A really interesting piece by Autonomies on how the environmental movement might situate itself.
Constant readers of my blog (that would be you, darling Googlecrawlerbot) will notice I’ve spent a little time talking about hope. Particularly when it comes to climate change, the anthropocene et al.
But there is something to be said for this critique. In my very limited knowledge, I guess the question becomes this: How does one struggle if we accept the ‘apocalypse’ isn’t about to happen, but is already happening whole-scale? Species and habitats lost, ecosystemic collapse, mass-migrations, wild-fires, droughts, floods, etc…
What if we are already living in the ruins?
Beginning from a place of devastation is something that anarchists have talked about before (Desert). The topic has had a resurgence in post-Left and post-nihilist praxis (such as the Woodbine Collective’s Nomos: Original Instructions and sites like synthetic zero).
I’m not looking here for another green manifesto for the 21stC. I think in this post-truth era we’re done with ‘Procrustean’ manifestos as Mr. Mieville so eloquently writes. Instead, I see this as another strand of conversation that we who might call ourselves environmentalists must engage with.
- What does hope mean in the age of the anthropocene?
- What sort of world are we hoping for?
- How would our actions change? Would they?
- What does ‘collapse’ mean? How does it differ for North/South? Affluent/Poor? White/non-white?
I would tentatively say that a more non-statist, non-utopian awareness is spreading. Charles Eisenstein’s work for example, posits that a radical re-commitment to land and locality is an answer (solving your local soil erosion issue through intelligent land-use and habitat reconstruction also sequesters carbon, for example).
Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects must surely have an important part to play, through the understanding of how ecological grief and anomie affects us.
In a weird way, it feels like this response has cycled back to that question: What does hope look like in the anthropocene?
It looks like love.