We often say that we’re disconnected from nature– but because you and I are nature, the better word here is dissociation. And when we’re talking about dissociation, it is about no longer recognizing yourself.
This post is a transcribed version of an IGTV, which you can view here.
Today I wanted to address a sentiment that has always been a part of the environmental movement, but has become more pertinent than ever.
And that is, humans are the virus. So why is this an issue?
Well, for one, it puts the blame on humans, rather than the systems that we operate in.
AKA the problem is not you, honey, it’s capitalism.
AKA indigenous people have always lived in unison with the earth.
AKA poor people are not responsible for this catastrophe, but are disproportionately affected.
And I say that to say that capitalism has an interesting quirk of often putting all of the onus on the individual, rather than really interrogating the systems that we operate in. That’s not to undermine the value of individual change– but it is nothing without an interrogation of structures as well.
So, with that said, I want to pivot and give us all a little bit of a science lesson.
Obviously, we know that the biggest issue with climate change is the amount of carbon in our environment. But I’d like to take this time to say that carbon is not an inherently bad thing. Carbon is a building block of life. We are all made of carbon. The five natural pools of carbon are the atmosphere, the biosphere, soil, oceans, and fossils. All of these are necessary for life to exist. The problem is that humans found a way to extract from the fossil fuel fossil pool in order to burn it for energy etc. In doing so an imbalance was caused within the natural carbon cycle because too much carbon is now in the atmosphere which is causing the climate catastrophe But there’s a lot that we can do, especially in terms of sequestering this carbon. Agriculture the way we currently do agriculture is also contributing to this excess of carbon. But soil, being a natural carbon pool, has the potential and power to sequester carbon. That is a whole ‘nother can of worms, a beautiful can of worms, called regenerative agriculture, which has been one of the most important things that I have fallen into in the last year.
One of my teachers in regenerative agriculture, Farmer Rishi, has been instrumental in me understanding how our language as a society very much mirrors our culture, one that sees humans as inherently apart from nature, the idea that anything we do is in direct opposition to nature, which is why there is so much damn eco-anxiety in our world today. The idea that you wash your hands, you’re contributing to climate change, you take action you’re contributing climate change, you eat, you’re contributing climate change. So much of our discourse is about minimizing, minimizing, minimizing that you start to question should you just kill yourself in order to have a positive impact on this world? So, what that said something Farmer Rishi often points to is the Oxford dictionary’s definition of nature, which I’m going to read here. So the Oxford dictionary’s definition for nature is the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, landscape, and other features of the earth, as opposed to humans.
So even our Oxford dictionary definition of nature says, nature is as opposed to humans. And this is very damaging, because when we really understand the links between language and culture, we do not see ourselves as part of this natural environment. Something that Farmer Rishi has spoken about is that we often say that we’re disconnected from nature– but because you and I are nature, the better word here is dissociation. And when we’re talking about dissociation, it is about no longer associating– no longer recognizing yourself.
So we’re not disconnected, y’all. We are dissociated.
I brought this all up because amid you know Coronavirus, we see that air pollution is clearing up. And then you hear things like well, maybe we are the virus all along and maybe Coronavirus is the vaccine.
This, my friends is ecofascism. And look, there’s nothing wrong with being happy at the fact that the Earth can finally breed. But this sort of ideology– ecofascism– is one that has its roots in white supremacy.
Ecofascism is an ideology that believes that the way to fix the climate catastrophe is population control. So back in The 18th century this white guy, Thomas Malthus, argued that poverty disease hunger wasn’t caused by the exploitation by capitalism, but rather, that the working class was just having too many babies.
This flawed basis to understand the health of society often becomes the basis of genocidal means seeing those that are the most vulnerable in society as social parasites. So although it’s great to be happy about seeing nature return or air pollution decreasing, stop saying stuff, like humanity’s the real virus, etc. Because what you’re essentially saying is that those that are the most vulnerable, the working class, the poor, the elderly deserve to die. It’s here that I want to inject a quote from Rachel Carson that I think is very pertinent to this time, and that is, “but man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
Happy Earth ya’ll! Don’t be an eco fascist.