The rise of far-right environmentalism is more than just a reactionary response to the climate crisis. It is an ideological framework weaponizing environmental concerns to propagate nativist and reactionary politics. Together with Alex Amend, an experienced freelance writer and researcher who has spent years studying far-right ideologies and climate change politics, we dissect the rhetoric of the climate crisis within the Far Right, including within the U.S. Republican party, while also revealing the role Gen Z Republicans play in this evolving landscape.
Don’t let the greenwashing fool you. Ecofascism and econationalism are not about care for the environment. They are about preserving the environment for a very specific subset of the population, and are a veil for anti-immigration policies fueled by a desire to maintain a White patrician America. A case in point: the Unabomber. If you thought the Unabomber was just a relic of the past, think again. Ted Kaczynski’s image and ideas are being resurrected by far-right environmentalists to attract new recruits. We review the allure of Kaczynski’s legacy and the dangers posed by the Far Right’s exploitation of the climate crisis.
In conclusion, we consider strategies to counteract this appeal and the importance of pushing narratives of abundance and justice. Join us as we navigate this complex and often disturbing intersection of far-right politics and environmentalism.
- Blood and Vanishing Topsoil by Alex Amend
- The Arc of History Bends Towards Climate Crisis: A PRA Roundtable Discussion with Andrew Curley, Alex Amend, Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, and Shanté Wolfe
- The Rise of the American Conservation Movement by Dorceta Taylor
- The Unabomber Manifesto in Historical Context by Peter Staudenmaier
- A Mighty Forest Is Our Race: Race, Nature, and Environmentalism in White Nationalist Thought by Kevan A. Feshami
- Greenwash: Nativists, Environmentalism and the Hypocrisy of Hate by SPLC
EPISODE CHAPTERS WITH FULL SUMMARIES
(0:00:13) – Far-Right Environmentalism in the Republican Party (16 Minutes)
We explore the threat of far-right environmentalism and its presence on the Far Right in the United States. Alex Amend explains how the rhetoric of the climate crisis is deployed to further nativist and reactionary politics, and then discusses how to mitigate the influence of these violent ideologies. We also analyze the recent shift on the U.S. Right to accept at least some of the evidence of climate change and the role of Gen Z Republicans in this milieu.
(0:16:15) – Ecofascism and Anti-Immigration (8 Minutes)
In this segment, we examine ecofascism and econationalism, investigating the connections between far-right environmental politics and anti-immigration policies. Alex Amend demonstrates how ecofascist rhetoric is not only a gateway to far-right politics, but is fundamental to the beliefs of those in the movement. Amend also explains how the American conservation movement has its origins in nativism, and how this relates to the concept of preserving a White patrician America. Lastly, we consider the notion of protecting the environment and homeland from others, and the effects of ecoxenophobia on civil rights policies.
(0:24:43) – Extreme Right, Environmentalism, and Kaczynski (9 Minutes)
Here, the conversation turns to the unique opportunities presented to far-right organizing in the face of climate destruction and active wildfires. We examine the idea of the Great Replacement and how it is articulated through border policy, mass killings, and Fox News. We look at the incoherence of this worldview in light of recent domestic industrial accidents and the Right’s response to them. The tragedy in East Palestine, Ohio is a revelatory example of the Right’s current conception of environmental protection.
(0:33:34) – Ted Kaczynski’s Legacy and Far-Right Environmentalism (6 Minutes)
This segment exposes the legacy of Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, and how his image and ideas have been used to recruit people to far-right environmentalism. His manifesto, while attacking leftism, still attracts the attention of the anarchist leftists and environmental radicals. Yet, its most potent influence is on the Far Right. Figures such as Tucker Carlson and Peter Thiel, as well as far-right neonazi telegram channels, use his life and work as a framework for justifying xenophobia.
(0:39:56) – Climate Change and Far-Right Challenges (10 Minutes)
We investigate the dangers posed by the Far Right in today’s society, particularly their use of climate change rhetoric, by considering the current state of the Far Right in the United States. This leads to a discussion of the strategies available to counter their appeal and growth. We also examine the potential benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act and how we can ensure the most vulnerable communities benefit from its policies. Finally, we reflect on the importance of advancing the narrative of abundance and justice and the need for effective policy to push back on far-right ideologies.
Far-Right Environmentalism, Republican Party, Ecofascism, Econationalism, Nativism, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Climate Crisis Rhetoric, Anti-Immigration Policies, Generation Z Republicans, American Conservation Movement, Great Replacement, Tucker Carlson, Peter Thiel, Neo-Nazi Telegram Channels, Inflation Reduction Act