Ecosocialist Notebook

Welcome to the new Climate & Capitalism

Today we launch an upgraded and completely redesigned Climate & Capitalism. I’m very excited about the transformation, which is part of the alliance with Monthly Review that was announced one month ago. (see below)

The most obvious change is the revamped Home page. Instead of an inflexible chronological display of articles – which meant that still relevant articles scrolled quickly out of sight – the new C&C Home is divided into five major sections:

  • New and Recent Feature Articles is what a print newspaper would call “above the fold.” It displays our current top stories and essays.
  • More Articles is exactly what it says. A chronological list of all articles that are not displayed in the feature section.
  • The Center Section displays various groups of articles. The display will change from time to time. For example, this section might display articles about a major event like the Cochabamba conference, or articles on a specific subject like Ecosocialist Perspectives.
  • The Sidebar, on the right, contains a variety of useful (we hope!) links. The top link goes to “Editor’s Notebook,” which is my blog.
  • The Footer, at the bottom of each page, links to our Ecosocialist Bookstore. (Full disclosure: C&C gets a small commission from Amazon when you order books through our Bookstore. All proceeds will be used to maintain and improve the website.)

And we’ve only just begun! We’re now sharing MR’s web servers, which give us more capacity than ever. And our powerful new “back end” will allow us to add new features and options in coming months.

This transformation would not have been possible without MR’s webmaster, Jamil Jonna. With great technical skill and endless patience, he converted our vague design ideas into a website that exceeded our expectations by a huge margin. He also managed the faultless transfer of more than five years of content from the old site to this. We simply could not have made this change without him.

Of course, the real test of our new website will be how useful it is to you. Does it display content effectively? What do you like or dislike? What other changes would you like to see?

Your suggestions and comments will help us to continue to develop Climate & Capitalism as a premier source of information and analysis for the global green left.

Ian Angus
Editor, Climate & Capitalism

+++++++++++++++

Announcement: Climate & Capitalism and Monthly Review

Originally posted February 12, 2012

Climate & Capitalism is five years old this month. I’m excited to mark this anniversary by launching an alliance with Monthly Review, the world’s foremost independent socialist journal.

The agreement will enable the two publications to share resources and expand the audience for our Marxist perspective on environmental issues.

Since 1949, Monthly Review has made invaluable contributions to the fight against capitalism, imperialism and the commodification of life. In the past decade, it has come to be widely recognized as an authoritative voice of ecological Marxism.

So I was deeply honored when MR editor John Bellamy Foster proposed that we join forces to make C&C’s unique coverage of the global fight against capitalist ecocide available through Monthly Review’s popular and growing website.

We took the first small practical step last week. There is now a link to Monthly Review in our header menu, and a similar link to Climate and Capitalism in Monthly Review’s header menu.

We are now working with MR’s webmaster on a redesign that will make C&C more attractive and readable, and on technical changes that will facilitate searching, indexing and cross-linking between MR and C&C. And there is more to come.

Some things will not change. C&C’s web address is still climateandcapitalism.com. Our Facebook pages, email notifications and RSS feeds remain.

And I will continue as editor, with full responsibility for our editorial mission:

  • to provide news and analysis to inform, educate and develop the green left;
  • to contribute to building an international movement against capitalist destruction of the environment and for ecosocialism; and,
  • to encourage and facilitate collaboration and exchanges of views among socialists and ecology activists.

As always, your comments, suggestions and criticisms are more than welcome.

——
Ian

More from my notebook …

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19 Responses to Welcome to the new Climate & Capitalism

  1. Carlo Canteri March 13, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Hi Ian, et al.,

    It’s wonderful that the site is so much more user friendly, and I look forward to using it more.

    The one concern I have is that it still feels apolitical and out of context – despite all the socialist political analysis.

    How do we explain this?

    The articles and research on this site do not really relate to the geostrategic and geopolitical activities which go on in the great games of securing and controlling the Earth’s energy and mineral resources – they want to clean out the cupboard: forget sustainability until it’s bare and the globe is barren.

    Could we have a section which details these [often covert] under-publicised activities so that contextuality of information becomes paramount?

