#deep_ecology

  • The Danger of Anti-Immigrant Extremism Posing as Environmentalism—and Who Funds It

    With President Joe Biden in the White House and Vice President Kamala Harris providing the deciding vote in the Senate, a range of long-sought Democratic policy goals are back in play, albeit just barely. That includes ambitious agendas on immigration and the environment.

    Could this be the administration that pushes through comprehensive immigration reform after decades of failed attempts? Will youth activists and the burgeoning movement for a Green New Deal provide a pathway to major climate legislation? If so, advocates and their funders alike face a tough road ahead, including an obstructionist congressional minority and opponents on both fronts that will look to appeal to the public’s darkest impulses to build opposition.

    At this inflection point, a report this month from the Center for American Progress, “The Extremist Campaign to Blame Immigrants for U.S. Environmental Problems,” offers a timely overview of the history of how opponents of immigration falsely portray it as a threat to the natural world—a strategy we’re likely to see more of in the months ahead. The report offers a valuable review of these efforts, ranging from the past anti-immigrant stances of some of the nation’s best-known environmental groups to the funders that have bankrolled the nation’s largest anti-immigration groups.

    Four years of an administration defined by its opposition to immigration, plus growing attention to climate change, breathed new life into the toxic and racist narrative of immigrants as a cause of environmental degradation. As the report lays out, this argument—often part of a right-wing, white supremacist ideology known as ecofascism, though CAP’s report does not use the term—found allies in the top echelons of government and media, including a former head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and conservative commentators like Ann Coulter and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

    In contemporary politics, this strategy is mainly seen as a right-wing phenomenon or an artifact of the racist and Eurocentric early history of conservation. Yet the fact that anti-immigrant sentiment found a home within top environmental groups, including Earthfirst! and the Sierra Club, which had a major faction in support of these ideas as late as 2004, is a reminder that it has found fertile soil in a variety of political camps. That makes the narrative all the more dangerous, and one against which funders working in both immigration and the environment ought to take a firm and vocal stance.

    Who’s funding anti-immigration work in the name of the environment?

    Although not comprehensive, the report highlights three funders as key backers of anti-immigration groups: Colcom Foundation, Weeden Foundation and Foundation for the Carolinas. The first two are, in their branding and language, environmental funders—and make those grants in the name of preventing further damage to the natural world.

    Colcom, founded by Mellon Bank heir Cordelia Scaife May, is far and away the largest funder. With a roughly $500 million endowment, it has provided a large share of the support for a network of groups founded by John Tanton, a Sierra Club official in the 1980s, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls “the racist architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement.”

    Recipients include NumbersUSA, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and the Center for Immigration Studies, which we once called “Trump’s favorite immigration think tank.” The latter two are classified as hate groups by the SPLC, a designation the organizations reject.

    In keeping with the bending of reflexive political categories, it’s worth noting that May—who died in 2005—was also a substantial funder of Planned Parenthood due to her prioritization of “population control” as a means of achieving conservation. In 2019, the New York Times documented May’s dark journey to becoming a leading funder of the modern anti-immigrant movement, and the millions her foundation continued to move, long after her death, in support of ideas that gained a receptive audience in a nativist Trump administration. May’s wealth came from the Mellon-Scaife family fortune, which yielded several philanthropists, including another prominent conservative donor, Richard Mellon Scaife.

    Weeden, led by Don Weeden, has funded a similar who’s who of top anti-immigration groups, as well as lower-profile or regional groups like Californians for Population Stabilization, Progressives for Immigration Reform—which CAP calls the “most central organization in the anti-immigrant greenwashing universe”—and the Rewilding Institute.

    Both Weeden and Colcom, as well as the groups they fund, generally say they are neither anti-immigrant nor anti-immigration. Aside from restrictionist policy positions and racist comments by former leaders, it is revealing that the groups they fund are the favored information sources for some of the most virulently anti-immigrant politicians, both historically and among those who rose prominence during the Trump administration. For a deeper dive on Weeden and Colcom, see my colleague Philip Rojc’s excellent 2019 piece on these grantmakers.

    Finally, there is the Foundation for the Carolinas, which in many ways is a typical community foundation, with initiatives on topics from COVID-19 relief to local arts. But it also hosts a donor-advised fund that has supported several anti-immigration groups, including Center for Immigration Studies, FAIR and NumbersUSA. That fund channeled nearly $21 million to nine such groups between 2006 and 2018, according to the report.

    There’s a connection here to a larger problem of private foundations and DAFs, some of which are housed at community foundations, supporting 501(c)(3) nonprofits identified as hate groups, according to a recent analysis from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Foundation for the Carolinas also made its list of top donors to these groups.

    An ideology funders must fight against

    As the debates over both immigration and climate policies move forward under this new administration, and the opposition marshals efforts to defeat them, this report offers a helpful guide to this enduring and noxious myth. It’s also an important reminder that if these ideas are not called actively combated, they can take root within well-intentioned efforts. Though it seems only a small number of foundations directly fund groups advancing these ideas, anti-immigrant sentiment is insidious.

    For example, while some commentators are suggesting that acceding to Trump-fueled demands for a border wall is how Congress could reach bipartisan action on immigration reform, the report notes how the existing sections of wall are ineffective against furtive crossings, disruptive to species migration, and in violation of Indigenous sacred sites. These facts—and more broadly, the connection to white supremacist and fascist movements—should put foundations on guard, whether they support grantees pushing for immigration reform, action on climate or both.

