Event Recording – Collapse: Climate, Ecology and Civilization

Event Recording – Collapse: Climate, Ecology and Civilization

On November 19th, Deep Green Resistance hosted a special 3-hour live streaming event, “Collapse: Climate, Ecology, and Civilization” featuring Derrick Jensen, Saba Malik, Max Wilbert, Robert Jensen, Lierre Keith, and a variety of other grassroots activists from four continents. The recording of the event has been released. The fundraiser and auction still continues. Auction will end on Wednesday.

Our way of life doesn’t need to be saved. The planet needs to be saved from our way of life. Right now civilization is causing the extinction of 200 species a day. It is drawing down the Earth’s capacity to support life. Ultimately, we are talking about the future of all generations being sacrificed.

Deep Green Resistance is the movement that is dedicated to stopping this. We are some of the people that are willing to be honest about what’s going on here and dedicate our lives to stopping this culture of empire. DGR keeps the natural world at the center of all our strategies and tactics. We are working not just to stop one bad law, or one bad corporation, or one bad government. We are working to fundamentally transform this entire culture.

There is nothing more important in this entire world than the health of the world. The only thing that will save this planet is for industrial civilization to stop. Whatever you love, it is under assault. Love is a verb. We’ve got to let our love call us to action.

In this video:

  • 02:00 Introduction by Max Wilbert
  • 07:47 Keynote by Lierre Keith
  • 24:14 Keynote by Saba Malik
  • 49:55 Activist report-backs
  • 1:28:43 Keynote by Robert Jensen
  • 1:41:26 Keynote by Derrick Jensen

We would like to thank all our supporters for their constant support. Your help goes a long way in making possible all that we do.

A crease in apocalyptic time by Will Falk

The apocalypse doesn’t care about weekends. But, on some Sunday afternoons, especially when the November northern California clouds part and the redwoods are draped in their gold, emerald, and ebony robes, I need a break. I take my cup of tea and notebook to the front porch and wait for the light to change.
It doesn’t happen every time. It doesn’t even happen most of the time. But, every once in a while, ravens fly across my vision, brushing the sky clean, and pulling the world’s sharpest knife across the air to cut a fine crease in Time, herself.
My perception slows as the veil falls away and I slip into a long, amber moment. The sun kisses my brow. Shadows cup my head. And, natural warmth holds me closer than any human lover. I know if I could just find this embrace, even if only every once in a while, I’d be strong enough to fight the apocalypse.
But everyday eventually fades. Moments must pass to exist. Moments must exist for light to move. And, light must move to hold me like this.
The sun slips away on Earth’s autumnal slants and I am cold again. Time stitches close the crease the ravens cut. Long, amber moments become simple tick-tocking seconds again, marching tirelessly into the dark future.
A chainsaw keens in the distance. Planes vandalize the sunset. A muffler pops like gun shots. And, the redwoods – naked in the dusk now – know that soon it will be too hot to live here, to live anywhere, anymore.
I don’t know where the ravens will take their knife, then. I don’t know where the shadows will dance. And, I don’t know who will protect me from this apocalypse.


Will Falk is a writer, lawyer, and environmental activist. The natural world speaks and Will’s work is how he listens. He believes the ongoing destruction of the natural world is the most pressing issue confronting us today. For Will, writing is a tool to be used in resistance. 

The Green Flame is a Deep Green Resistance podcast that brings you revolutionary analysis, practical skills, and artistic expression from the grassroots movement to dismantle global industrial civilization. The show was launched in 2019.

Listen now on your preferred platform:


Live Streaming Event — Collapse: Ecology, Climate, and Civilization

Live Streaming Event — Collapse: Ecology, Climate, and Civilization

Today, November 19th, Deep Green Resistance is hosting a live online event on the topic of collapse. The event will start at 3 PM Pacific Time (11pm / 23:00 UTC) and will be hosted on Givebutter and Facebook.

This live event will explore issues of collapse (ecological, climatic, and civilizational) with a focus on organized, political resistance to slow and mitigate the worst aspects of collapse and accelerate the positive impacts. There will be opportunities to ask questions and participate in dialogue.

The event is also a fundraiser. The raised funds will go to fund a national speaking tour, community-led land defense in the Philippines, campaigns addressing mining and biodiversity, training programs for activists around the world, and other organizational work.

Keynote speakers

Lierre Keith

Lierre Keith, a founding member of Deep Green Resistance, is an American writer, radical feminist, food activist, and environmentalist. Lierre is the author of the novels Conditions of War and Skyler Gabriel. Her non-fiction works include the highly acclaimed The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. She is coauthor, with Derrick Jensen and Aric McBay, of Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet (Seven Stories Press, 2011) and she’s the editor of The Derrick Jensen Reader: Writings on Environmental Revolution (Seven Stories Press, 2012).

Saba Malik

liveSaba, also a founding member of Deep Green Resistance, is a longtime radical feminist, environmentalist, and anti-racist organizer. She studies herbal medicine and loves to spend time in the forest with her children.



Robert Jensen

Robert JensenRobert Jensen is an emeritus professor in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin and a founding board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. He collaborates with New Perennials Publishing and the New Perennials Project at Middlebury College. Jensen is associate producer and host of Podcast from the Prairie, with Wes Jackson.





Derrick Jensen

Derrick JensenDerrick Jensen is an American ecophilosopher, writer, author, teacher and environmentalist. Utne Reader named Jensen among “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World” in 2008, and Democracy Now! says that he “has been called the poet-philosopher of the ecology movement”.


Other features

Activist Report Back

In this segment, DGR members share their experiences regarding what the different organizing work that they have been involved in.

Silent auction

The silent auction will features items (paintings, books, etc) donated by members of DGR. The auction will open with the event and will remain open till Wednesday. You can find the auction here.


  • 3pm – Live Event begins
  • 3:10pm – Lierre Keith
  • 3:25pm – Saba Malik
  • 3:35pm – Activist report-backs
  • 3:50pm – Intermission
  • 4pm – Robert Jensen
  • 4:25pm – Derrick Jensen
  • 5pm – Event ends

You can watch the event here: Givebutter

Collapse: Ecology, Climate and Civilization [Event Announcement]

Collapse: Ecology, Climate and Civilization [Event Announcement]

The Deep Green Resistance Fall Fundraiser Event

Our way of life — industrial civilization — is destroying the planet.

From coral reefs to the great forests, the last strongholds of the wild are falling. The climate is destabilizing. And we are entering the 6th mass extinction of life on Earth. Ecological collapse is here.

This unprecedented crisis demands extraordinary solutions. And yet, governments and mainstream environmental groups are failing to chart a path towards a livable future. What is to be done?

This November 19th, join the philosopher poet of the deep ecology movement Derrick Jensen, radical eco-feminist author and strategist Lierre Kieth, and special guests Saba Malik, Robert Jensen and Dahr Jamail for a special 3-hour live streaming event, Collapse: Ecology, Climate, and Civilization starting at 3pm Pacific Time and hosted by Deep Green Resistance.

This event will explore issues of collapse (ecological, climatic, and civilizational) with a focus on organized, political resistance to slow and mitigate the worst aspects of collapse and accelerate the positive impacts. There will be opportunities to ask questions and participate in dialogue.

This event is also a fundraiser, because the mainstream environmental movement is funded mainly by foundations which don’t want foundational or revolutionary change. Radical organizations like Deep Green Resistance rely on individual donors to support our work.

We are raising $25,000 to fund a national speaking tour, a community-led hydropower dam resistance campaign in the Philippines, land-defense campaigns addressing mining and biodiversity, training programs for activists around the world, and other organizational work.

Whether or not you are in a financial position to donate, we hope you will join us this November 19th for this special event!

You can view the event live on Givebutter or on Facebook.

