The Big Lie of the Fascists: That Climate Holocaust is Inevitable by Rainer Shea + Can Eco-Socialism Save The World?


Image by spinster cardigan via Flickr

by Rainer Shea
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rainer Shea: Anti-Imperialist Journalist, Nov. 8, 2019
November 13, 2019

The forces of fascism are trying to convince us of a deadly lie: that it’s desirable, natural, or inevitable for great amounts of poor and nonwhite people to die off because of climate change. This lie enters the discourse in many forms, both obvious and not. But every time it appears, it has to be countered with the declaration that we must not write off any lives as disposable or doomed; we must work to save as many people as possible throughout the coming catastrophe.

The assertion to the contrary is based off of the same false claim that’s supported the lie about world poverty being natural or inevitable: the claim that there aren’t enough resources to give everyone food, shelter and healthcare. Yet despite this claim being scientifically false, the traditional narrative about the supposed unavoidability of poverty is now transitioning into something even more cynical and dangerous.

This narrative often gets support from oversimplified or fatalistic claims about the amount of deaths that climate change will cause. This year, Extinction Rebellion’s Roger Hallam stated that “science predicts” that six billion people could experience “slaughter, death, and starvation” by 2100 because of climate change. Not only did Hallam’s assertion lack confirmation from any actual scientific study, but his conclusion was reached by going out of his way to assume that agriculture and living conditions will be harmed enough for these many poor and nonwhite people to be killed. While Hallam was using this rhetoric to encourage society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he was promoting the idea that barring an arbitrarily defined amount of climate action, there will no longer be any question that billions will die.

These kinds of simplistic statements imply that it’s an either-or situation, that either the crisis will be roundly solved or most of the human race will be wiped out. In reality, the crisis has countless moving parts that can pretty much all be turned in a direction which saves human lives, even if the warming surpasses the levels that we’re hoping for. There will always be the potential to give more people access to food and water, build more and better shelter, and make more parts of the world free from war. While it’s not possible to prevent absolutely all of the deaths that will come from climate change, taking these actions can make a difference in whether or not vast amounts of deaths will be avoided.

The only obstacle to us taking these actions is capitalism. When profit is the motivating factor behind how the ruling institutions function, these institutions will treat the poorest and most vulnerable parts of the population as liabilities that can be sacrificed for the sake of profit. This has always been how capitalism has treated the poor, so during climate change-created crises the poor are the most forsaken. We’ve seen this during Hurricane Katrina, when those in the underclass of New Orleans were prioritized the last; during the California fires of the last few years, where poverty has contributed to whether or not many people have been able to find safety; and most significantly in countries like Iraq and India, where growing water crises are endangering the poor amid rising inequality.

When radical right-wing figures say that cracking down on immigration will be a necessary part of responding to climate change, they’re building on this capitalist mindset about it not being desirable to protect everyone. Jewish Currents reported last year that influential white nationalist Jared Taylor stated the following to them in an email: “If continued global change makes the poor, non-white parts of the world even more unpleasant to live in than they are now, it will certainly drive more non-whites north. I make no apology for… urging white nations to muster the will to guard their borders and maintain white majorities.”

It’s a fine line between rationalizing the sacrifice of poor and nonwhite lives for the sake of capitalism, and believing that the solution to climate change is genocide. Functionally these two courses of action are barely different, and our society has long been pursuing the route of class-based climate sacrifice.

The mass detention and deportation of climate refugees from the Third World is an example of disaster capitalism; companies like Microsoft are making tens of millions of dollars from providing the technology to separate and lock up migrant families. The Israeli surveillance company Elbit has also been making a profit by installing automated watchtowers along the southern border, a project that Elbit ultimately aims to extend across the entire perimeter of the U.S.

As this dynamic of profit-based immigration policing expands America’s corporatized police state, exacerbates racial and religious tensions, and erodes liberties for American citizens, society itself is becoming one big sacrifice zone-one that the rich will have the best chance at escaping.

Is it any wonder why right-wing libertarians and self-described “anarcho-capitalists” are becoming increasingly aligned with white nationalists? The ideology of profit is facilitating the xenophobic, racist goals of those who want to keep the immigrants out and create an ethnostate. As climate change becomes more openly accepted by the right in the coming years, the rhetoric of strengthened borders and “law and order” will take on an aspect that focuses on the deterioration of the environment, or that at least acknowledges it. This racist and authoritarian response to climate change is what those in the currently marginal “Green Nazi” movement hope for. And the fusion of their eco-fascist agenda with corporate power will make for a frighteningly dystopian scenario.

“When I was young I was a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before coming to be an ecofascist,” claimed the pro-Trump white nationalist mass shooter Brenton Tarrant in the manifesto that he wrote before he 51 killed people this March in Christchurch, New Zealand. “There is no Conservatism without nature [and] there is no nationalism without environmentalism, [since] the natural environment of our lands shaped us just as we shaped it.”

Eco-fascism can only be fought with ecosocialism. Like Venezuela’s Chavistas and Bolivia’s socialist president Evo Morales, we must advance an anti-capitalist agenda that seeks to eliminate fossil fuels while providing safety and comfort to all people. Carrying out this agenda of solidarity and humanitarianism will require us to dispel the big lie that the eco-fascists depend on: the lie that the most vulnerable victims of climate change won’t be able to be saved. It’s our responsibility to work towards saving as many of these people as possible.

