The green political compass

My mental political compass is a green political compass.

I use the traditional dimensions like left and right, libertarian and authoritarian, and so on.

Mainly, I use a green dimension. To what extent are the policies aligned with ecological realities? What’s the ecological footprint of these policies? Will they help reduce our global ecological overshoot?

Do they reflect an understanding of how thoroughly we need to change our whole civilization to take ecological realities into account? Do they reflect an understanding of the urgency?


Where am I on this compass? One answer is that…

I am reasonably far left. I support good social safety nets, fair wealth distribution, policies that take the needs of the least fortunate into account, and so on. Although I don’t mind green capitalism, it seems a pretty good way to go.

I am also reasonably far on the libertarian side. I strongly support individual freedoms in terms of democracy (a deeper democracy than most societies have today), freedom of religion, freedom of sexual orientation, and so on. At the same time, I favor strong governmental regulations of big corporations and anything that impacts nature.

I am obviously far over on the green side. I favor – and recognize the need for – a thorough transformation of all aspects of our civilization to take ecological realities into account.


A more real answer is that I see the value in a wide range of views and policies.

Each view tends to have some good points. I find it helpful to find and acknowledge the valuable essence in each, although my interpretation may look slightly different from the original.

There is an evolutionary function in each of the general views. The diversity has helped us as a species to survive and still does. Handling the diversity well can help us through our current global ecological crisis.

Taking a bigger picture helps draw something of value from a wider range of views and approaches, and it also helps us take into account the real-world views and opinions people have and deal with it all in a more pragmatic and effective way.

See more on this in the brief outline below of an integral approach.

Please read on. I asked ChatGTP 4o for a summary of these topics.


Prompt: Write about a new political compass where green is the main criterion – how green and ecologically informed the politics is. Mention other political compasses, and also global ecological overshootChatGPT

The Green Political Compass: Redefining Political Orientations

In the evolving landscape of political ideology, a new axis has emerged that places ecological consciousness and sustainability at its core: the Green Political Compass. This new compass evaluates political positions based on how green and ecologically informed they are, providing a crucial lens through which to assess the ecological footprint of political policies and ideologies.

Traditional Political Compasses

Traditional political compasses typically categorize ideologies along two main axes:

  1. Economic Axis: This axis ranges from left (socialist, favoring government intervention in the economy) to right (capitalist, favoring free-market policies).
  2. Social Axis: This ranges from libertarian (emphasizing individual freedom and civil liberties) to authoritarian (favoring state control and regulation of social life).

Other variants, such as the Nolan Chart, include a diagonal spectrum to further dissect libertarian and authoritarian tendencies alongside economic freedom. However, these frameworks often overlook the environmental impact of political ideologies, which is increasingly critical in the face of climate change and ecological degradation.

The Green Political Compass

The Green Political Compass introduces a third dimension, focusing on ecological sustainability. This dimension assesses the degree to which political ideologies prioritize environmental protection, resource conservation, and sustainable development. The new compass can be visualized as follows:

  1. Green Axis: Ranges from deep green (highly ecologically informed, prioritizing sustainability and minimal ecological footprint) to grey (low ecological awareness, prioritizing economic growth over environmental concerns).

Integrating Green Politics

Political entities can be assessed on their position on this Green Axis. For instance:

  • Deep Green (Eco-centric): Policies are heavily focused on renewable energy, zero waste, biodiversity conservation, and strict environmental regulations. Examples include the Green Party in many countries and movements advocating for degrowth or a circular economy.
  • Light Green (Moderate Environmentalism): These policies support sustainable practices but balance them with economic considerations. They might promote green technology, carbon pricing, and incremental reforms. Examples include mainstream parties with strong environmental wings, like some factions within the Democratic Party in the U.S.
  • Grey (Eco-averse): Policies here prioritize economic growth and development, often at the expense of environmental health. These positions may include deregulation of environmental protections and prioritization of fossil fuel industries. Examples include parties that deny climate change or prioritize industrial growth over ecological sustainability.

