Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/19/grand-lorax.html
Ecofascism isn't new: white supremacy and exterminism have always lurked in the environmental movement
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/19/grand-lorax.html
Because Whites have done so well in the ecology department…
[note sadly the sarcasm]
Isn’t this what Thanos tried to do?
From the communalist/social ecologist perspective, who have been warning about the threat of ecofascism for decades
I remember in Daniel Keyes Moran’s Continuing Time trilogy, the U.N. has forced a global government on Earth’s inhabitants, and implemented Chinese-style population control measures. But they weren’t exterminating people. Funny how the people who back these extreme ideologies always are sure that, in giving power to do mass killing to governments, they are not going to be on the kill list.
On the other hand, Breivik in his manifest denounced global warming as a hoax. The basis is hate and xenophobia, then you just have to add exactly why you should hate those who are different based on some popular current issue. It may be crime, globalization, communism, capitalism,environment. In every case it’s the people you don’t like anyway who are to blame.
“Ecofascism is a form of nihilism, one that holds that it’s easier to murder half the people on Earth than it is to reform our industrial practices to make our population sustainable.”
After recently watching both ‘Godzilla: King of Monsters’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in the span of a few days it occurred to me that the motivation for the villains in both is basically this.
The green movement has always had some fairly dodgy hangers-on.
Some more of them that we haven’t mentioned in the article
The hard and primitivist wings of the green movement have always had a bit of an issue with the general public’s disinclination to voluntarily adopt the most extreme hair shirt forms of environmentalism, to the extent that some of them want to destroy industrial civilization by force.
Echoes of the anti democracy trend can also be found trying to seize control of the “climate emergency” notion, as only shock doctrine style bypassing of public opinion would stand a chance of implementing some of the more extreme plans.
Bullseye. People so often mix up cause and effect in situations like this, (also see religion, racism, etc.). These kinds of nutbars flat out want to kill (the ultimate form of power) so they find some rationale that makes it seem justified. Not the other way round.
What’s painfully ironic about this is, the opposite approach - providing a high level of education, health care, and standard of living - to people almost always leads to lower, if not negative, population growth. It has not been done on a global scale, but on the scale of nations, including some very populous ones, it’s a pretty solid formula.
While the idea of carrying capacity can be misused it would be the worst form of bullshit to dismiss it as fascist. It is an absolutely firmly established and incredibly useful concept in biology and ecology.
The idea that there’s some magical number of humans that is the correct, sustainable limit for the planet is absolutely bullshit, because sustainability has at least as much to do with how people live than how many people there are.
What’s the number of people the planet can sustain indefinitely? You’ll get a very different answer if you’re talking about a world fed by hunter-gatherers than a world fed by efficient agriculture.
When a person living a first-world lifestyle filled to the brim with internal-combustion cars and disposable packaging points to a subsistence farmer and says “you have to have fewer children because this planet can’t fit any more people like you” then the person making the claim needs to shut the fuck up.
It’s just a racist spin on the maximum population cap idea that Malthusianism embodies. Nazis want non-white “excess” people gone. The rest of the elites want poor “excess” people gone (poor -> unworthy -> “excess”; 'cuz`Murica is a meritocracy, and all bad guys are poor because they have no merit, 'cuz all the worties are rich, which proves their worthiness). Not much difference, if you ask me.
In a broad sense this is a conflict between techno-optimists (who believe that scientific progress can provide access to more and more dense energy sources, thus sustaining the growth, and that we can afford to grow now - future progress will allow us to pay the environment debt that this growth will incur) and techno-pessimists (who believe that we’re at peak energy source density, and that we have to stop looking for better energy and start managing it better (the definition of “better” varies between facists, Malthusians, liberals, left, right, etc), and that we should stop growing (or, more realistically, kill more people, since it’s easy to do that en masse - one of the reasons why people are still being bombed in 21th century))). As it usually happens, the truth is somewhere in the middle and pursuing one of the extremes is suboptimal.
And NPR’s The Daily just did a good piece on how Cordelia May went from a zero population growth advocate to massively funding the Big 3 anti-immigration orgs that have shaped the current debacle. Along the way she went from a environmentalist and feminist to a raging racist.
Blah blqh true scotsman blah blah blah.
Dear God, the magical thinking and Trump-like optimism that if you just ram your fingers in your ears and scream “LALALALALA!!! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!” nothing bad can happen.
There are limits to usable water, clean air, genetic diversity, ocean life, arable land, and a hundred other things. We passed them a while ago. It has been decades since we passed the point where more than half of all photosynthesis on Earth was human economic activity. Every single major aquifer in the world is degraded. We are using renewable resources about twice as fast as they’re getting renewed. Genetic diversity is plummeting irreversibly. Global warming has passed the point where we can arrest it, and now the only question is “How bad will it get?” Ocean fish stocks have dropped by over 90% in the past couple centuries and cannot recover for thousands of years. Diversity in land life would take millions of years to recover if every human being disappeared today.
And all you can say is “Maybe, somewhere out there, a Magical Science Person could scatter Magic Science Dust and make it all better.” Maybe. But the odds are against it. And unless you can show it to me I and every other person who isn’t utterly delusional will try to deal with the world as it is with the resources we have and the technology we can reasonably project.
So yes, carrying capacity is real. We have passed the limit of sustainability. Now we have to deal with that. The Koch-whores will tell you there isn’t a problem. The Randroids will tell you there’s always more of whatever we need. The Gibbertarians will wharrr-garble about how if we just got rid of gummint the Market would automagically make it all better. The Cannibal Cult of the Blood Drinkers will tell that we don’t have to worry because we were given Dominion over the Earth and Dead Jew Onna Stick won’t let anything bad happen.
You can take all these religious faiths and bin them. We have to deal with the realities. And those realities are that we need to drastically change what we’re doing because it can’t continue because we spent our capital and ate the seed corn and have shit in our bed.
Malthus didn’t believe in any maximum population. His thesis was that human reproduction had the potential to outstrip any gains in productivity, and that’s why starvation continued to be a problem even with progress in agriculture. His solution was abstinence and later marriages to reduce birth rates. We got more contraceptives and abortions instead, but the basic idea proved correct in the West.