• The far-right and environmentalism overlap is bigger than you think — and growing

    At first glance, the modern environmental movement and the far-right movement – including anti-immigrant and white supremacist groups – might appear to be on opposing sides of the political ideology spectrum. But overlap does exist.

    Researchers say this intersection between the far-right and environmentalism is bigger than many people realize – and it’s growing.

    “As climate change kind of turns up the heat, there’s going to be all sorts of new kinds of political contestations around these issues,” Alex Amend said.

    Amend used to track hate groups at the Southern Poverty Law Center. These days he researches eco-fascism. He says once you start to look at this overlap, you find two big misconceptions.

    “One that the right is always a climate denialist movement. And two that environmental politics are always going to be left-leaning,” Amend said.

    Conservative leaders – from Rush Limbaugh to former President Donald Trump – have certainly denied climate change in the past.

    But today, a different argument is becoming more common on the conservative political fringe.
    When environmentalism and right-wing politics align

    On the podcast “The People’s Square,” a musician who goes by Stormking described his vision for a far-right reclamation of environmentalism.

    “Right-wing environmentalism in this country is mostly – especially in more modern times – an untried attack vector,” Stormking said. “And it has legs, in my opinion.”

    “Attack vector” is an apt choice of words because this ideology has been used in literal attacks.

    In El Paso, Texas, in 2019, a mass shooter killed more than 20 people and wounded more than 20 others. He told authorities he was targeting Mexicans. He also left behind a manifesto.

    “The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations,” the shooter wrote. “If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”

    He titled that manifesto, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which was also the name of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning 2006 documentary about climate change.

    Anti-immigrant environmental arguments pop up in more official places too – like court filings.

    Last July, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the federal government. He claimed that the Biden administration’s decision to stop building the border wall was a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.

    "I wish people like, you know, the environmentalists cared half as much about human beings and what’s going on in Arizona as they do, or they supposedly do, about plant and wildlife, Brnovich said in an interview with KTAR News.

    Brnovich argued that because migrants leave trash in the desert, a border wall is needed to protect the environment.

    “We know that there’s information out there that says that every time someone crosses the border, they’re leaving between six and eight pounds of trash in the desert,” he said. “That trash is a threat to wildlife. It’s a threat to natural habitats.”

    Mainstream environmental organizations take the opposite view — that a wall will harm ecosystems on the border. A federal judge ultimately tossed out Brnovich’s case.

    Environmental politics are not always left-leaning

    This strain of anti-immigrant environmentalism may be growing today — but it isn’t new. And that brings up another misconception — that environmental politics are always left-leaning.

    The truth is, eco-fascism has a long history, both in the U.S. and in Europe. Blair Taylor is a researcher at the Institute for Social Ecology. He said even the Nazis saw themselves as environmentalists.

    “The idea that natural purity translates into racial or national purity – that was one that was very central to the Nazis’ environmental discourse of blood and soil,” Taylor said.

    In the 90s when Taylor started reading books about the environmental movement, he stumbled upon some ideas that seemed very wrong.

    “There is this earlier very nativist, exclusionary and racist history of environmental thought,” Taylor said. “It was very much based on this idea of nature as a violent competitive and ultimately very hierarchical domain where, you know, white Europeans were at the top. So that’s been rediscovered, I think, by the alt-right.”

    Taylor was kind of horrified to learn that in some ways, the environmental movement was founded on ideas of white supremacy.

    The word “ecology” was even coined by a German scientist, Ernst Haeckel, who also contributed to the Nazis’ ideas about a hierarchy of races. This history applies to the United States, too.

    The history of the environmental movement is colored by white supremacy

    Dorceta Taylor is a professor at Yale University and author of The Rise of the American Conservation Movement: Power, Privilege, and Environmental Protection.

    Taylor’s research helped reveal parts of American environmental history that had not been widely known.

    “We see a taking of Native American lands to turn into park spaces that are described as empty, untouched by human hands, pristine, to be protected,” Taylor said.

    “Environmental leaders are very, very at fault for setting up this narrative around, you know, untouched spaces. And to preserve them, Native people must be removed, the lands taken from them and put under federal or state #protection ... so this is where the language of preservation really crosses over into this narrative of #exclusion.”

