We’ve all seen it. The canals in Venice clear, pollution lifts from cities around the world and instantly, we hear or read something along the lines of: “Humans are the virus, the virus is the cure”.
At first glance, this might sound reasonable to some. However, these statements become dangerous when one realizes the growing influence of a little something called ecofascism. Ecofascism, the ideology behind the 2019 attacks in El Paso and Christchurch and that seems to be on the rise with the current pandemic, is a theoretical political model in which humanity can be sacrificed for the sake of the wellbeing of the land, or the environment.
In itself, that rhetoric is problematic enough. I hate to be the one that has to make this clear, but humans are not inherently the problem, our systems are, and those can be torn down and replaced. We find ourselves in an extremely slippery slope when we stop simply rejoicing to the environmental improvements made during social isolation and begin justifying human deaths for the sake of the climate as if capitalism, the true cause behind the brutal and pending climate apocalypse, wasn’t right there.
“The weak and poor will die, but that’s okay because the climate’s better” is not justice. It does not fix the root of the problem: our inherently exploitative and unsustainable way of life.
Furthermore, ecofascism always marries their supposed “environmentalism” with white supremacy. It believes the way to deal with the destruction of the climate is through eugenics and the brutal suppression of the “undesirables” (which are often those most impacted by climate change).
This is true in the movement’s past, in 19th and 20th century Germany (which I hope I do not have to explain), and it is true now with the aforementioned shootings citing “environmental concerns” in their reasoning behind the brutal mass murder of innocent souls.
Overall, ecofascism is extremely morally reprehensible, but if morals and ethics are not something that moves you enough to denounce it (which is quite concerning, to say the least), I present to the readers the fact had it makes, quite literally, no sense.
The coronavirus isn’t a detox of humans for the earth, as I mentioned before, it is a disruption of our capitalist and racist systems, systems that count on having done enough work to make us hate each other enough that we will bypass logic and morality to justify the death of those most marginalized in society.
Activists, especially young folks, people of color, and the working class, have been fighting for decades to bring awareness to and change the way we deal with climate change. However, nothing will be right or acceptable if we do not include in our fight climate justice and intersectionality. None of us will be safe or free if we allow ecofascism and its “who deserves to live?” baseline to rise in our communities and countries or give it space in our national discourses, for the answer to that question should be quite obvious:
All of us.
By Natalia Ibanez