How can green politics encourage radical thinking without opening the door to hateful ideologies?
Quite understandably, there’s been a lot of anxiety about the planet:
On the other hand, there’s been a lot of hope these last months:
However, we shouldn’t forget that “Emissions in China are down because the economy has stopped and people are dying, and because poor people are not able to get medicine and food. This is not an analogy for how we want to decrease emissions from climate change.”
At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, there was a specific type of meme circulating:
Radio 4’s Analysis looks into this:
Humans vs the Planet
As Covid-19 forced humans into lockdown, memes emerged showing the earth was healing thanks to our absence. These were false claims – but their popularity revealed how seductive the dangerous idea that ‘we are the virus’ can be.
At its most extreme, this way of thinking leads to eco-fascism, the belief the harm humans do to Earth can be reduced by cutting the number of non-white people.
But the mainstream green movement is also challenged by a less hateful form of this mentality known as ‘doomism’ – a creeping sense that humans will inevitably cause ecological disaster, that it’s too late to act and that technological solutions only offer more environmental degradation through mining and habitat loss.
What vision can environmentalists offer as an antidote to these depressing ideas? And how can green politics encourage radical thinking without opening the door to hateful ideologies?
And more recently: