Book review: Eco-fascists

 

I don’t think there is any doubt that the world is heading for some kind of crisis.  Probably a combination of climate-change meets peak oil kinda thing.  We’ll run out of energy, oil, water and/or civility at much the same time as billions try to migrate away from the ever-hotter sunbelt.  I mean, you can see that happening already, can’t you?

And it will get more complicated by food shortages and currency earthquakes, economic shifts and increased national and cultural tensions not to mention the weird inclination of governments all around the world to be more oppressive. 

The times, they are a’changing, eh?  And FAST!

But some things are good, right?  I mean, we have Green consciousness now.  We have eco-movements.  We have blue-box.  We save whales.  We are (the righteous and pure of heart) at least shouting the right message from our Prius.  We are trying do to the right thing.  Right?

Not according to Elizabeth Nickson in her book Eco-fascists.  Lizzie doesn’t like the green movement.  She doesn’t like the organized, institutionalized efforts being made.  She hates ’em.  And she makes a few good points in her criticisms.

Basically, Liz says that BIG GREEN is like BIG PHARMA or BIG BROTHER.  BIG GREEN is elitist, bureaucratic, Machiavellian, corrupt and gets the opposite results from what people and the planet want.  She debunks BIG GREEN as corrupt, myopic and rolling in dough (spending 10’s of billions each year just on propaganda). Worse, they are driving people from the land!

One of her examples is the Island Trust.  She was, of course, a victim of it because she lives on Saltspring and wanted to subdivide but that doesn’t negate her points.

She claims that the unelected trust and it’s required ‘hoops’ is slow, expensive and sports a staff of 45 bureaucrats whose main focus for the southern Gulf Islands is to ensure that nothing can happen.  She states that a landowner with waterfront can’t plant a garden within 100 feet of the ocean (or any body of water) without getting a $2500 environmental study filed.  And she goes on and on about that kind of madness not only in little political fiefdoms like the Islands Trust but also in Green Peace, the Sierra Club and other champions of our planet.  She really doesn’t like land trusts and she especially criticizes the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States.

But, then again…….is that news?  I am not so sure.  I confess that I have always attributed good motives to those organizations even if they were a little over zealous or bureaucratic at times.  But the truth is, just as power corrupts in the usual sense so can Green power.  There is no greater enemy to reason than the righteous and the pure-of-heart and, as a member of the Greenies I, too, have cloaked myself in righteousness and purity now and then.  And I felt more powerful as a result of it.  And I am capable of making mistakes with that power, too.

She claims that is exactly what is happening throughout the environmental movement and worse, they are exercising that power in ways that are destructive and prejudicial to rural life.

And, I admit that I see that there is an erosion of the ability of people to live rurally.  I see an invisible hand guiding most people to the cities.  Stack ’em and pack ’em is the plan it seems.  She claims it is not only the plan but that the plan negatively impacts the planet!

I find it hard to like this author.  She tends to write in a fast and loose manner and she draws negative conclusions everywhere she looks.  Worse, she is debunking some of my favourite entities.  To be fair, though, she has looked in a lot of places.  She has done her research.

I will think about what she has written.  It is definitely a different message.

 

5 thoughts on “Book review: Eco-fascists

  1. I understand the Islands Trust is often seen as being overly bureaucratic but does that make them part of ‘ Big Green’. The Islands Trust is an elected body and could be voted out. The by-laws of the Islands Trust must follow due process. The days of the wild, wild west, are over and a certain percentage of folks want rule of law…what selfish bastards eh!

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  2. She claims they are unfair, inflexible and unnecessary (what with the Regional District and the province). She also claims they have a maximum number of households (4700?) and that you might have 200 acres of land and not be able to have two houses. I confess that I have not researched all her claims but I am giving a Harper Collins published author the benefit of much of them.

    And I have to add that the days of the WW west are not, in the least, over. They are just over for your neighbour or the guy down the street. Look at fish farms. Look at Enbridge. Look at Island Timberlands. Look at strip-mining, clear cutting, overfishing. Look at the way First Nations govern what they have. It is crazy wild out there if you have politics going for you. Only the little guy can’t plant his garden on his own land or, as in many planned communities, hang laundry on the line!

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  3. Your point is well taken about the WW west as it applies to the ‘job creators.’ If only the ‘job creators’ cleaned up after themselves…slash piles, fish farm effluent, tailing pond and clear cuts. Are the Islands Trust against logging, mining and factory fish farming? I am probably misinformed but my understanding is that the Islands Trust oppose the mighty and the small equally. N’est ce pas?

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    • No, I think you are right. The ITrust is against everything but she makes the point that, by being so, they are petty, narrow and perverted to the people, the real people, the small potatoes. She claims that man is NOT a virus on the earth and that people should be allowed to garden, chop down a tree and so on. Even catch a fish. She argues that the rules that restrict your neighbour are so onerous that it sends him (or his kids) packing into the city. Those same rules – altho levied against mega-corp – are skirted, corrupted or afforded by mega corp or the financially backed politicians and they then prosper. It is certainly true that corporations can do things ordinary people can’t and pollution is a good example. I don’t think she is all wrong.

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  4. The Islands Trust does appear to be able to punch above it’s weight but when it comes to the issuing of ‘thou shall nots’ but most folks just do not listen. I know a guy who knows a guy who was told by Islands Trust, “The foundation of your workshop’s corner is encroaching by six inches onto the future road easement. He ignored them and nothing happened.

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