    For example:

    1. The Roving Eye
    PLAYING CHESS IN EURASIA By Pepe Escobar
    Asia Times Online December 22, 2011
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/ML22Ag02.html
    Bets are off on which is the great story of 2011.  Is it the Arab Spring(s)?  Is it the Arab counter-revolution, unleashed by the House of Saud? Is it the “birth pangs” of the Greater Middle East remixed as serial regime changes?  Is it R2P (“responsibility to protect”) legitimizing “humanitarian” bombing?  Is it the freeze out of the “reset” between the U.S. and Russia?  Is it the death of al-Qaeda?  Is it the euro disaster?  Is it the U.S. announcing a Pacific century cum New Cold War against China?  Is it the build up towards an attack on Iran?  (well, this one started with Dubya, Dick, and Rummy ages ago …)
    Underneath all these interlinked plots — and the accompanying hysteria of Cold War-style headlines — there’s a never-ending thriller floating downstream:  Pipelineistan.  That’s the chessboard where the half-hidden twin of the Pentagon’s “long war” is played out. Virtually all current geopolitical developments are energy-related. So fasten your seat belts, it’s time to revisit Dr Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “grand chessboard” in Eurasia to find out who’s winning the Pipelineistan wars. …

    2. New Mediterranean oil and gas bonanza
    Published: 26 February, 2012, 17:52 Edited: 26 February, 2012, 17:52
    http://rt.com/news/reserves-offshore-middle-east-engdahl-855/print/

    3. The New Mediterranean Oil and Gas Bonanza: Part II: Rising energy tensions in the Aegean—Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria by F. William Engdahl
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29609

    {{CC: this helps explain why Greece has been bankrupted and taken over
    by the Banksters when in actual fact the country is incredibly rich sitting on
    TRILLIONS of dollars worth of Gas and Oil in its territorial waters…}}

    best regards,

    Carlo

    • Ian Angus March 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

      Carlo: I appreciate the thought you’ve given this. The problem we face isn’t lack of desire or political motivation cover these subjects, but our very limited resources. We are stretched very thin just carrying the material that we now publish! But we would be pleased to consider articles on this subject, if we receive them.

      Let me add that you shouldn’t view C&C as a standalone website. Our partnership with Monthly Review gives us and you access to a much broader range of critical analysis on capitalism.

      I also encourage you to look at the outside articles we link to in Ecosocialist Resources, and at the other green-left and Marxist websites on our Links Page. We’re all in this together!

  2. Rory Short March 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Carlo is right about, basically ‘the rape of the earth’. The problem is it is not new, an element of humankind has been on this trajectory for millennia. It is just that now it looks like this element is surely going to destroy all of us including the element themselves. If only they knew it.

    As I see it we need to open up a totally different mind space for humankind to move into. A mind space which places top priority on consciously cooperating with the natural world and abandons completely any notion of, exploiting it wherever possible. This is a tall order for many people alive today who are blindly committed to the road of exploitation as they see non-exploitation as a way of life as being a capitulation from life rather than an affirmation of humankind’s proper and glorious role in life.

    We can work together with Nature if we put our minds to it. This article @ http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Transgenic_Mosquitoes_Not_a_Solution.php is about just such working together with Nature to solve a problem.

  3. Richard Fidler March 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Very attractive website, Ian. A real improvement. Just one request at this point. I am one of those old-timers who likes to print out long and detailed articles so as to give them the careful consideration they merit. But when I hit “print” on this new website I find that the article runs over the right-hand page limit — which means I have to select the content, copy and paste it into a word-processer program for printing.

    I hope you can remedy this before long.

    • Ian Angus March 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Richard — the “Print This article” link at the top of each article is supposed to deal with this, but there’s a software glitch. We’re working on it!

    • Ian Angus March 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      The “Print this article” link should work properly now. Please let us know if it doesn’t!

      • Carlo Canteri March 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

        Thanks Ian, the PRINT function is now working well, and I especially appreciate the larger clearer print for the comments section. I would welcome one further tweak: and that is to go up another 2 font sizes for the main articles, a little less than the comments section would be ok.

  4. Ben Courtice March 14, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    Looks fresh & well organised. And congratulations on the alliance with MR. Two of my favourite publications brought together – good news!!

  5. Carlo Canteri March 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Thanks for you comments Rory, and your TG Mozzie link!

    I would really like to get reader feedback on the 3 articles I linked to regarding the ‘mendacious machinations’ of Global Energy and Banking – and the likely shocking consequences for both human rights and Earth’s climate.

    What were your reactions when you read them?

    How can we develop an efficient way of integrating this geopolitical and geostrategic information into the ‘context’ of our discussions and information gathering on Climate & Capitalism?

    Do we need a section on the site called ‘CUI BONO’ ??
    Do we have a techno-geek out there who could create a ‘Command f u’ keystroke which would insert a flashing colour-changing ‘CUI BONO’ link into what we write?! This could take us to connected network information around the issue of WHO BENEFITS …

  6. Ellie Sommer March 15, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Ian,

    I ‘ve been reading your Web page for a while as you know. I am more than sympathetic to the perspectives of Climate and Capitalism, except for the population issue, in which case I lean more toward the viewpoint expressed by Saral Sakar.

    I really like the new design for the site. Except the banner illustration. I have been and editor, writer, and publisher for 42 years. Your other site might have been plain, but it was inviting. This banner illustration is decidedly off-putting. And difficult to “read” as we say in publishing. The posters in the fists look like weapons, perhaps this was the intent, and if so, you might consider some focus groups or surveys of regular readers to see what others think of this approach.

