A disturbing trend is emerging amongst white nationalists who are raising concerns about the environment and climate change and blaming the issue on migrants.
Following the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas on August 3 which claimed the lives of 22 people, the suspected shooter 21-year-old Patrick Crusius reportedly uploaded a 'white nationalist manifesto' to the website 8chan.
Amongst the four-page document, he made reference to how his ideology was partly inspired by a desire to improve the environment and 'get rid of enough people' to make the 'American lifestyle more sustainable.'
Our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country.
The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations.
Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly overharvesting resources.
This so-called 'ecofascism' was also prevalent in a manifesto shared by Brenton Tarrant the suspected shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 51 people were killed in shooting at a mosque.
According to Gizmodo, Tarrant wrote:
Ecofascism is an ethnic autonomy for all peoples with a focus on the preservation of nature and the natural order.
This, unfortunately, isn't anything new and this type of misinformed rhetoric has been part of the far-right's mentality for centuries.
Thomas Malthus, who was an English cleric and scholar in the 18 century, penned a widely misunderstood study, that has since been debunked, where he concluded that food production couldn't in any way keep up with the growing population.
Members of Hitler's National Socialist Party in Nazi Germany believed that in order to achieve their goals of 'Lebensuram' they would have to seek a "re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger".
In the 1920s America, Madison Grant, a lawyer and zoologist who used racism to promote his work on conservatism, demonised non-white immigrants to the US.
Today the philosophies of Arne Naess, who coined the term 'deep ecology' have been adopted by ecofascists who have misconstrued his work and reimagined it to represent a world that is unequal and that there are racial and gender hierarchies in nature.
One of the most prominent ecofascists working today is Pentii Linkola from Finland who has advocated for:
The reversion to pre-industrial life ways and authoritarian measures to keep human life within strict limits.
Speaking to Gizmodo, Betsy Hartmann, a professor emeritus at Hampshire College said:
The environmental movement in the U.S. has, I would say, overindulged in apocalyptic thinking for a long time.
There’s that kind of apocalyptic bridge and then the nature-race-purity bridge.
What’s so horrifying and shocking to me is that these manifestos are openly Malthusian environmentalist arguments.
I don’t think we saw that quite as much before in the armed white nationalist movement.
We don’t want to appeal to conservatives that way, it’s not the way to go. It has unintended consequences.
There are other ways to bridge party lines like carbon pricing policies and investments in renewable energy.
Using this highly militarized and stereotyped Malthusian discourse about poor people of colour is dangerous and counterproductive