

Alan Thornett, moderator of the site.

Contact: alanthornett@gmail.com

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