A future without fossil fuels

Protest outside Schlumberger’s research centre in Cambridge.

The Ecologist today publishes Strategy 2023-6 promising a greater focus on the impacts of the fossil fuel economy - and a vision of a regenerative future.

The activists, campaigners and academics engaged in protecting our planet are the hope in this world.

Crop-scorching heatwaves and floods leaving millions homeless and hungry in Pakistan; the shelling of one of the world's largest nuclear power stations; unprecedented increases in the costs of fossil fuel energy to heat and light our homes.

These are just some of the existential crises that have been taking place during the last few hours and days. The impacts of our global fossil fuel addicted economy have never been so obvious - and so frightening.

How can we respond to such enormous threats, especially when mass movements and democratic organisations have been broken and removed the world over in the name of neoliberal economics.

Disaster

There has been an extremely courageous and strategic response to the environmental crises we now face, both in the UK and around the world. This includes the activism of Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion, Ende Gelände - and from hundreds of thousands of activists beyond Europe. 

The team at The Ecologist has been busy behind the scenes developing a clear and compelling strategy so that we can use the small amount of resources available to the best effect, providing a useful service to front line activists and campaigners.

The strategy we have published today includes a laser-like focus on the fossil fuel economy that is the primary driver of ecological crises - from climate breakdown, through biodiversity collapse, and including the ongoing wars for oil and other resources. 

Strategy 2023-26
Download the strategy now.

We have a small team of one and a half staff, and a programme budget of £74,000 a year. We want to raise a further £70,000 a year to employ a full time economics journalist who can help us explain why capital accumulation, the pursuit of profit, and the neglect of environmental and social costs, is the driver of all the different problems that now threaten to overwhelm us.

We have already begun to publish a special series - authored by Professor Herbert Girardet, and titled Megamophosis - that will explain how the huge scale and extractive and ruinous nature of our current economic systems are driving ecological disaster.

Impact

We intend to publish two further new series. The first will look at how the UK is dependent on fossil fuels that are extracted from countries in Europe, Africa, and the former Soviet Union. This dependence is almost always coupled to ecological and social injustice in the countries we trade with.

The second will develop a "philosophy of energy" to explain why fossil fuels became so important for, and a threat to, humanity - and indeed life in the known universe.

We hope that by publishing our strategy we can ensure our readers know what to expect: that The Ecologist will continue to provide educational journalism focussed on systems thinking and heterodox economics - as well as short, informative news stories about the myriad impacts of our fossil fuel economies.

We also want the strategy to be the basis of better and more constant working with activists and organisations on the front line of the campaign to end the fossil fuel economy, and to be transparent and accountable to our funders and supporters. This provides clarity for our readers and potential future funders.

The activists, campaigners and academics engaged in protecting our planet are the hope in this world. We hope that on occasion the articles and essays we publish here will help them to have as much impact as possible. 

This Author

Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist. Yasmin Dahnoun is assistant editor of The Ecologist. If you would like to provide feedback on the new strategy, then place write to us at brendan@theecologist.org. You can make a donation to the Ecologist Writers Fund through the Enthuse platform.

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The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate now.