    The desire to play off “barbarism” in the subtitle might not be the best choice. I’ll keep reading, but if I send people to your site, they may get the wrong impression initially and not investigate further.

    -Ellie

  7. Ian Angus March 15, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    I’m pleased that Ellie Sommer took the time to write, but I disagree with her criticism of our new banner.

    Far from being “difficult to read,” raised fists and placards are widely understood as symbols of protest and revolt.

    We chose the graphic to underline C&C’s central political perspective: that only mass action and resistance by the poor and oppressed around the world can stop capitalism’s headlong drive to ecological and social destruction.

    That’s a minority position in green circles, where most organizations and websites focus on either individual behaviour change or legislative lobbying. I think our new banner helps to emphasize C&C’s specific character and message.

    But what do other readers think? Let us know … Is our new banner “decidedly off-putting” or a clear political statement?

  8. Tim Heffernan March 15, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    I’m a newcomer to the site so I can’t really compare old with new. Generally, I like the material but here are a couple of qualifiers:

    1. The banner “Climate and Capitalism” is sufficient as a stand alone. “Socialism/ecosocialism or barbarism”, while objectively accurate, comes across as apocalyptic, dramatic and off putting. Let the readers come to the conclusion that socialism is the only alternative.

    2. Why is there a top page link to “Reflections of Fidel”? I am a supporter of the Cuban revolution but I don’t think Castro should be held up to be either a model socialist or environmentalist. Hasn’t the left got over the “cult of personality” from the Mao/Stalin era? It’s even more ironic when the first of Fidel’s reflections is a paean to “the Genius of Chavez.”

  9. Jeff White March 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Congratulations on the new design, Ian!

    I’m hoping we’ll eventually see a Preview function on the Comments box, but other than that I’m happy with the site.

    This is a test to see if the Comment box will accept HTML code.

  10. Doug Taylor March 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi Ian.

    Congratulations on the new website, it’s great.

    I tend to agree with Ellie on the banner though. The fist is overused by the left. I think it should be used more sparingly. Why can’t we develop images that reflect resistance but also solidarity and the humanity that drives us. I try to incorporate images of real people as much as possible in my own blog. No concrete suggestion though.

  11. Jeff White March 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I like the fists, but I think the placards should be replaced with hammers and sickles. 😉

  12. Terry Moore March 16, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    My two favorites sources of in-depth analysis, C&C and Monthly Review working in partnership with each other – what’s not to like about that? Changes to the C&C website have increased its readability and the ability of readers to find past postings. Really looking forward to what the future holds. All the best.

    In Solidarity,

    Terry Moore

  13. Ian Angus March 17, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Tim … “Reflections of Fidel” is a blog maintained by Monthly Review, featuring the remarkable series of essays on Cuban and world events that Fidel Castro has published since his retirement. If you read them, you’ll find that he has been a consistent and incisive critic of capitalism’s assault on the environment.

    What’s more, Cuba’s impressive record of environmentally sustainable development has been hailed by ecologists of all political persuasions.

    So I certainly don’t apologize for promoting it on C&C. It is more than appropriate for ecosocialists to promote and read what Fidel has to say.

    But I agree that it may be confusing to link to that blog alone on our top menu, so I have moved it to our Links page.

  14. Chris Rodgers March 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I’m with Jeff!

    Really though, I find it appropriate after this last year. I believe people are beginning to understand and agree with the urge to join together with signs and chants when we, the common people have no other voice, when those who have stolen power/money feel they no longer have to take the majority of us into consideration.

  15. Martin O'Beirne March 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Hi Ian – Thanks for adding riseupfilms.com
    Some thoughts on the new C&C:

    Looks great! – I imagine it’s social networking reach will increase and the new lay-out will encourage people to stay on the site for longer than before, more likely to stumble upon other articles and so on.

    It does the archive justice.

    It has touches concordant with the monthly review site, same size head banner, rounded edges and so on – so visually the relationship works

    Discussions on imagery are prone to becoming ‘those intellectual toadstools that sprout without end’ so whatever – it’s fine!

    Perhaps a consequence of using small screens; my tablet or netbook, emphasizes what could be regarded as a negative – Partly to do with placement and partly to do with color contrasts elsewhere – I feel the ‘Comments Policy’ & ‘About’ occupy too demanding a position – I’m drawn here before being drawn to your most recently added articles for example – To that end – I guess I kinda like a landing page that is a conventional blog, full articles with most recent at the top – As opposed searching for article fragments and then selecting – However a great strength of C&C is it’s rich archive so this has to be given appropriate weight, and it is…This is a website not a blog..

    But hey – i’m trying hard to think of some constructive criticism – It is very, very good.

    Cheers from UK

    Best
    Martin

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