    With the United States and other nations facing greater and greater pressures from climate change—particularly as it forces migration from regions like Latin America and the Middle East—philanthropy would do well to be proactive now and draw a bright line in countering this ideology’s propagation.

    https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/2/24/anti-immigrant-environmentalism-is-resurgent-new-report-looks-at
    #extrême_droite #anti-migrants #USA #Etats-Unis #environnementalisme #environnement #migrations #nature #dégradation_environnementale #écofascisme #éco-fascisme #suprématisme_blanc #extrême_droite #Ann_Coulte #Tucker_Carlson #racisme #Earthfirst #Sierra_Club #deep_ecology #fondations #Colcom_Foundation #Weeden_Foundation #Foundation_for_the_Carolinas #Mellon_Bank #Cordelia_Scaife_May #mécénat #John_Tanton #NumbersUSA #Federation_for_American_Immigration_Reform (#FAIR) #Center_for_Immigration_Studies #Planned_Parenthood #démographie #contrôle_démographique #néo-malthusianisme #néomalthusianisme #protection_de_l'environnement #philanthropie #Richard_Mellon_Scaife #Weeden #Don_Weeden #Californians_for_Population_Stabilization #Progressives_for_Immigration_Reform #Rewilding_Institute

    • The Extremist Campaign to Blame Immigrants for U.S. Environmental Problems

      With growing frequency over the past four years, right-wing pundits, policymakers, and political operatives have fiercely and furiously blamed immigrants for the degradation and decline of nature in the United States. William Perry Pendley, who temporarily ran the U.S. Bureau of Land Management under former President Donald Trump, saw “immigration as one of the biggest threats to public lands,” according to an agency spokesperson.1 A handful of right-wing anti-immigration zealots, including Joe Guzzardi, have repeatedly misused data published by the Center for American Progress on nature loss to make xenophobic arguments for anti-immigration policies.2 This so-called “greening of hate”—a term explored by Guardian reporter Susie Cagle—is a common refrain in a wide range of conservative and white supremacist arguments, including those of Ann Coulter, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, and the manifestos of more than one mass shooter.3

      The claim that immigration is to blame for America’s environmental problems is so absurd, racist, and out of the mainstream that it is easily debunked and tempting to ignore. The scientific community, and the little research that has been conducted in this area, resoundingly refutes the premise. Consider, for example, the environmental damage caused by weak and inadequate regulation of polluting industries; the destruction of wildlife habitat to accommodate wealthy exurbs and second homes; the design and propagation of policies that concentrate toxic poisons and environmental destruction near communities of color and low-income communities; the continued subsidization of fossil fuel extraction and trampling of Indigenous rights to accommodate drilling and mining projects; and the propagation of a throw-away culture by industrial powerhouses. All of these factors and others cause exponentially more severe environmental harm than a family that is fleeing violence, poverty, or suffering to seek a new life in the United States.

      The extremist effort to blame immigrants for the nation’s environmental problems deserves scrutiny—and not merely for the purpose of disproving its xenophobic and outlandish claims. The contours, origins, funding sources, and goals of this right-wing effort must be understood in order to effectively combat it and ensure that the extremists pushing it have no place in the conservation movement. The individuals and organizations that are most fervently propagating this argument come largely from well-funded hate groups that are abusing discredited ideologies that were prevalent in the 19th-century American conservation movement in an attempt to make their racist rhetoric more palatable to a public concerned about the health of their environment.

      While leaders of the contemporary, mainstream environmental movement in the United States have disavowed this strain of thought and are working to confront the legacies of colonialism and racism in environmental organizations and policies, a small set of right-wing political operatives are trying to magnify overtly xenophobic and false environmental arguments to achieve specific political objectives. In particular, these right-wing political operatives and their deep-pocketed funders are seeking to broaden the appeal of their anti-immigration zealotry by greenwashing their movement and supplying their right-wing base with alternative explanations for environmental decline that sidestep the culpability of the conservative anti-regulatory agenda. In their refusal to confront the true reasons for environmental decline, they are hurting the people—immigrants, Indigenous peoples, and people of color—who bear a disproportionate burden of environmental consequences and are increasingly the base of the climate justice and conservation movements.

      (...)

      https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/reports/2021/02/01/495228/extremist-campaign-blame-immigrants-u-s-environmental-problems

  • L’alternative biorégionaliste
    https://metropolitiques.eu/L-alternative-bioregionaliste.html

    Sommes-nous condamnés à être les témoins impuissants, sinon les acteurs d’un écocide généralisé ? Quelles solutions pouvons-nous avancer pour se reconnecter à la nature ? Comment réinventer un habitat respectueux du vivant ? Le « manifeste biorégionaliste » de Mathias Rollot apporte des réponses à ces questions. Le biorégionalisme est un mouvement d’écologie profonde créé dans les années 1970 par d’anciens Diggers, groupe anarchiste san-franciscain très actif au cours de la décennie précédente (Gaillard 2014). #Commentaires

    / #territoire, #biorégion, #géographie, #écologie

    https://metropolitiques.eu/IMG/pdf/met_stuppia.pdf

  • Comment la technologie entrave l’évolution et détruit le monde | Le Partage
    http://partage-le.com/2015/09/comment-la-technologie-entrave-levolution-et-detruit-le-monde

    Il remet en question le point de vue selon lequel la technologie étendrait la démocratie et affirme qu’elle concentre, au contraire, de plus en plus le pouvoir entre les mains d’une élite toujours plus restreinte. Ce qui le dérange le plus, c’est que les mouvements sociaux et environnementaux censés s’opposer à la nature destructrice des méga-technologies, sont en réalité tombés sous leur charme.

    « Nous avons été mauvais dans notre analyse systémique, et particulièrement dans le domaine de la critique de la technologie », explique Tompkins, qui a été profondément influencé par le philosophe Norvégien Arne Naess, qui appelait au démantèlement de la société techno-industrielle.