Global Ecological Overshoot

This new political compass is particularly relevant given the global issue of ecological overshoot. Ecological overshoot occurs when humanity’s demand on nature exceeds the Earth’s capacity to regenerate resources and absorb waste. According to the Global Footprint Network, we currently use the equivalent of 1.7 Earths to sustain our consumption patterns, meaning we are depleting natural resources faster than they can be replenished.

The consequences of ecological overshoot are dire, leading to biodiversity loss, climate change, and resource scarcity. Therefore, incorporating a green dimension into political analysis is essential for steering policies toward sustainable development and ecological resilience.


The Green Political Compass offers a vital new framework for evaluating political ideologies in the context of ecological sustainability. By highlighting how green and ecologically informed different political positions are, this compass can help voters, policymakers, and activists navigate the complex interplay between economic, social, and environmental priorities. As global ecological overshoot continues to threaten our planet’s health, the Green Political Compass provides a necessary tool for fostering political accountability and promoting a sustainable future.


Prompt: If you use the three dimensions: left-right, libertarian-authoritarian, and deep green to grey, what are examples of each of the possible combinations?

Using the three dimensions—left-right (economic), libertarian-authoritarian (social), and deep green to grey (environmental)—we can outline examples for each of the possible combinations:

1. Left-Libertarian-Deep Green

Example: Green Party (many countries)

  • Economic: Advocates for social equality, wealth redistribution, and strong public services.
  • Social: Promotes individual freedoms, civil liberties, and decentralized governance.
  • Environmental: Focuses on environmental sustainability, renewable energy, and ecological protection.

2. Left-Libertarian-Grey

Example: Social Anarchists

  • Economic: Supports social ownership, cooperative management, and anti-capitalist principles.
  • Social: Emphasizes individual autonomy, minimal state intervention, and personal freedoms.
  • Environmental: Less emphasis on environmental issues, possibly prioritizing social revolution over ecological concerns.

3. Left-Authoritarian-Deep Green

Example: Eco-Socialists

  • Economic: Advocates for state control of resources, redistribution of wealth, and social welfare programs.
  • Social: Supports strong state intervention in economic and social matters to achieve equality.
  • Environmental: Prioritizes ecological sustainability, strict environmental regulations, and green industrial policies.

4. Left-Authoritarian-Grey

Example: Traditional Marxist-Leninist Regimes

  • Economic: State control of production, planned economy, and wealth redistribution.
  • Social: Authoritarian control to enforce socialist policies and maintain order.
  • Environmental: Often overlooks environmental concerns in favor of rapid industrialization and economic growth.

5. Right-Libertarian-Deep Green

Example: Eco-Capitalists

  • Economic: Favors free-market policies, minimal government intervention in the economy.
  • Social: Promotes individual freedom, property rights, and limited government.
  • Environmental: Emphasizes market-based solutions for environmental issues, like carbon credits and green innovation.

6. Right-Libertarian-Grey

Example: Traditional Libertarians

  • Economic: Advocates for laissez-faire capitalism, free markets, and reduced government spending.
  • Social: Strong emphasis on personal freedoms, minimal state control.
  • Environmental: Generally deprioritizes environmental regulations, focusing on economic growth and personal responsibility.

7. Right-Authoritarian-Deep Green

Example: Eco-Fascists

  • Economic: Supports a controlled economy with strict regulation to achieve nationalistic goals.
  • Social: Favors strong central authority, strict societal control, and enforcement of traditional values.
  • Environmental: Emphasizes environmental protection and conservation as a form of national duty, sometimes with extreme measures.

8. Right-Authoritarian-Grey

Example: Traditional Conservative Authoritarians

  • Economic: Favors a market economy with some state intervention to protect national interests.
  • Social: Supports strong state control, law and order, and traditional values.
  • Environmental: Often places less emphasis on environmental issues, prioritizing industrial and economic development.

