Ecology for the 99%

Ecology for the 99%

Twenty Capitalist Myths Debunked

By Frédéric Legault, Arnaud Theurillat-Cloutier and Alain Savard, Illustrated by Clément de Gaulejac, Translated by Charles Simard


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If everyone—from Emmanuel Macron to Jeff Bezos, and even Coca Cola—is green, why is the environmental crisis growing at an alarmingly rapid rate? The world is already experiencing the impact of climate crisis, but we are not equally responsible for its violent effects. Some of those who claim to be helping the planet are actually making things worse. To avoid being duped by false allies and to create an ecology for the 99%, we must discuss a radical topic: the exit from capitalism. Ecology for the 99% provides inspiration for building grassroots environmental movements through a lively discussion of the most persistent capitalist myths. It presents compelling evidence for why carbon market policies will fail, why a capitalist economy cannot be based on renewable energy sources, and why we should be protesting against overproduction, not overconsumption.

Ecology for the 99% is an antidote to apathy and a bulwark against false leads. Time is running out, we can’t afford to take any wrong turns.


Ecology for the 99% is a wonderful introduction to the burning issues raised by the ecological crisis and climate change. In clear wording and with precise arguments, it dispels myths and illusions propagated by the conformist media and points to the urgent need to get rid of the system responsible for the crisis: capitalism.”

– Michael Löwy, author of Ecosocialism: A Radical Alternative to Capitalist Catastrophe

“Finally, an eminently accessible introduction to the climate crisis that uses Marxist concepts to expose the capitalist system at the root of the emergency. This is the book we all need to navigate the onslaught of business-as-usual green policies being promoted by the economic and political elite. Ecology for the 99% goes well beyond dispelling myths, it also gifts us compelling proposals for how to build power and win the just future we all deserve.”

– Emily Eaton, professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Regina; co-author of The End of This World: Climate Justice in So-Called Canada

“This punchy, provocative book is part political-economy primer and part organizers’ manual. The authors show that protecting the planet means confronting and defeating the power of those who are profiting from its destruction. Their clarion call for a movement of the 99 percent to take on both climate change and the system that permits it is both timely and hopeful.”

– Jim Stanford, economist and director, Centre for Future Work, Vancouver

“A lucid and compelling account of how the collective power of grassroots movements can break through the barriers to change—economic, political, cultural, and psychological. This book is required reading for anyone interested in a course correction from our current trajectory toward climate catastrophe. Democratic change from below is not only possible; it is indispensable.”

– William K. Carroll, professor, Department of Sociology, University of Victoria

“There are innumerable books on the market today that profess to offer solutions to today’s planetary ecological crisis, while in fact providing merely an ecology for the one percent, in which profits are put before people and the planet. Such works cynically present as the solution to the unparalleled threat before us the very capitalist system that is its cause. Thoroughly refuting all of this in an analysis that also has the virtue of being accessible to everyone, Legault, Theurillat-Cloutier, and Savard provide what can genuinely be considered a much-needed ecology for the 99 percent.”

– John Bellamy Foster, author of The Dialectics of Ecology: Society and Nature


What is capitalism?
Part 1 Criticize
Myth 1: The Problem Is Overconsumption!
Myth 2: The Problem Is Overpopulation!
Myth 3: Everything’s Going to Be Okay: New Tech Will Come to Our Rescue!
Myth 4: The Real Problem Is the Religion of Infinite Growth!
Myth 5: We Are Not the Problem—China Is!
Myth 6: It’s Not about Political Vision, It’s about Science
Myth 7: We’re All in This Together
Myth 8: Nothing Is Preventing Capitalism from Becoming Green!
Myth 9: We Just Need to Make an Energy Transition!
Myth 10: Carbon Markets: They Work!
Part 2 Propose
Myth 11: Capitalism Is Inescapable Because Selfishness Is a Part of Human Nature
Myth 12: Economic Planning Means Going Back to the USSR
Myth 13: Market Is Freedom!
Myth 14: There’s No Alternative to Capitalism Anyway
Part 3 Organize
Myth 15: Democracy’s too slow; the climate emergency can’t wait!
Myth 16: There’s Nothing Left to Do, It’s the End!
Myth 17: The Problem Is That People Have Become Too Individualistic
Myth 18: The Only Way to Mobilize People Is to Have Charismatic Leaders
Myth 19: All We Need Is to Elect an Eco-Friendly Government!
Myth 20: People Have to Organize through Social Media!
Conclusion In the Face of Disaster, the Strategy of the 99 Percent
Appendix Where to Start? Practical Tips for Getting Involved Right Now
Glossary of Technical Terms
Selective and Annotated Bibliography