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“Never believe for one moment there’s a shortage of anything”

Eco-fascism is on the march in Europe


Eco-fascism is on the march in Europe, a reactionary movement gaining motive force as the continent’s liberal democracies are increasingly wracked by fossil-fueled storms, fires, heat waves, and droughts, as well as the predations of petrodictator Vladimir Putin.

Two weeks ago, neo-Nazis won to lead a coalition government in Sweden. Now, neo-fascist Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy, has announced victory in Italy’s elections. Meloni’s climate agenda will be familiar to readers of Andreas Malm’s White Skin, Black Fuel: acknowledgment of the climate emergency, but in the context of demonizing climate migrants, “defending and protecting the interests of the national industrial and production system,” and an all-of-the-above energy development program, built upon “de-bureaucratizing the authorization procedures” for energy projects.

Hmm… that sounds a lot like Sen. Joe Manchin’s so-called “Energy Independence and Security Act.” We’ll get to the latest news on his dirty plan below. But first, Holland! Sorry, the Netherlands. Wait … I mean the Dutch!

The fascist strain of Dutch politics is fueled by QAnon conspiracy theories that food shortages are being artificially created by the Left to impose climate regulations. As Jeremy Peters describes in this must-read, based on a report from the Network Contagion Research Institute:

When the Dutch government announced plans in June to reduce certain greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70 percent, farmers erupted in protest....

But beneath the headlines, in some of the darkest corners of the internet, disinformation researchers and State Department officials who monitor online propaganda saw the Dutch protests as feeding a troubling new conspiracy theory: Western nations are trying to impose mass hunger, and induce submission, by restricting and hoarding the world’s food supply. And the new environmental regulations in the Netherlands, according to the conspiracy theorists, are part of a wider plot by liberal policymakers to use climate change as a ruse to seize control of the farming industry. ... 

Other versions link it to a supposed plot by environmentalists to force people to eat insects instead of meat, a strain of misinformation that has been gaining traction on the far right in recent months. ... 

In a report, the institute said many of the people spreading false reports of an intentional manipulation of the food supply were devotees of QAnon, the fringe movement that believes a cabal of child traffickers runs the world. In a post cited in the report, one QAnon supporter who has more than 250,000 followers on Telegram wrote: “Never believe for one moment there’s a shortage of anything. Food. Water. Oil. They create and manufacture these shortages.”

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Speaking of climate migrants—in Syria:

“A deadly cholera outbreak has been spreading in northern Syria over the past two weeks in areas where millions of people displaced by the country’s long civil war are suffering from a lack of clean water and health care, according to aid organizations that have warned of another potential humanitarian crisis.” “Water levels in the Euphrates have dropped after years of drought, leading to a higher concentration of bacteria.”

And in Pakistan:

I have never seen such diseases. The skin on my eldest daughter’s feet is peeling off,” said Haliman, sitting on a charpoy in a girls’ college in Larkana, where she had sought refuge along with a hundred others. “It is because of the floods and she waded through the flood water with me for hours. It is not only her feet, but her back, thighs and neck have bumpy rashes.”

Unicef Pakistan’s representative, Abdullah Fadil, warned that without a massive increase in support, many more children would die. “The situation for Pakistani families is beyond bleak, and malnourished children are battling diarrhea and malaria, dengue fever, and many are suffering from painful skin conditions.”

Meanwhile, we don’t even need our proto-eco-fascist party to be in power for their agenda to triumph. “The U.S. methane gas industry, unlike the Russian military, has achieved nearly all of its pre-invasion objectives,” Nathan Kauffman writes. Oliver Milman explains how the United States, which only began exporting liquefied natural gas in 2016 but is now the world’s largest exporter, is accelerating the industry’s growth under President Joe Biden, thanks to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

It thus comes as little surprise that “almost all the world’s governments have failed to improve their climate plans this year, breaking a promise made at last year’s climate summit in Glasgow, UK.”

#NODIRTYDEAL: The Senate convenes on Tuesday, with a 5:30 PM cloture motion on the motion to proceed to the legislative vehicle for the continuing resolution. That vote will be the first test for Manchin’s dirty plan.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is whipping his caucus against the Manchin plan, putting it in increasing doubt. Big Coal Joe is increasingly desperate for GOP votes, going to Fox News and the Wall Street Journal to praise his own “all-of-the-above energy approach,” attack Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and reiterate that his bill is a GOP Big Oil priority:

“My Republican friends, I’ve been working for 12 years with them, and I know their No. 1 item that they’ve had, the No. 1 priority they’ve had is permitting reform.

Despite his public sucking up to Republicans and bashing Bernie, Manchin thinks that Democratic senators will ignore climate scientists and the unified environmental justice community. He claims that there are at least 40 Democrats willing to vote for his dirty plan, but maybe even 45—even though six Democratic senators have already spoken out publicly against the plan.

Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post editorial board—whose climate opinions are led by Steve “Buzz Lightyear” Stromberg—is promoting the dirty deal, one week after telling everyone to prepare for the Thwaites Glacier inundating the coasts because of society’s failure to stop climate change. They’re intellectually consistent!

The fossil-fueled Hurricane Fiona tore through Nova Scotia, even as hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans remain without power. Ilana Berger finds that climate change and the fossil-fuel economy went almost completely unmentioned in television coverage of Fiona. On Friday, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will chair an oversight hearing on Puerto Rico’s post-disaster reconstruction and power grid development, from Hurricane Maria to today.

Sunday night, the fossil-fueled Super Typhoon Noru smashed into the Philippines, killing five rescue workers and submerging the island nation. Noru is now headed for Vietnam.

The next storm is on its way for the US: Tampa Bay residents have been told to flee from the strengthening Hurricane Ian.

California took another important but baby step away from fracked gas, mandating that all new space and water heaters be carbon-free by 2030.

The carbon footprint of the U.S. bitcoin industry is now the equivalent of 6 million cars.

MOVES: EPA Administrator Michael Regan headed to Warrenton, N.C. on Saturday to announce the formation of his agency’s Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights.

Essential agriculture journalist Tom Philpott is leaving Mother Jones to join Johns Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future.

ON THE HILL: Although the continuing resolution is the main event, there are several interesting committee hearings. In addition to Grijalva’s aforementioned Puerto Rico hearing: Senate committees are voting on several Department of Agriculture nominations, the repeatedly delayed nomination of Joe Goffman to be the EPA’s head of air pollution, and labor activist Moshe Marvit’s nomination to the Federal Mine Safety Commission.

Legislation under consideration this week includes the deceptively named Save Our Sequoias Act, which uses global warming to justify increased logging near sequoia stands; Rep. Jared Huffman’s (D-Calif) sustainable fisheries legislation; and multiple bills to improve climate disaster resilience (or at least transfer more costs to the federal government).

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