Environmental movement mourns the loss of Barry Commoner 1917-2012

Barry CommonerBarry Commoner died in New York on September 30, at the age of 95. He never called himself an ecosocialist - the word didn't even exist when he was most active - but his writing and activity helped lay the basis for our movement. He was one of our most important precursors.

He was a founder of the modern environmental movement, an anti-war activist, and a powerful critic of capitalism. His 1971 book The Closing Circle was a pioneering analysis of the economic and social causes of environmental destruction. At a time when most writers were blaming individual behaviour or overpopulation for pollution, Commoner exposed the role of capitalism and profit.

He is particularly remembered for the "Four Laws of Ecology" he laid out in The Closing Circle: (1) Everything is connected to everything else. (2) Everything must go somewhere. (3) Nature knows best. (4) There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Read more about this extraordinary enviromentalist