Independent Science News has just published: Anthropocene Boosters and the Attack on Wilderness Conservation an important new article by George Wuerthner, the Ecological Projects Director of the Foundation for Deep Ecology. While the Anthropocene booster agenda opposes wilderness conservation, it is also an attack on public health as well as social and environmental justice movements — including the food movement.
Synopsis: Conservation is under attack. The attack comes from individuals and institutions (described in this article as Anthropocene Boosters, but sometimes referred to as “Neo-greens,” the “New Conservationists,” the “New Environmentalism,” etc.) whose intention is to undermine traditional wildlife conservation and replace it with a custodial mindset. The Anthropocene Boosters argue we cannot preserve wilderness, since it no longer exists. They claim conservationists and environmentalists should stop criticizing corporations, or discussing the idea of natural limits, and instead should join with corporations to manage the earth for human welfare and “progress”.
This “new” mindset, argues Wuerthner, is in some parts simply erroneous and in others based on “straw man” arguments. It is, of course, dangerously hubristic. However, its attendant celebration of “working landscapes,” “market forces” and “price tags on nature” — coupled with its promotion of controversial technologies including nuclear power, GMOs and fracking — speaks to an older and deeper agenda. A major goal is to eliminate environmental regulation and land use restrictions. The efforts of the Anthropocene Boosters must therefore be understood as the latest attempt to obscure corporate responsibility for environmental and social problems. They promote corporate interests and attempt to frame “business as usual” as the “new” solution to be embraced.
A one page summary table of the Anthropocene Boosters and their Agenda: List of people, corporate partners, key words, strategies, and concepts.
Island Press and the Foundation for Deep Ecology have just published the book: Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of the Earth, edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. It contains articles by a wide variety of authors who challenge the Anthropocene myth and seek to offer a different vision for the future — one of both human sufficiency and an abundance of wild nature.
For an edited extract of Paul Kingsnorth’s piece in Keeping the Wild see: “The ‘Neo-greens’ Will Not Rejuvenate Our Movement” in Resurgence/The Ecologist.
Stephen Corry discusses historic conservation’s ties with eugenics and decimation of native peoples and how much of neo-conservation’s efforts are actually land grabs: The Colonial Origins of Conservation: The Disturbing History Behind US National Parks.