In yesterday’s post, I talked about how one might come to endorse an ‘environmentalist worldview’, that replaced conflict between ‘humanity’ and ‘nature’, and subjugation of the latter by the former, with harmonious co-existence, from a left-wing perspective as part of a general rejection of what I called ‘the psychopolitics of domination’. I also talked, of course, about left-wing anti-environmentalism.
Now, there are many obvious ways of being a right-wing anti-environmentalist. You might be a free-marketeer, or an actual businessperson, who was unhappy with the collective action needed to deal with environmental problems (equally of course you might be one of the companies that stands to profit from dealing with them). Or you might want to embrace the emotional set-up of man-against-nature triumphalism, to justify assaults on whatever and whoever is perceived as ‘backward’ and ‘wild’.
But what’s interesting is that there’s an obvious niche forright-wing, specifically conservative, environmentalism. We saw this, for instance, in that speech a while back in which the Pope said that just as climate change was destroying non-human nature, so the gays and feminists were destroying human nature. So what’s going on here, and how does this brand of ‘right-environmentalism’ compare with the ‘left-environmentalism’ discussed earlier?
To illuminate this I think we will have to unpack the concept of ‘nature’ a little bit more. In particular, we should distinguish a very broad abstract component, and a more concrete component, the linkage of which is somewhat arbitrary.