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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#40: The Life and Death of Radical Environmentalism

(01/24/2022) As grief and terror about the ecological crisis intensifies, it seems increasingly curious that for many years a radical environmental movement—based on a deep sense of connection with, and rage on behalf of, all life on earth—existed, but is now largely silent. Neither a history nor an assessment of strategies, this episode is an examination of the perceptual framework that animated this movement. Starting with the observation that despite objectively worsening conditions, ecological sabotage used to be much more common, we examine the relationship between worldviews and tactics; the useless (and equally pervasive) construct of nature vs. humanity; the embodied experience of unity with all life; the baffling complexity of fighting for a survivable climate rather than a specific place; and the notion of the right and left brain hemispheres engaging in a long-term evolutionary war, in which the emergence of Earth First! could be described as one battle.

Bibliography for episode 40:

Anonymous. (2003) Down with the Empire, Up with the Spring. Do or Die 10:1-101.

Bari, J. (1992) Timber Wars. Common Courage Press.

Bari, J. Revolutionary Ecology: Biocentrism and Deep Ecology.

Earth First! The Politics of Radical Environmentalism by Chris Manes. 1987.

Foreman, D. (1991) Confessions of an Eco-Warrior. Crown Trade Books.

Manes, C. (1990) Green Rage: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization. Little, Brown, and Company.

McGilchrist, I. ((2009) The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Yale University Press.

Zakin, S. (1995) Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement. Penguin Books.

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