Brian Tokar: Educator, author, activist

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Climate Justice and Community Renewal: Resistance and Grassroots Solutions
Co-edited with Tamra Gilbertson, from Routledge Books (2020).

Climate Justice and Community Renewal uniquely highlights the accounts of people who are directly engaged in local climate struggles and community renewal efforts, including on-the-ground land defenders, community organizers, leaders of international campaigns, agroecologists, activist-scholars, and many others. The book’s many contributors explore the impacts of extreme weather events in Africa, the Caribbean and on Pacific islands, experiences of life-long defenders of the land and forests in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and eastern Canada, and efforts to halt the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure from North America to South Africa. They also illustrate how a just transition toward a fossil-free economy can take shape, as they share efforts to protect water resources, better feed their communities, and implement new approaches to urban policy and energy democracy.

Toward Climate Justice: Perspectives on the Climate Crisis & Social ChangeTCJ cover sm

From New Compass Press (2010, Revised edition 2014) Available from AK Press, iTunes, and

The outlook of Climate Justice offers a renewed grassroots response to the climate crisis. Toward Climate Justice explains the case for Climate Justice and explores the evolution of climate justice as an emerging movement. The book explores the evolution of climate policy through various UN summits and US legislation, and also challenges the myths underlying carbon markets and other false solutions. The concluding chapters explore utopian vs. apocalyptic outlooks in the movement and the contributions of social ecology.

Stan Cox, a prolific author and research coordinator at the Land Institute in Kansas, recently reviewed Toward Climate Justice for the online journal, Green Social Thought.

Agriculture & Food in Crisis: Conflict, Resistance and RenewalAg-Food Crisis

Co-edited with Fred Magdoff From Monthly Review Press (2010)

The failures of “free-market” capitalism are perhaps nowhere more evident than in the production and distribution of food. In Agriculture and Food in Crisis, Fred Magdoff and Brian Tokar have assembled an exceptional collection of scholars from around the world to explore the politics of growing food insecurity and the rise of global resistance. International contributors include Walden Bello, Miguel Altieri, Peter Rosset, Christina Schiavoni and many others.

Gene Traders: Biotechnology, World Trade and the Globalization of HungerGene Traders

From Toward Freedom (2004)

Seven international authors show how the interplay of trade policy, “development” politics and biotechnology increases dependency and hunger, while compromising the survival of traditional farmers and their communities.

Redesigning Life?: The Worldwide Challenge to Genetic EngineeringRedesigning Life

Zed Books (UK) and McGill-Queens University Press (Canada, 2001)

Twenty-six internationally respected critics offer their analysis of the issues, their social and ethical implications, and the stories behind the headlines that have brought genetic engineering to the forefront of public controversy worldwide.

Earth For Sale: Reclaiming Ecology in the Age of Corporate GreenwashEarth for Sale

South End Press, 1997

Examines official, corporate-funded environmentalism and numerous grassroots alternatives. Traces the implications of the struggles of the 1990s for a renewed ecological movement in the 21st century.

The Green Alternative: Creating an Ecological FutureGreen Alternative

R&E Miles/New Society Publishers, 1992

The first book to fully explore the emergence of grassroots Green politics in the US, first published in 1987, and revised in 1992.

Brian Tokar is an activist and author, and a long-time faculty and board member of the Institute for Social Ecology. He has served since 2008 as a lecturer in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont. Brian is the author of The Green Alternative (1987, Revised 1992), Earth for Sale (1997), and Toward Climate Justice: Perspectives on the Climate Crisis and Social Change (2010, Revised 2014), and he has also edited three volumes on biotechnology and food issues.  His latest book is Climate Justice and Community Renewal: Resistance and Grassroots Solutions (Routledge, 2020), an international collection on grassroots climate responses, coedited with Tamra Gilbertson. He was a founding board member of Vermont’s affiliate, 350Vermont, and served on that board for ten years. He has contributed to several recent international collections, including The Routledge Handbook on the Climate Change Movement (2014) and Handbook of Climate Justice (2019), Climate Justice and the Economy (2018), Social Ecology and Social Change (2015), Globalism and Localization: Emergent Solutions to Our Ecological and Social Crises (2019), and Pluriverse: The Post-Development Reader (2019).

List of published articles (to be updated):  Download

On Global Warming and Climate Justice (Marshfield, Vermont, Spring 2016)

Climate Change as a Challenge to Democracy (University of Oslo, September 2014)

GMO Labeling Celebration (Vermont State House, July 2016)

(Full interview begins at 26:31)

“Nuclear Fusion: Don’t believe the hype!” posted on ZNetwork, CommonDreams, Counterpunch and several other websites, including Spanish and Italian translations, December 2022

“On the IPCC’s latest climate report: What does it tell us?” posted on Climate & Capitalism, MR Online and several other websites, August 2021

“Climate Justice and Movement Building: An Interview by Prof. Aaron Adam,” published by and Counterpunch, June 2021

“Think Globally, Act Locally? Opening Reflections for a Global Transition Initiative Forum,” August 2019

Communalism Against Climate Chaos,” ROAR Magazine Issue #7, Winter 2018

“On Social Ecology and the Movement for Climate Justice,” in Stefan G. Jacobsen, ed., Climate Justice and the Economy: Social mobilization, knowledge and the political (Routledge, Summer 2018)

“On the evolution and continuing development of the climate justice movement,” in Tahseen Jafry, ed., The Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice (May 2018)

“Social Ecology,” in Pluriverse:  A Post-Development Dictionary, edited by A. Kothari, A. Escobar, A. Salleh, F. Demaria and A. Acosta

“The Paris Climate Agreement: Hope or Hype?,” CommonDreams, December 2015, also posted on Counterpunch, ZNet, Toward Freedom, Popular Resistance,, and other websites

“Is the Paris climate conference designed to fail?,” CommonDreams, November 2015, also posted on The Ecologist, Counterpunch, ZNet, Toward Freedom, Popular Resistance, and other websites

“Democracy, Localism and the Future of the Climate Movement,” World Futures: The Journal of New Paradigm Research, Volume 71, Issue 3-4, 2015

“45 Years of Earth Days – A Critical Overview,” The Long View No. 19 (Oregon State Bar Sustainable Future Section), Spring 2015

“Climate Change as a Democratic Challenge,” in E. Eiglad, ed., Social Ecology and Social Change, New Compass Press, 2015

“The Project of Making History,” Occupied Times of London No. 26 (October 2014), reposted by Counterpunch, ZNet, Toward Freedom, and Green Issues (, in Dutch translation)

“The GMO threat to food sovereignty: Science, resistance and transformation,” in W. Schanbacher, ed., The Global Food System: Issues and Solutions, Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2014

“Tar Sands, Extreme Energy and the Future of the Climate Movement,” in Black, D’Arcy, Weis & Russell, eds., A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice, Toronto: Between the Lines and Oakland: PM Press, 2014 (in press); Greek translation of this chapter appeared in Eutopía, Number 22, December 2013

“Myths of ‘green capitalism’,” New Politics, Winter 2014

Photo credits (top of page): Carlos Martinez (left), Emily Ahtunan (right)