These combinations illustrate the diverse ways in which economic, social, and environmental policies can intersect, providing a nuanced view of political ideologies.


Prompt: What’s an integral approach to all of this?

An integral approach to politics would synthesize elements from all three dimensions—economic (left-right), social (libertarian-authoritarian), and environmental (deep green to grey)—to create a comprehensive framework that balances the best aspects of each. This approach aims to address the complex, interconnected challenges of modern society holistically, acknowledging that economic, social, and environmental issues are deeply intertwined. Here’s how such an approach might look:

1. Economic Policies: Balanced and Inclusive

Example: Progressive Market Economy

  • Economic Orientation: Mix of left and right, promoting both social welfare and economic freedom.
  • Key Policies:
    • Implementing progressive taxation to ensure fair wealth distribution.
    • Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation through supportive market policies.
    • Investing in public services and infrastructure to provide a safety net and promote social mobility.

2. Social Policies: Balanced Libertarianism and Authoritarianism

Example: Social Democracy with Civic Liberties

  • Social Orientation: A blend of libertarian and authoritarian, ensuring individual freedoms while maintaining necessary state interventions.
  • Key Policies:
    • Protecting civil liberties and personal freedoms.
    • Implementing regulations to ensure public safety and social order.
    • Encouraging civic engagement and participatory governance to empower citizens.

3. Environmental Policies: Deep Green Priorities with Pragmatic Implementation

Example: Sustainable Development Framework

  • Environmental Orientation: Prioritizing deep green principles with practical, achievable goals.
  • Key Policies:
    • Committing to renewable energy and reducing carbon footprints through realistic timelines and technologies.
    • Promoting circular economy principles, such as reducing, reusing, and recycling.
    • Integrating ecological education and sustainable practices into all sectors of society.

Integral Approach in Practice

Governance and Policy-making

  • Collaborative Governance: Establish multi-stakeholder platforms involving government, private sector, civil society, and citizens to co-create policies.
  • Evidence-based Policies: Use data and scientific research to inform policy decisions, ensuring they are effective and sustainable.

Economic Initiatives

  • Green Economy Transition: Promote industries that are both economically viable and environmentally sustainable, such as green tech and clean energy.
  • Inclusive Growth: Ensure economic policies benefit all sections of society, reducing inequality while fostering innovation and economic freedom.

Social Framework

  • Empowered Communities: Foster community-based initiatives that allow local populations to take part in decision-making processes.
  • Balanced Regulation: Enforce regulations that protect public welfare without stifling individual freedoms and entrepreneurial activities.

Environmental Sustainability

  • Sustainable Practices: Encourage sustainable agriculture, responsible consumption, and green infrastructure in urban planning.
  • Climate Action: Implement comprehensive climate action plans that include mitigation, adaptation, and resilience-building strategies.

Benefits of an Integral Approach

  1. Holistic Solutions: Addresses multiple dimensions of societal issues simultaneously, reducing trade-offs and unintended consequences.
  2. Resilience: Builds a society that is economically robust, socially cohesive, and environmentally sustainable.
  3. Equity and Inclusion: Ensures that all segments of society benefit from progress and are involved in the decision-making process.
  4. Sustainability: Promotes long-term ecological health and resource availability, ensuring future generations can thrive.

Challenges and Considerations

  • Complexity: Integrating diverse policy areas requires sophisticated governance and coordination mechanisms.
  • Conflict of Interests: Balancing economic growth, social freedoms, and environmental sustainability can lead to conflicts that need careful negotiation.
  • Implementation: Practical implementation of integrated policies demands political will, public support, and adequate resources.


An integral approach to politics, combining economic, social, and environmental dimensions, offers a comprehensive framework to address the multifaceted challenges of our time. By fostering collaboration, leveraging scientific evidence, and prioritizing sustainability, this approach seeks to create a balanced, resilient, and inclusive society.

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