Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 765 items for :

  • Refine by access: Open access content x
Clear All
A call for future research and action on far-right ecologies
William Callison
,
George Edwards
,
Ståle Holgersen
,
Alexandra McFadden
,
Jacob McLean
, and
Tatjana Söding

As the world burns, the far right worships at the flaming altar of fossil capital. In the effort to both understand and extinguish these flames, scholars of far-right ecology must show how and why the environmental struggle and the anti-fascist struggle are interlinked. To this end, the preceding chapters of the book are supplemented with a brief overview of the changing geopolitical landscape of the contemporary far right – from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to the coal mines of India and Australia, to the oil fields of the Middle East. Potential lines of inquiry concerning the theory and practice of anti-fascist and climate activism in the current conjuncture are then sketched. The afterword concludes by tracing recent developments in left responses to climate (mal)adaptation in France, along with far-right reactions to climate mitigation practices across Europe.

in Political ecologies of the far right
Assemblages of climate change and militant Islamism in Nigeria
Shehnoor Khurram

Militant Islamist movements have emerged as major political contenders across the world, wreaking havoc and destruction. In tandem, ecological crises are intensifying in their urgency and quantity. Both are transforming and redefining the security landscape, creating significant implications for global peace and security. But how, when and why do they intersect? How do militant Islamist movements mobilize environments in their (counter)hegemonic struggle? What might be the implications for ecological futures if militant Islamist groups continue to amass power? This chapter addresses these questions through an analysis of Boko Haram in Lake Chad, Nigeria, an epicentre of climate catastrophe facing worsening water scarcity. Two major mechanisms of the effect of climate on militant Islamism are highlighted, which can be extrapolated from this case study: first, climate change exacerbates violent conflicts surrounding natural resources. Water scarcity has allowed Boko Haram to weaponize the access and use of Lake Chad to carry out its anti-state religio-political agenda. Secondly, climate change is intensifying precarity and impoverishment, making affected populations more vulnerable to recruitment by militant Islamist groups because they offer alternative livelihoods that coincide with political and socio-economic grievances. This cumulatively provides insurgent groups with valuable opportunities to increase their membership and gain access to strategic resources, which aids them in carrying out their goals. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the crisis unfolding in northern Nigeria must be understood as a historically specific expression of the contradictions of the Capitalocene.

in Political ecologies of the far right
How AI could manufacture scientific authority for far-right disinformation
David Eliot
and
Rod Bantjes

This chapter explores how text-generating artificial intelligence systems such as GPT are likely to be used by the far right to undermine democratic processes and climate science. It examines how information is mediated to the public through institutions, and how the right-wing denial machine has attacked these institutions in order to promote its interests. Building from theoretic foundations, it is proposed that text-generating AI systems – such as OpenAI’s GPT products – present a threat to the process of scientific peer review. Beyond the commonly reported issues of fake news, it is suggested that generative AI may be used to construct artificial academic/scientific consensus or debate. The construction of such artificial consensus or debate is not a new phenomenon. However, it is proposed that the use of AI gives the process a velocity that will create novel challenges for systems such as peer review. The discussion of AI, climate denial and its uptake by the far right is placed within the context of structural and historical trends that have developed since the start of the neoliberal revolution in the 1970s.

in Political ecologies of the far right
Rodrigo D. E. Campos
,
Sérgio B. Barcelos
, and
Ricardo G. Severo

Far-right politics has become an explosive phenomenon in Brazil since the presidential election of Jair M. Bolsonaro in 2018. This chapter analyses how conspiracy theories about environmentalism in Brazil found space in the far-right government (2019–2022) and impacted the country’s environmental policies. While far-right conspiracy theories in Brazil have been analysed in relation to their impacts on the 2018 elections, educational policies, gender debates and scientific denialism, there is still a considerable gap of knowledge about how the ideology of cultural Marxism is affecting the current environmental situation in Brazil. In order to analyse this issue, some contextual background to the inquiry is first provided to highlight the main threads of Bolsonaro’s environmental policy. Secondly, a theoretical account of far-right conspiracy theories is offered, and the main conspiracy animating the Brazilian far right – cultural Marxism – introduced. Thirdly, an overview of the Brazilian far right under Bolsonaro is provided, exploring the main conspiracy thinkers and theories related to the environment, showing how these have been instrumentalized by the government to advance the deregulation of environmental policies. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the impact of the far right in environmental activism and the struggle for land and recognition in rural Brazil.

in Political ecologies of the far right
Open Access (free)
Centrist fossil ideology meets the far right in Norway
Ståle Holgersen

Groups that argue for postponing the necessary action and groups that deny climate science altogether come from different traditions, but can also co-exist and arguably even strengthen each other. This chapter investigates the case of Norway, where the dominant view on oil and gas production – which acknowledges that climate change is primarily caused by humans, but says that Norway can both produce more oil and gas and contribute to saving the planet – exists side by side with a more classical denialist position. The chapter shows how these views co-exist even within the Norwegian far-right Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet), which comes from a classical denialist position but needed to officially accept the Norwegian fossil ideology of delay in order to be accepted by the Conservative Party as a governing coalition partner. When in government, between 2013 and 2020, denialism nonetheless remained a strong tendency within the party. It is argued that these two positions can so easily co-exist in a government and within a party because they share a common view on business friendliness and nationalism, and even more important: the two positions are in Norway grounded on more or less the exact same policy for oil and gas extraction.