Warrior Woman by Will Falk
I was surrounded and about to surrender
when she broke the battle
and carried me from the frontlines.
When, at last, we were safe and alone,
she cradled me in her arms,
warmed me by the fire in her breast
and let the starlight falling
from her smile shine away
the horrors of the night.
She offered to bathe my wounds there
in that kind gaze pouring from her eyes.
They were the color of brown stones
dancing in the dappling sunshine
under the pure, precontact currents
of strong, clean Alaskan streams.
I must have flinched there
at the fierceness of her generosity
because she asked me if
I was still afraid.
It was too selfish to say
“I fear you’ll push me away
from your bright radiance
back into the black combat
you pulled me from.”
No matter what I really wanted,
I could not ask her to hold me there
forever. Or, even for the rest of my life.
I could not ask her to do this
because I remembered
when she introduced herself,
there were eagles
and killer whales in her name.
I hate talons in chains,
and the sight of bloated bodies
floating belly up
in concrete prison pools in parks
that don’t amuse anyone anymore.
So, I told the whole truth.
I was afraid I would linger there
overlong, while all the streams were strangled,
the songbirds silenced, and the salmon starved.
I was afraid that if I shed my armor
to press my bare skin to hers
I’d never rise to fight again.
Her laugh was as gentle
as the first snowfall on
a transboundary bay.
Her kiss was as soothing
as the first sunshine on
a post-blizzard day.
She said: eagles leap from their nests,
killer whales kill,
warriors know when to make war,
and we will fight side by side,
my scared, tired man.
All my dams crashed down, then.
The sword fell from my hand.
And I learned I could
make love and make war
with this true warrior woman
Will Falk is a writer, lawyer, and environmental activist. The natural world speaks and Will’s work is how he listens. He believes the ongoing destruction of the natural world is the most pressing issue confronting us today. For Will, writing is a tool to be used in resistance.
Derrick Jensen: “Civilization is Not—and Can Never Be—Sustainable”

Derrick Jensen: “Civilization is Not—and Can Never Be—Sustainable”

Editor’s note: This excerpt comes from the book Endgame by Derrick Jensen, a two-volume book consisting of Volume 1: The Problem of Civilization and Volume 2: Resistance. These premises serve as a starting point for Endgame and are explored in detail in the book, which may be Jensen’s magnum opus. If you are confused by these premises, we highly recommend reading the book. See here for a definition of civilization.

PREMISE ONE: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.

PREMISE TWO: Traditional communities do not often voluntarily give up or sell the resources on which their communities are based until their communities have been destroyed. They also do not willingly allow their landbases to be damaged so that other resources—gold, oil, and so on—can be extracted. It follows that those who want the resources will do what they can to destroy traditional communities.

PREMISE THREE: Our way of living—industrial civilization—is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence.

PREMISE FOUR: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.

PREMISE FIVE: The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control—in everyday language, to make money—by destroying or taking the lives of those below. This is called production. If those below damage the property of those above, those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below. This is called justice.

PREMISE SIX : Civilization is not redeemable. This culture will not undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living. If we do not put a halt to it, civilization will continue to immiserate the vast majority of humans and to degrade the planet until it (civilization, and probably the  planet) collapses. The effects of this degradation will continue to harm humans and nonhumans for a very long time.

PREMISE SEVEN: The longer we wait for civilization to crash—or the longer we wait before we ourselves bring it down—the messier the crash will be, and the worse things will be for those humans and nonhumans who live during it, and for those who come after.

PREMISE EIGHT: The needs of the natural world are more important than the needs of the economic system.

Another way to put Premise Eight: Any economic or social system that does not benefit the natural communities on which it is based is unsustainable, immoral, and stupid. Sustainability, morality, and intelligence (as well as justice) require the dismantling of any such economic or social system, or at the very least disallowing it from damaging your landbase.

PREMISE NINE: Although there will clearly someday be far fewer humans than there are at present, there are many ways this reduction in population may occur (or be achieved, depending on the passivity or activity with which we choose to approach this transformation). Some will be characterized by extreme violence and privation: nuclear Armageddon, for example, would reduce both population and consumption, yet do so horrifically; the same would be true for a continuation of overshoot, followed by a crash. Other ways could be characterized by less violence. Given the current levels of violence by this culture against both humans and the natural world, however, it’s not possible to speak of reductions in population and consumption that do not involve violence and privation, not because the reductions themselves would necessarily involve violence, but because violence and privation have become the default of our culture. Yet some ways of reducing population and consumption, while still violent, would con- sist of decreasing the current levels of violence—required and caused by the (often forced) movement of resources from the poor to the rich—and would of course be marked by a reduction in current violence against the natural world. Personally and collectively we may be able to both reduce the amount and soften the character of violence that occurs during this ongoing and perhaps long- term shift. Or we may not. But this much is certain: if we do not approach it actively—if we do not talk about our predicament and what we are going to do about it—the violence will almost undoubtedly be far more severe, the privation more extreme.

PREMISE TEN: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.

PREMISE ELEVEN: From the beginning, this culture—civilization—has been a culture of occupation.

