Ecosocialist Notebook
Recommended reading

Ecosocialist Resources, January 2017

Ian Angus recommends three book reviews on ecological Marxism, and two websites that eviscerate climate science deniers. 


Ecosocialist Resources, published from time to time in Climate & Capitalism, links to articles, reports, talks, websites and videos that are relevant to our mission. If you read or write an article that might be appropriate for this column, please post your suggestion in the Climate and Capitalism Facebook group.

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Three book reviews

The latest issue of International Socialism, the quarterly journal associated with the Socialist Workers Party (UK) features three book reviews of particular interest and importance to ecosocialists.

Ecology and Value Theory, by Jean Parker, reviews Jason W. Moore’s controversial book Capitalism in the Web of Life. Parker focuses on Moore’s revisions to Marx’s theory of value, and she isn’t impressed. Moore, she  writes, “positions as an extension what is actually a fundamental rejection of Marx’s approach.” As a result, his approach “cannot explain the dynamism, flux and devastation of historical capitalism.”

Marxism and the Earth: A Defense of the Classical Tradition, by Martin Empson, reviews Marx and the Earth: An Anti Critique, by John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett. Empson calls it “a rigorous defence of Marx’s and Engels’s engagement with wider scientific ideas that are of importance to ecology.” (This book will be released by Haymarket Books in March, in a more affordable paperback edition.)

Why is Capitalism Addicted to Fossil Fuels? by Amy Leather, reviews Andreas Malm’s Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming. She calls it “Essential reading for any activist or socialist seeking to understand why fossil fuels are so dominant. … not only does it further our understanding of why we are where we are, but also puts class struggle centre stage.”

And two websites

I avoid debating with climate science deniers: life is just too short. Fortunately, there are some science-savvy people who have more patience than I do. Here are two websites that I read regularly.

Miriam O’Brien (aka Sou) has mastered the art of both ridiculing the absurdities and obsessions of climate science deniers, and countering them with accessible and insightful tutorials on what the science actually says. Her blog, HotWhopper, is educational and frequently hilarious. As she says, “It’s not a high-brow blog, it’s rife with bad puns and sarcasm and snark. But the science it refers to is solid.”

Another powerful counter to climate science denial is Skeptical Science, whose purpose is to “explain what peer reviewed science has to say about global warming.” It isn’t as amusing as HotWhopper, but it is more comprehensive. If you ever need to reply to a science denier (or to someone who has been confused by the deniers), this is the first place to look for reliable science-based refutations.

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