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the green movement part one: deep green

  • by JW

“To hope for some result means you have given up any agency concerning it.”

“Radical tactics tend to be counterproductive in winning the general public.”


There is quite a split in the ‘green movement’ – and it is about the intensity of things…


This has its roots in the ‘deep ecology’ movement – looked at by the FF blog a couple of years ago:

Futures Forum: Deep Ecology 2018

This is in turn founded on a deep disquiet about the “headlong technological rush to the future”:

Futures Forum: On the Transition: “Future Primitive”

Today there are many voices of this ‘deep’ movement – in particular Derrick Jensen, who has been called “the poet-philosopher of the ecological movement”:

Derrick Jensen – Wikipedia

He is very much part of this ‘deep green’ approach:

Deep Green Forces: Interview with Derrick Jensen |

Here he is being interviewed by Deutsche Welle last year:

Radical environmentalism: ′We need to be ready to risk our lives′ | Environment | All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 09.06.2020

And he was interviewed recently on Oliver Burkeman’s series on Radio Four – where he says that ‘false hope’ is conter-productive:

The Power of Negative Thinking – Abandon Hope – BBC Sounds

Futures Forum: Beyond Hope

But Jensen is not against hope per se:

Hope | The official Derrick Jensen site

“I’m not, for example, going to say I hope I eat something tomorrow. I just will. I don’t hope I take another breath right now, nor that I finish writing this sentence. I just do them. On the other hand, I do hope that the next time I get on a plane, it doesn’t crash. To hope for some result means you have given up any agency concerning it.”

Orion Magazine | Beyond Hope

As he has said:

Futures Forum: ‘A wonderful thing happens when you give up on hope, which is that you realise you never needed it in the first place, you become very dangerous indeed to those in power’

He’s just brought out a book which certainly doesn’t play with false hope:

Bright Green Lies is a much needed wakeup call if we are to avoid sleepwalking to extinction.

Bright Green Lies ~ Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, Max Wilbert – YouTube

This is a challenge to the Solarpunk movement:

“Bright Green Lies dismantles the illusion of ‘green’ technology in breathtaking, comprehensive detail, revealing a fantasy that must perish if there is to be any hope of preserving what remains of life on Earth. From solar panels to wind turbines, from LED light bulbs to electric cars, no green fantasy escapes Jensen, Keith, and Wilberts revealing peek behind the green curtain. Bright Green Lies is a must-read for all who cherish life on Earth.”

Bright Green Lies | The official Derrick Jensen site

A film has just been made of the book, which echoes a documentary from last year:

‘Planet of the Humans’: a new documentary – Vision Group for Sidmouth

But as with the book, ‘Bright Green Lies’ lacks ‘workable, existing examples’ of other ‘solutions’:

“Mainstream environmentalism, as the film outlines, is its own worst enemy. In advocating ephemeral, consumer-based solutions to tackling ecological breakdown, it creates its own certain failure. Unfortunately, unless the counter-point to that, the ‘deep green’ argument, is able to give people the confidence to accept and let go of industrial society, it will not make progress either. I think this film almost gets there; but we need to focus far more on the workable, existing examples of people living outside of that system to give people the confidence to make that internal, ‘leap of faith’.”

Bright Green Lies: Review – Resilience

Bright Green Lies – YouTube

And the ‘bright green’ movement is the subject of Part Two, which follows.

Finally, though, here is the opening and close of the Wikipedia entry:

Deep Green Resistance (DGR) is a radical environmental movement that views mainstream environmental activism as being ineffective. The group believes that industrial civilization, as they define it, is endangering the environment, and that it must be destroyed using a broad range of tactics including militancy.[1]

In the 2011 book Deep Green Resistance, the authors Lierre KeithDerrick Jensen and Aric McBay state that civilization, particularly industrial civilization, is fundamentally unsustainable and must be actively and urgently dismantled in order to secure a future for all species on the planet.[1]

In ‘Deep Green Resistance’ – How not to build a movement – A path to certain defeat, a 2012 review of the 2011 DGR manifesto, Ian Angus criticizes DGR’s ideas as polarizing, elitist, extremist or asocial.[17] Regarding advocacy for dictatorshipeco-terrorism and genocide Bron Taylor argues in Resistance: Do the Ends Justify the Means? that “radical tactics tend to be counterproductive” in winning the general public.[12]

Anarcho-primitivists John ZerzanKevin Tucker and others criticise the promotion of hierarchy in organising militants, the code of conduct, the historical understanding of revolution and radical history, and the cult of personality around Jensen and Keith.[22][23][24][25]

Deep Green Resistance – Wikipedia