    Taylor read the notes and diaries of early American environmentalists and learned that the movement to preserve natural spaces in the U.S. was partly motivated by a backlash against the racial mixing of American cities.

    “White elites, especially white male elites, wanted to leave the spaces where there was racial mixing,” she said. “And this discomfort around racially mixed neighborhoods infuses the discourse of those early conservation leaders.”

    Organizations are confronting their exclusionary pasts

    The connections between environmentalism and xenophobia in the U.S. are long and deep. In recent years, some prominent groups, including the Sierra Club, have begun to publicly confront their own exclusionary history.

    “We’re not just going to pretend that the problem’s not happening. We’re actively going to do the responsible thing and begin to address it,” said Hop Hopkins, the Sierra Club’s director of organizational transformation.

    The organization went through its own transformation. In the 20th century, the group embraced racist ideas that overpopulation was the root of environmental harm.

    In fact, in 1998 and again in 2004, anti-immigrant factions tried to stage a hostile takeover of the Sierra Club’s national board. They failed, but the organization learned a lesson from those experiences — you can’t just ignore these ideas or wish them away.

    “We need to be educating our base about these dystopian ideas and the scapegoating that’s being put upon Black, indigenous and people of color and working-class communities, such that they’re able to identify these messages that may sound like they’re environmental, but we need to be able to discern that they’re actually very racist,” Hopkins said.

    It’s common to come across people who say they believe in the environmental movement and the racial justice movement, but don’t believe the movements have anything to do with each other. That disbelief is why Hopkins said he does the work he does.

    That work goes beyond identifying the racism and bigotry in the environmental movement. It also means articulating a vision that can compete with eco-fascism. Because as climate change increases, more people will go looking for some narrative to address their fears of collapse, says Professor Emerita Betsy Hartmann of Hampshire College.

    “If you have this apocalyptic doomsday view of climate change, the far-right can use that doomsday view to its own strategic advantage,” Hartmann said.

    In that way, the threat of eco-fascism has something in common with climate change itself.

    The problem is visible now – and there is time to address it, but the longer people wait, the harder it’s going to be.


    #écologie #extrême_droite #environnementalisme #idéologie #idéologie_politique #éco-fasiscme #anti-migrants #migrations #wildlife #nature


    Cette phrase autour des #déchets laissés par les migrants sur leur chemin...

    Brnovich argued that because migrants leave trash in the desert, a border wall is needed to protect the environment.

    Rappelle celle-ci :
    Briançonnais : sur la route des migrants, des tas de #vêtements

  • La part du feu - Mon blog sur l’écologie politique

    Est-ce là un débat pour spécialistes ? Ou un choix de société ? Le modèle de sparing est écocentré, ce qui le rend plutôt sympathique. C’est le modèle vegan. C’est aussi un modèle très favorable aux classes dominantes. Car c’est bien sûr chez les ploucs du monde entier, les ruraux occidentaux et les peuples autochtones du Sud, que ces surfaces seront protégées, y compris par la coercition. Quand bien même, dans le cas des peuples autochtones, ils ne seraient nullement responsables de la dégradation infligée au reste de la planète par la société industrielle.


    L’agroécologie, et particulièrement son versant paysan, sont un modèle de société plus tenable socialement que la concentration des richesses de l’agro-industrie. Intensive en main d’œuvre, répondant aux besoins alimentaires plus qu’aux prix des marchés, elle fait aussi la preuve de son intérêt écologique.

    #sharing #sparing #environnementalisme #conservation #industrie #écologie #agroécologie #Aude_Vidal

  • 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.

    #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.



  • #Planet_of_the_Humans

    Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It’s too little, too late.



    #changement_climatique #effondrement #climat #environnement #Rachel_Carson #Earth_Day #environnementalisme #énergie #Barack_Obama #USA #Etats-Unis #énergie_verte
    #Jeff_Gibbs #film #film_documentaire

  • Race and the Anthropocene

    In his essay ’The Souls of White Folk’, written generations before the International Stratigraphy Committee would begin debating the Anthropocene concept, W.E.B. Du Bois (1920: 29) made an observation which remains pertinent today as it was when he wrote it 1920. ’I am given to understand’, he wrote, ’that whiteness is the ownership of the Earth forever and ever, Amen’. Although Du Bois’ famous line is in reference to the imperial origins ofthe First World War, it nevertheless anticipates one of the core themes of this special issue on ’race’ and the Anthropocene, that lurking just beneath the surface of the Anthropocene concept is a racialised narrative about white Earthly possession.

