Wednesday, October 09, 2019

White nationalists, please go ahead and actually study climate change

Over the summer, there was a smattering of concern over white nationalists who depart from the usual right-wing, conspiratorial denial of climate change. Instead they incorporate the threat of climate immigration as part of their "Great Replacement" theory of white suicide.

This is no joking matter when it comes to mass murderers like the El Paso Walmart killer. The racists' relationship to climate change can't become particularly deep, however. Anything more than the shallowest understanding of climate that still accepts the science will clearly affix blame, and that blame doesn't belong to Syrian, African, and Latin American refugees. Any real understanding would put pressure, at least somewhat, on their racist ideology. Short of actual understanding, they could still seize upon climate change as yet another poorly-thought-out excuse for hatred, but that misuse is possible for any headline. Racists should study the issue itself and take the chance to reconsider their ideology.

The broader issue of environmentalism overlapping with racism is trickier though because population growth is a real-if-secondary factor in environmental harm, with the environmental footprint of each individual being the primary driving factor. Immigration doesn't increase population globally but does increase it in the receiving nation. The problem, ironically, is the opposite of what racists normally think: immigrants don't fail to assimilate but rather assimilate just fine, leaving behind the small individual footprint of the country they left and taking on the massive footprint of the rich country they joined.

Not all the time, of course. When I was campaigning for a water district election during California's drought, I came across an older Indian woman in a wealthier neighborhood, carefully handwashing her car from a bucket. She said nobody had to educate her about water conservation, she immigrated here with that knowledge. Good on her, but I don't know that her kids or grandkids would have the same habits.

Racists are going to misuse the overpopulation issue. They have to be fought when they do that, while still acknowledging overpopulation is an issue. Reducing population growth in the richest countries, along with reducing the individual footprints, should be a priority. Reducing that footprint could even make it easier to accommodate more immigration, rather than fighting immigration.


Bernard J. said...

If racists want to keep their whiteness white, they should be doing their damnedest to ensure that other nations are protected against aggression, exploitation, and corruption. Oh, and of course, against the impacts of climate change.

Instead the US has Trump just this week single-handedly pulling 50 special forces peace-keppers from Syria as a favour to Erdoğan, allowing Erdoğan to immediately move his forces to attack the tens of thousands of Kurds and to displace up to a million Syrian refugees. That's not going to do anything to keep the non-whites from migrating to find safe haven somewhere - anywhere - else in the world.

And this climate change denial thing - the delay caused by this will eventually see hundreds of millions of climate change refugees sweeping over borders regardless of any expensive and ineffectual walls. When there are race riots resulting from the racists' horror at having to rub shoulders with climate refugees, they should remember that they were the cause of the migrations in the first place.

Brian Schmidt said...

That's an important point, Bernard - climate immigration isn't just caused by climate change, but by climate denialism and inaction, so the people concerned about climate immigration should assign a great deal of blame to the ones that have denied climate change and continue to fight actions to combat it.

I guess that's true about climate impacts in general.

izen said...

I find it inconceivable that white nationalist will even acknowledge, never mind accept any culpability for the ongoing increase in climate refugees as a result of the rejection of climate change they have espoused.

A central tenet of their belief system is that there is no global community, that only national groups based on ethnicity and colour are valid.
The actual response they take can already be seen in its nascent form in the Trump administrations response to the present migration from S American nations. Aid that might ameliorate the effects of climate change is being cut to those nations. Political pressure is applied to force those nations to prevent migration or accept refugees and confine them within their own borders.

This may prove counter-productive. The asylum agreements by the United States with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the suggestion refugees could be sent to Panama, and the political/economic pressure applied to those countries and Mexico to keep the refugees out of (white) America is causing political instability in the region that is likely to increase the migration of people who see no viable future within the borders of increasingly unstable nations.

Moats with crocodiles will be the least of the suggested remedies, and any concept that some blame might be ascribed to the white nation will be dismissed as 'Liberal' treason.

Canman said...

Immigration might be increasing, because of droughts, which might be increasing, because of temperatures, which might be increasing, because of increasing CO2, instead of natural variability. You guys are a cult.


"Moats with crocodiles will be the least of the suggested remedies,"

Given how Central America's naturally crocodile infested estuaries have failed to keep refugees in, it is hard to see how stocking our border waterways with walking luggage will keep them out.

As the Mar Del Lago Winter White House abuts a salt waterway, America's First Scientist test his hypothesis in his own back yard:

Barton Paul Levenson said...

C: Immigration might be increasing, because of droughts, which might be increasing, because of temperatures, which might be increasing, because of increasing CO2, instead of natural variability. You guys are a cult.

BPL: Way to straw-man, C. Why do you hate Ray Bolger?

David B. Benson said...

So there you are.

Fernando Leanme said...

Nowadays I find democrats to be more racist than republicans. It's interesting to read the sneering way leftists refer to me as an old white man. I suppose they think I'm a deplorable. The communists called me a worm in Cuba, and a "squalid" in Venezuela. It doesn't matter.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

FL: I find democrats to be more racist than republicans.

BPL: Of course you do. You probably also find up to be down and black to be white.

RhainneColes said...

White nationalists is one of a group of militant whites who espouse white supremacy and advocate enforced racial segregation.