PREMISE TWELVE: There are no rich people in the world, and there are no poor people. There are just people. The rich may have lots of pieces of green paper that many pretend are worth something—or their presumed riches may be even more abstract: numbers on hard drives at banks—and the poor may not. These “rich” claim they own land, and the “poor” are often denied the right to make that same claim. A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.

PREMISE THIRTEEN: Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make reasonable decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist.

PREMISE FOURTEEN: From birth on—and probably from conception, but I’m not sure how I’d make the case—we are individually and collectively enculturated to hate life, hate the natural world, hate the wild, hate wild animals, hate women, hate children, hate our bodies, hate and fear our emotions, hate our- selves. If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes. If we did not hate ourselves, we could not allow our homes—and our bodies—to be poisoned.

PREMISE FIFTEEN: Love does not imply pacifism.

PREMISE SIXTEEN: The material world is primary.This does not mean that the spirit does not exist, nor that the material world is all there is. It means that spirit mixes with flesh. It means also that real world actions have real world consequences. It means we cannot rely on Jesus, Santa Claus, the Great Mother, or even the Easter Bunny to get us out of this mess. It means this mess really is a mess, and not just the movement of God’s eyebrows. It means we have to face this mess ourselves. It means that for the time we are here on Earth—whether or not we end up somewhere else after we die, and whether we are condemned or privileged to live here—the Earth is the point. It is primary. It is our home. It is everything. It is silly to think or act or be as though this world is not real and primary. It is silly and pathetic to not live our lives as though our lives are real.

PREMISE SEVENTEEN: It is a mistake (or more likely, denial) to base our decisions on whether actions arising from them will or won’t frighten fence-sitters, or the mass of Americans.

PREMISE EIGHTEEN: Our current sense of self is no more sustainable than our current use of energy or technology.

PREMISE NINETEEN: The culture’s problem lies above all in the belief that controlling and abusing the natural world is justifiable.

PREMISE TWENTY: Within this culture, economics—not community well-being, not morals, not ethics, not justice, not life itself—drives social decisions.

Modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are determined primarily (and often exclusively) on the basis of whether these decisions will increase the monetary fortunes of the decision-makers and those they serve.

Re-modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are determined primarily (and often exclusively) on the basis of whether these decisions will increase the power of the decision-makers and those they serve.

Re-modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are founded primarily (and often exclusively) on the almost entirely unexamined belief that the decision-makers and those they serve are entitled to magnify their power and/or financial fortunes at the expense of those below

Re-modification of Premise Twenty: If you dig to the heart of it—if there is any heart left—you will find that social decisions are determined primarily on the basis of how well these decisions serve the ends of controlling or destroying wild nature.


The Shock Doctrine: How Climate Fear is Being Weaponized to Make Billions

The Shock Doctrine: How Climate Fear is Being Weaponized to Make Billions

Editor’s note: As the climate catastrophe worsens, chaos and contradiction reigns. Grassroots people’s resistance to the fossil fuel industry is growing, but so is government repression, and investment in coal, oil, and gas continues to grow (last year, more than 83% of global energy was supplied by fossil fuels). Meanwhile, governments are censoring the true depths of the crisis and a rush of big-businesses are seeking to capitalize on global warming, seeing a massive “shock doctrine” opportunity for profiting off the crisis.

Today we bring you an excerpt from the book Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and What We Can Do About It by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert, a book which Chris Hedges says “asks the questions most refuse to ask, and in that questioning, that seeking, uncovers profound truths we ignore at our peril.”

This excerpt uses Naomi Klein’s concept of the “Shock Doctrine” to analyze how big business has co-opted the environmental movement into a de-facto lobbying arm for the so-called “green” technology industry, and in the process has turned away from the fundamental values of the environmentalism.

bright green lies book cover - shock doctrine excerptIt shouldn’t surprise us that the values of the environmental movement have degraded so much in the last 30 years.

Now more than ever, people are immersed in technology instead of the real world. As one report states, “The average young American now spends practically every minute—except for time in school—using a smart- phone, computer, television or electronic device.” A recent poll in Britain found that the average 18-to-25-year-old rated an internet connection as more important than daylight.

We’ve come a long way from the naturalists we were born to be; from inhabiting a living world flush with kin to serving a society in thrall to machines.

