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Eco-fascism is the greenwashing of far right
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Eco-fascism is the greenwashing of far right

Flowers in front of a police blockade

People who identify themselves as eco-fascists are alleged to have committed at least three far-right murders in recent years.

The accused Ten Black people were murdered in a Buffalo supermarket, New York.Saturday’s event entwined antisemitic conspiracies with a form natural conservation. The 18-year-old racist rant ran 180 pages and included justifications for murder by linking mass migration to the destruction of the natural environment.

The alleged perpetrator appears familiar with many of the The young men who committed racist massacres in 2019 share these viewsIn El PasoTexas, and Christchurch, New Zealand.Indeed, it appears that the alleged Buffalo killer may have been a Buffalo killer. Large sections were copiedHis screed from the Christchurch killer.

The Christchurch attacker, who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, described himself as an eco-fascist ethno-nationalist and called for ethnic autonomy as well as the preservation of nature and the natural order. The Australian man made a diatribe linking climate change to non-Europeans’ overpopulation, which is one central idea of eco-fascism.

Flowers in front of a police blockade

The Buffalo shooter seems to have taken passages from the Christchurch murderer’s screed and purged them.

What is an eco-fascist and how can you define it?

Cassidy Thomas explained to DW, “The simplest definition would be (someone who has) a fascist politic/a fascist worldview that invokes environmental concern or ecological rhetoric to justify their hateful and extremist elements of their ideology.”

Thomas is a PhD student at Syracuse University, upstate New York. His research focuses on the intersection of right-wing extremism as well as environmental politics.

Thomas says that regular fascists refer to populist ultranationalists, who invoke a narrative about civilizational crisis and decline, and then rebirth, along cultural and nationalist lines. The civilizational threat is seen by eco-fascists who see climate change and ecological disturbances within this equation.

Eco-fascists are tied up in racist theories and believe that the degradation of the natural environment leads to the degradation of their culture and their people, added Thomas. 

Many believe that non-white overpopulation is threatening white people and the environment. They often demand a halt in immigration or the eradication non-white populations.

Thomas said, “What they envision is a dissolution of mixed race, liberal democratic states or these very libertarian and pluralistic democracies, and the replacement that political formation with ethnically-defined and smaller-natured ecological states.”

Their simplistic theories do not address the complex realities of life. Climate change and ecological destruction, and ignore the fact that the Global North is responsible for most of the emissions that have caused global heating, for instance.

Why is eco-fascism so appealing?

Young people who grew up with climate change and see that governments have not properly addressed it are attracted to far-right ideologies like eco-fascism.

Thomas stated, “Unfortunately as climate change has gotten more severe over 30 years, it’s becoming harder to ignore or to question even the most far-right and conservative elements of politics,” Thomas said.

Thomas said that Eco-fascist narratives give believers a sense of purpose and a call to action. 

 “And that’s why these eco-fascist narratives that are cultivated in these online subcultures are so dangerous.”

Such theories are often propagated in fringe sites such as 4chan, 8chan, and the now-defunct Iron March forum, as well as more mainstream platforms such as Twitter. 

Researchers observed an increase in ecofascist interest in fringe communities and online search traffic after each of the previous killing sprees.  

Is there a place for eco-fascism and politics? 

Right-wing populists have Climate change has been accepted by the majority of people for centuries denial, but are increasingly seeing potential in capitalizing on climate change concerns.

Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen used environmentalism as a part of her nationalist campaigns

One famous example is that the Attorney General of Arizona, who had previously misrepresented climate science, used environmental protection to sue the Biden administration for allowing immigration laws to be relaxed. He claimed that Latin American migrants would pollute the environment, use up resources, and cause emissions if they were not kept out of Mexico’s border.

Europe Marine Le Pen has spoken out against climate changeand environmental protection in her campaigns for nationalists, while the youth wing is part of Germany’s far-right Climate skeptical AfD partyAppelled on the party embrace climate changeIt is a great tool for recruiting. 

Canadian author and climate activist Naomi Klein spoke with the “HuffPost”.“There is a rage that is going somewhere out there, and we have demagogues that are skilled at directing that anger at the most vulnerable amongst us while protecting those who are most powerful and culpable.”

Nazi origins of ecofascism

Although made up of various strands of far-right theories, much eco-fascist ideology has its roots in early Nazi movements and the fascist party in Italy.

“In Germany, they would use these environmental talking points to partially justify some of their key initiatives like Lebensraum,” Thomas said. Lebensraum was the Nazi settler colonialist idea of creating “living space for Germans.”

An apple tree

Nationalist communities have been attracted to the ‘heritage” appeal of organic produce.

“They saw the presence non-Germans as a threat simultaneously for the integrity of the German culture, and the German environment.”

That ideology led to to the 1935 Reichsnaturschutzgesetz, Germany’s first conservation laws, as well as a push for organic farming. 

Despite being part of the far-right scene in Germany, and Europe, some elements still support organic farming and environmental causes. In Germany, environmental groups risk being Infiltrated and controlled by far-right extremists

Thomas said there are similarities in the drivers toward eco-fascism today. In Nazi Germany and fascist Italy people saw that industrialization and capitalism brought rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, and displacement of rural communities.

In the United States, far-right figures, including Richard Spencer, have used environmental concerns to justify their beliefs. In the lead up to the 2017 Charlottesville rally of Unite the RightHe also included a large section about protecting nature in his online screed.

He stated previously that “population reduction and control” is the best way to combat the ravages of climate changes.

Environmentalists reject far right ideology

Crowds of people on a street

Overconsumption is a major driver for emissions, but not overpopulation.

The mainstream environmentalist movement has embraced social justice and has repeatedly rejected ecofascists. They claim that the ideology greenwashes hatred and is more focused than environmental protection on white supremacy.

They also say that the major perpetrator of ecological destruction are wealthy, western nations, and not the people the eco-fascists seek to destroy. A United Nations analysis found that wealth increases are more important than population growth. A greater driver of resource-use

According to the IPCC the following: effect of population growth is dwarfed by the rise in emissions per person. Despite having slower population growth, people in the richest countries emit 50 percent more carbon dioxide than those in the least developed.

Instead, environmentalists call for a decoupling between population growth and resource usage and emissions through reorganizing economies and adopting sustainable practices.

Edited By: Jennifer Collins

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