    #race #anthropocène #ressources_pédagogiques #colonialisme #Blancs #Noirs #blanchité #capitalisme #capitalisme_racial #plantations #racialisation #colonialité #discours_colonial #capitalocène #ressources_pédagogiques #imaginaire #catastrophes #catastrophes_naturelles #crises #environnementalisme #climat #changement_climatique #Oakland #gentrification #Lefebvre #phénoménologie

    ping @karine4 @cede @isskein


    sur Du Bois, cité en intro du numéro spécial, voir le billet sur @visionscarto :
    W. E. B. Du Bois’s Color Line

  • Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, L’apocalypse joyeuse, 2013

    Ce livre étudie les racines historiques de la crise environnementale contemporaine. Il s’agit d’une enquête sur le passé de l’agir technique, sur les manières de le penser, de le questionner, de le réguler et, surtout, de l’imposer comme seule forme de vie légitime. Il décortique des pouvoirs, des torsions subtiles du réel et certaines dispositions morales qui, au tournant des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, nous ont fait prendre le chemin de l’abîme. Il démontre que le « siècle du progrès » n’a jamais été simplement technophile. L’histoire du risque technologique qu’il propose n’est pas l’histoire d’une prise de conscience, mais l’histoire de la production scientifique et politique d’une certaine inconscience modernisatrice.


    Dans le troisième volume du Capital, Marx critiquait les conséquences environnementales des grands domaines vides d’hommes de l’agriculture capitaliste qui rompaient les circulations matérielles entre société et nature. Selon Marx, il n’y avait pas « d’arrachement » possible vis-à-vis de la nature : quels que soient les modes de production, la société demeurait dans la dépendance d’un régime métabolique historiquement déterminé, la particularité du métabolisme capitaliste étant son caractère insoutenable 6.

    Il n’y a aucune raison de considérer ces théories avec condescendance, comme un « proto-environnementalisme » préfigurant notre souci écologique, car elles déterminaient des modes de production autrement plus respectueux de l’environnement que les nôtres.

    Par exemple, les historiens commencent à comprendre l’importance fondamentale du recyclage. Dans les années 1860, en France, le chiffonnage, c’est-à-dire la collecte des matières et des objets abandonnés occupait près de 100 000 personnes. Os, chiffons, métaux, tout était revendu et réutilisé. Jusqu’à la fin du XIXe siècle, les excreta urbains firent l’objet d’une valorisation agricole systématique


    Du point de vue de l’écriture historique, il apparaît donc trompeur de raconter la révolution industrielle comme l’histoire de sociétés modifiant de manière inconsciente leurs environnements et leurs formes de vie, et comprenant a posteriori les dangers et leurs erreurs. Les sociétés passées n’ont pas massivement altéré leurs environnements par inadvertance, ni sans considérer, parfois avec effroi, les conséquences de leurs décisions. La confiance n’allait pas de soi et il a fallu produire de manière calculée, sur chaque point stratégique et conflictuel de la modernité, de l’ignorance et/ou de la connaissance désinhibitrice.


    L’avantage du détour par l’indétermination est qu’en relativisant la supériorité intrinsèque de l’innovation en débat, il permet de détecter le pouvoir et les moyens de son exercice. Ce livre explicite en détail les forces qui assurent la victoire des systèmes techniques, malgré leurs dangers, malgré les oppositions et malgré la conscience que l’on avait de ces dangers. J’ai voulu comprendre pourquoi, pour qui et contre qui, en se fondant sur quels savoirs et en dépit de quels savoirs, sont advenues les techniques qui ont produit notre modernité et la crise environnementale contemporaine.


    #Jean-Baptiste_Fressoz #écologie #Histoire #environnementalisme #risque #société_du_risque #critique_techno #innovation #acceptabilité
    #audio #radio #Radio_Zinzine