It’s no wonder, then, that so many people believe in nonsensical technological solutions. Technology does it for them and the real world doesn’t.

And so, the absurd becomes normal. We hear that green technology will stop global warming. We hear that cutting down forests and burning them is good for the planet. We hear that damming rivers is good for the planet. We hear that destroying the desert to put in solar panels is good for the planet. We hear that industrial recycling will save the world. We hear that commodifying nature is somehow significantly different than business as usual. We hear that we can invest our way to sustainable capitalism. We hear that capitalism can be sustainable.

A global growth rate of 3 percent, which is considered the mini- mum for capitalism to function, means the world economy doubles every 24 years. This is, of course, madness. If we can’t even name capitalism as a problem, how are we to have any chance of saving the planet?

There’s no doubt that global warming is apocalyptic. I (Max) have stood on thawing permafrost above the Arctic Circle and seen entire forests collapsing as soils lose integrity under their roots. This culture is changing the composition of the planet’s climate. But this is not the only crisis the world is facing, and to pretend otherwise ignores the true roots of the problem.

The Sierra Club has a campaign called “Ready for 100.” The campaign’s goal is to “convince 50 college campuses, a dozen key cities and half a dozen key states to go 100 percent renewable.’” The executive director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, explains,

“There are a few reasons why Ready for 100 is working—why it’s such a powerful idea. People have agency, for one. People who are outraged, alarmed, depressed, filled with despair about climate change—they want to make a difference in ways they can see, so they’re turning to their backyards. Turning to their city, their state, their university. And, it’s exciting—it’s a way to address this not just through dread, but with something that sparks your imagination.”

There are a lot of problems with that statement. First, is Ready for 100 really “working,” like Brune says? That depends on the unspoken part of that statement: working to achieve what? He may mean that the campaign is working to mobilize a larger main- stream climate movement. He may mean that Ready for 100 is working in the sense that more “renewable” infrastructure is being built, in great measure because more subsidies are being given to the industry.

If he means Ready for 100 is working to reduce the burning of coal, oil, and gas—which is, in fact, what he means—he’s dead wrong, as “fossil fuels continue to absolutely dominate global energy consumption.”

There’s more about Brune’s quote that’s bothersome. He’s explicitly turning people’s “outrage, alarm, depression, and despair” into means that serve the ends of capital; through causing people to use these very real feelings to lobby for specific sectors of the industrial economy.

If a plan won’t work, it doesn’t matter if people have “agency.” The ongoing destruction of the planet, and the continued dominance of coal, oil, and gas, seems to be less important than diverting people’s rage—which, if left unchecked, might actually explode into something that would stop capitalism and industrialism from murdering the planet—into corporate-friendly ends.

Led by 350.org, the Fossil Free campaign aims to remove financial support for the coal, oil, and gas industries by pressuring institutions such as churches, cities, and universities to divest. It’s modeled on the three-pronged boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) resistance to South African apartheid (a model used today against Israel). The Fossil Free campaign has thus far pressured 800 institutions and 58,000 individuals to divest $6 trillion. Some of these are partial divestments, such as withdrawing from tar sands but continuing to fund fracking.

Still, sounds great, right? Anyone fighting to stop coal, oil, and gas is doing a very good thing.

But given how little time we have, and how badly we’re losing the fight for the planet, we have to ask if divestment is an effective strategy.

The answer, unfortunately, is not really. Jay Taber of Intercontinental Cry points out that “All this divestment does is make once publicly held shares available on Wall Street, which allows trading houses like Goldman Sachs to further consolidate their control of the industry. BDS, when applied against apartheid states by other states and international institutions, includes cut- ting off access to finance, as well as penalties for crimes against humanity.” He states quite bluntly that divestment acts to “redirect activism away from effective work.”

Bill Gates—not usually someone we’d listen to—seems to agree. “If you think divestment alone is a solution,” Gates writes, “I worry you’re taking whatever desire people have to solve this problem and kind of using up their idealism and energy on something that won’t emit less carbon—because only a few people in society are the owners of the equity of coal or oil companies.”