in Political ecologies of the far right
Ambiguities of extreme-right anti-intellectualism
Balsa Lubarda

The unremitting pandemic caused by COVID-19 has once again brought to light various forms of science scepticism coming from different ranks. While mostly related to the vaccine, COVID-19 scepticism is considerably broad, referring to its very existence or the origin of, as well as the scientific processes and policy responses to, the pandemic. As such, COVID-19 scepticism feeds into well-trodden climate change scepticism, both in the content of the claims and in the actors professing them, such as the extreme right. By looking at three Eastern European countries with cases of extreme-right parties which voiced their scepticism towards both the scientific findings and policy responses to the pandemic, the chapter commits to a twofold task – first, to outline similarities and differences with climate change scepticism (and acceptance), and secondly to examine the role of anti-intellectualism in fuelling the complex and often ambivalent ideological relationship between the extreme right and science. Using van Rensburg’s (2015) typology of climate scepticisms, and drawing on content from official social media pages (Facebook, Twitter) and qualitative interviews conducted with members of four extreme-right parties in Czech Republic (Národní demokracie), Hungary (Mi Hazánk) and Slovakia (Kotlebovci – L’udova strana naše Slovensko and Republika), the chapter outlines the extensive overlap between COVID-19 and climate scepticism, and the implications of the ongoing shifts towards climate acceptance for the extreme right’s understanding of scientific authority.

in Political ecologies of the far right
Oil, climate change and the Christian right in the United States
Robert B. Horwitz

In the United States, the view that climate change is a hoax concocted by the left to justify more government control over social life is now the general perspective of the Republican Party. With respect to the climate question, the Republican Party has become virtually indistinguishable from the far right. It was not always thus. While conservative in outlook, the Republican Party was historically a rational political party that once championed environmentalism. This chapter traces the history of the party’s ideological descent into dogmatism in the area of climate science. That evolution is rooted in its transformation into a religious party of a particular kind. It is now recognized that white evangelical premillennialist Protestants have become the key constituency of the Republican Party. The hallmark of premillennialism is the belief in the end times, when God causes the sinful world to come to an end. The looming of the end times makes it unnecessary to act to avert climate disaster. The story of the Republican Party in the energy–climate domain is in large part the history of the ascendance of the libertarian oil wildcatter ethos embodied in the doctrine of the end times. As the party has become dominated by its evangelical base, it has rejected climate science, and expertise generally, as inherently political. Everything is politics, including facts and science. Together with the old traditional Protestant distrust of experts and expertise, the old wildcatter ethos to exploit the earth fortifies the party’s commitment to fossil fuel authoritarianism.

in Political ecologies of the far right
Open Access (free)
Irma Kinga Allen
,
Kristoffer Ekberg
,
Ståle Holgersen
, and
Andreas Malm

The introduction outlines the content of the book and the relevance of studying the political ecologies of the far right from both an academic and a societal perspective. By presenting the different chapters, the introduction also sketches the main themes present in the study of far-right political ecologies today and thus gives insights to the questions and issues dominating the field, as well as pointing to important future avenues for research and other interventions. Tracing the origins of the book from the conference Political Ecologies of the Far Right in Lund, Sweden in 2019 and the proliferation of studies concerned with far-right ecologies since, we conclude by highlighting the possibility to expand the scope of studies, not least geographically, and that future studies continue to foster fruitful engagement between academics and activists.

in Political ecologies of the far right
Open Access (free)
Bodily ideals of masculinity among far-right traditionalists in London
Amir Massoumian

The engagement of the far right in ecological arguments, particularly in reference to the urgent requirement of a systemic overhaul into authoritarianism, has a history as lengthy as ecological thought itself. The interest of this chapter is far-right ecological movements and how they intersect with ideas of masculinity and the body. The impetus of far-right populists to ‘take back control’ in this chapter intersects with loss of control over the human impact on the climate. This rhetoric involves far-right ideas which assert that the state has become ‘feminized’ and ‘hysterical’, and aims to remove traditional masculinity altogether. By taking the reader along an ethnographic journey through a series of interviews and interactions, the chapter exemplifies how issues of gender relate to far-right ecological concerns and the ways in which they manifest in practices relating to the body (a vegan diet, strenuous physical exercise including yoga, waking early to see the sun rise and, most importantly, abstinence from any form of ‘degenerate’ behaviour). Finally, the chapter highlights how conspiratorial thinking regarding climate change (in this case Jewish conspiracies of cultural Marxism) can embed itself within eco-fascistic thinking.

in Political ecologies of the far right
Fanning the flames

The edited volume Political ecologies of the far right engages with the alarming convergence of far-right thinking and the ecological crisis in contemporary society. Growing out of the first international conference on political ecologies of the far right, the volume gathers crucial insights from authorities in the field as well as promising early career researchers. With cases ranging from ethnographical accounts of fossil fuel populist protest, historical analysis of the evangelical support for fossil fuels to interrogations of the settler colonial identities and material conditions defended by far-right actors around the world, the book provides scholars, students and activists with ways to understand and counter these developments.