Guest essay by Eric Worrall
NYT have just noticed that not all climate activists are PC hippies, though they still seem blind to the possibility that some of their own political fellow travellers could be bad.
White Supremacy Goes Green
Why is the Far Right Suddenly Paying Attention to climate change?
By Beth Gardiner
As an environmental journalist, I’ve been covering the frightening acceleration of climate change for more than a decade. As a person who believes in the tenets of liberal democracy, I’ve watched the rise of white-supremacist, anti-immigrant and nationalistic ideologies with similar dread over the past few years.
But I always thought of those two trends “looming ecological dangers and the gathering strength of the far right” as unrelated, parallel crises in a turbulent time. Only recently have I begun to understand that they are deeply interconnected, an ugly pairing of forces drawing power from each other.
From France to Washington to New Zealand, angry voices on the hard right nationalists, populists and others beyond conventional conservatism are picking up old environmental tropes and adapting them to a moment charged with fears for the future. In doing so, they are giving potent new framing to a set of issues more typically associated with the left. Often, they emphasize what they see as the deep ties between a nation’s land and its people to exclude those they believe do not belong. Some twist scientific terms such as invasive species foreign plants or animals that spread unchecked in a new ecosystem to target immigrants and racial and ethnic minorities. And here’s what really frightens me: This dynamic is likely to intensify as climate change creates new stresses that could pit nations and groups against one another.
Although the pressures of a warming planet are new, the deployment of environmental language for racist, nativist and nationalistic ends has a long, dark history. Before environmentalism became a mainstream and progressive cause in the 1970s, many American conservationists were also white supremacists, who argued that those they saw as outsiders threatened the nation’s landscape or lacked the values to care for it properly. Such thinking was common in Europe, too. The Nazis embraced notions of a symbiotic connection between the German homeland and its people.
…Read more (paywalled): https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/28/opinion/far-right-climate-change.html
Gee, who could have seen this coming?
Greens, traditional hippy greens, thought that by creating a fake climate crisis people they would recruit more people to their cause.
But this isn’t what is happening. Frightened believers are turning to whoever is closest, whoever offers the most immediate relief from their fear.
For many of the fearful, traditional greens, with their discredited hippy era economic and social ideas and their dismal multi-decade track record of political failure are not a credible source of comfort. Dangerous demagogues on both the left and the right are starting to displace traditional greens from a political stage they thought would be theirs.
I give NYT reporter Beth Gardiner half marks for this one. She might have noticed that dangerous right wing extremists are starting to hijack the climate movement, but she still seems blind to the crazies in her own political camp.