If it occurs on a wide enough scale, divestment makes previously held stocks, bonds, and other investment products available for purchase. This glut drops prices, making it easier for less ethical investors to buy. This not only consolidates the industry, but it also makes fossil fuel stocks more profitable for those who snatch them up. As journalist Christian Parenti writes, “So how will dumping Exxon stock hurt its income, that is, its bottom line? It might, in fact, improve the company’s price to earnings ratio thus making the stock more attractive to immoral buyers. Or it could allow the firm to more easily buy back stock (which it has been doing at a massive scale for the last five years) and thus retain more of its earnings for use to develop more oil fields.”

It’s unlikely any divestment campaigner believes divestment alone will stop global warming. The Fossil Free website recognizes this, writing: “The campaign began in an effort to stigmatize the Fossil Fuel industry—the financial impact was secondary to the socio-political impact.” But as the amount of money being divested continues to grow, reinvestment is becoming a more central part of the fossil fuel divestment campaign. The website continues: “We have a responsibility and an opportunity to ask ourselves how moving the money itself … can help us usher forth our vision.”

Great! So, they’re suggesting these organizations take their money out of oil industry stocks, and use that money to set aside land as wilderness, for wild nature, right?

Well, no. They want the money to be used to fund “renewable energy.” And they’ve slipped a premise past us: the idea that divestment and reinvestment can work to create a better world. It’s an extraordinary claim, and not supported by evidence. As Anne Petermann of the Global Justice Ecology Project writes, “Can the very markets that have led us to the brink of the abyss now provide our parachute? … Under this system, those with the money have all the power. Then why are we trying to reform this system? Why are we not transforming it?”

Activist Keith Brunner writes, “Yes, the fossil fuel corporations are the big bad wolf, but just as problematic is the system of investment and returns which necessitates a growth economy (it’s called capitalism).” His conclusion: “We aren’t going to invest our way to a livable planet.”

Is it better to fight for “achievable, realistic” goals through reform, or address the fundamental issues at their root? Usually, we’re in favor of both. If we wait for the great and glorious revolution and don’t do any reform work (which we could also call defensive work), by the time the revolution comes, the world will have been consumed by this culture. And if we only do defensive work and don’t address the causes of the problems, this culture will consume the world until there’s nothing left.

But it’s pretty clear that the real goal of the bright greens isn’t defending the planet: Everyone from Lester Brown to Kumi Naidoo has been explicit about this. The real goal is to get money into so-called green technology. A recent article notes, “Climate solutions need cold, hard cash … about a trillion a year.”

One of Naomi Klein’s biggest contributions to discourse is her articulation of the “shock doctrine,” which she defines as “how America’s ‘free market’ policies have come to dominate the world—through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.” In her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Klein explains—brilliantly—how the same principles used to disorient and extract concessions from victims of torture can be leveraged to extract political concessions from entire nations in the wake of major disasters. She gives many examples, including the wave of austerity and privatization in Chile following the Pinochet coup in 1973, the massive expansion of industrialism and silencing of dissidents following the Tienanmen Square massacre in China in 1989, and the dismantling of low-income housing and replacement of public education with for-profit schools in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The shock doctrine also perfectly describes the entire bright green movement: Because of a terrible and very real disaster (in this case, climate change), you need to hand over huge subsidies to a sector of the industrial economy, and you need to let us destroy far more of the natural world, from Baotou to the Mojave Desert to the bottom of the ocean. If you don’t give us lots of money and let us destroy far more of the natural world, you will lose the luxuries that are evidently more important to you than life on the planet.

Once you start looking for this trend, it’s really clear. There’s a 2016 article in Renewable Energy World magazine about the Desert Renewable Energy and Conservation Plan. The plan allows major solar energy harvesting facilities to be built in some areas of the California desert, but not other areas. Shannon Eddy, head of the Large-Scale Solar Association, considers protecting parts of the desert “a blow.” She says, “The world is on fire—CO2 levels just breached the 400-ppm threshold. We need to do everything we can right now to reduce emissions by getting renewable projects online.”

Everything including destroying the desert. This is reminiscent of a phrase from the Vietnam War era, which originated in 1968 with AP correspondent Peter Arnett: “‘It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,’ a United States major said today.”

If you enjoyed this excerpt, you can order the book Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and What We Can Do About It to your local bookstore or anywhere you find books. It’s also available in audiobook format on Audible and other platforms.

We also invite readers to get involved in people’s movements against greenwashing and for degrowth, resistance to industrial civilization, humane population reduction, and for the land. You can learn more about an active struggle over these issues at Protect Thacker Pass.