Rainer uses the written word to deconstruct establishment propaganda and to promote meaningful political action. His articles can also be found at Revolution Dispatch.

If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here. Follow Rainer on Twitter and Youtube.

[DS added the video.]

Can Eco-Socialism Save The World?

TeleSUR English on Jul 23, 2019

Climate change has become an undeniable threat caused by capitalism, for many, abandoning this system is the only way forward.

From the archives:

California’s Crises and The Prospects for Socialist Revolution by Rainer Shea + How Green Capitalism Fools People Into Not Pursuing Ecosocialist Revolution

Counting Down to Civilization’s Collapse + Inequality, Climate Change, and America’s Destabilization by Rainer Shea

Veritable Uprising or The (Faux) Real Thing™: Greta and Climate Activism in a Wilderness of Projections by Phil Rockstroh and Kenn Orphan

Capitalism, Imperialism, and their Genocidal Consequences by Rainer Shea

The Fight Against Climate Change Is An Anti-Colonialist Struggle by Rainer Shea + The Amazon is Burning at a Record Rate

Socialism: Creating a World to Change Our Lives by Sam Friedman (must-read)

To Survive: We Need A Global Awakening Much Bigger Than A “Revolution,” Much Deeper Than Just Ending Capitalism by Eric Schechter

Bolivian President Evo Morales’ Speech at the United Nations: We Must Fight Capitalism, Colonialism and Imperialism

7 thoughts on “The Big Lie of the Fascists: That Climate Holocaust is Inevitable by Rainer Shea + Can Eco-Socialism Save The World?

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  2. Pingback: Chris Hedges: The Prospect and Need For Ecosocialism – Dandelion Salad

  3. It sounds like Rainer hasn’t studied much on abrupt climate change, tipping points, Arctic loss of sea ice (blue ocean event), or the Arctic methane timebomb that’s about to go off. Maybe he should look into the actual science and not the corporate backed scientism saying everything is fine, not to worry.

    Or, maybe he should just stick to anti imperialism and not talk about subjects he knows nothing about.

    • Oh, I wouldn’t be so hard on him. He’s doing fairly well for a beginner, someone so young. And really, almost no one — not even the climatologists — knows the important stuff about climate. Most of the climatologists are saying too little about feedback loops, tipping points, and capitalism.

    • I know this Jared guy, and I know why he’s so sour on me: I once called him out when he started saying hateful things about trans people. It looks like that still has him really wound up, lol.

  4. I agree with much of what Rainer says, but not with all of it. Of course, my own view is much worse than the predictions we’re seeing in the corporate press. That’s because most climatologists are underestimating the effects of feedback loops and tipping points. And the rich are not just greedy — they are also foolish.

    Rainer says “There will always be the potential to give more people access to food and water, build more and better shelter, and make more parts of the world free from war.” I don’t think so.

    Feedback loops cause exponential acceleration of global warming. An exponential process starts out small, slow, easy to overlook or to deny; it can only be seen with special measuring devices. But the bigger it gets, the faster it grows. After a while it reaches the point where it is visible to the unaided eye. (In my opinion, that happened around 2012, with Superhurricane Sandy.) And it keeps gaining size and speed, and soon after that it is enormous and growing explosively.

    That’s where we’re headed, much sooner than most people realize. If we don’t stop climate change before then, there will be NO survivors. No matter if you’re rich or poor. We cannot “adapt” to universal crop failures. The rich think they will ride out the crisis in their luxury underground bunkers, but they will emerge to find only ashes. Elon Musk doesn’t really need his rocket to Mars — it is coming here.

    One example of a feedback loop is that the melting of ice replaces highly reflective surfaces with darker surfaces that absorb more sunlight, hence warming the planet more.

    This will not be stopped by banning fossil fuels, nor even by the fall of civilization and the death of billions of people. Zero carbon emissions is not good enough; we actually need NEGATIVE net emissions. We’ll need to plant trillions of trees. The governments of the world aren’t doing much of that yet. We’d better hurry to overthrow them.

    And tipping points are thresholds which, when passed, bring abrupt changes. For instance, the Arctic is warming rapidly. When it gets just a little warmer, it will release its immense frozen store of methane, a greenhouse gas much more potent than CO2. Tipping points are unprecedented, so it’s a little hard to predict just when we’ll hit them.

    As for the video, I don’t know whether ecosocialism can still save us; I think I’d recommend ECO-ANARCHO-COMMUNISM instead. I’m saying communism instead of socialism because I think we actually need to SHARE everything; it’s not enough merely to reallocate it more fairly. And I am adding the “anarcho” in there because hierarchy concentrates power which is just as bad as capitalism. The video says

    “mass consumption and production are the essence of capitalism”

    and it’s true that those are ingredients of capitalism, but those are neither its main ingredients, nor the main problem causing the ecosystem destruction. I’d say the core ingredient and the core problem is that capitalism says

    “every man for himself, and to hell with the commons.”

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