Tag Archives: Ecology

May 31st 2023: The Danger of Fossil Fascism


On Wednesday 31st May, from 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss “White Skin, Black Fuel: On The Danger of Fossil Fascism” by Andreas Malm and the Zetkin Collective.

This discussion will be the fifth and final of a monthly series looking at antifascism. You do not need to attend previous sessions in the series to come to or get something out of this session, though of course we recommend coming along to the other sessions too (if you’ve heard about them in time).

As ever we will choose a short excerpt as a focus text and this will be available as a pdf to download from this page ASAP.

The full book is currently available from publishers Verso at a 30% discount: White Skin, Black Fuel – £14.00 with a free-ebook instead of the RRP of £20.

Freely available resources related to the book are available below. We like to ensure everyone can attendee our sessions and get something out of them even if they can’t afford to buy a copy of the book or the time to read it. We would encourage people to read/listen to as much as possible, but you are welcome to attend and listen along even if you are unable to engage with any of the below.

Information about White Skin, Black Fuel from the publishers Verso:

“What does the rise of the far right mean for the battle against climate change? In the first study of the far right’s role in the climate crisis, White Skin, Black Fuel presents an eye-opening sweep of a novel political constellation, revealing its deep historical roots. Fossil-fuelled technologies were born steeped in racism. No one loved them more passionately than the classical fascists. Now right-wing forces have risen to the surface, some professing to have the solution—closing borders to save the nation as the climate breaks down. Epic and riveting, White Skin, Black Fuel traces a future of political fronts that can only heat up.”

About the Zetkin Collective

The Zetkin Collective is a group of scholars and activists working on the political ecology of the far right. It was formed around the Human Ecology division at Lund University in the summer of 2018. Conducting research in their native languages, the contributing authors to the book White Skin, Black Fuel are: Irma Allen, Anna Bartfai, Bernadette Barth, Lise Benoist, Julia Bittencourt Costa Moreira, Dounia Boukaouit, Clàudia Custodio, Philipa Olivia Dige, Ilaria di Meo, George Edwards, Morten Hesselbjerg, Ståle Holgersen, Claire Lagier, Andreas Malm, Sonja Pietiläinen, Daria Rivin, Line Skovlund Larsen, Luzia Strasser, Laudy van den Heuvel, Meike Vedder and Anoushka Eloise Zoob Carter.

Learn more about Zetkin Collective and its members on their website.”

About Stroud Radical Reading Group events and the venue

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements, or other questions about how the events work.

2020 Series 2: Debates around social ecology

Our monthly events in spring 2020 will form a series on “Debates around social ecology”. Each of these three events will be held on the last Wednesday of the month, 7.30-9.30pm – online via Zoom. See poster and text below it for more details.

Poster with concentric circles in different colours, "Debates around Social Ecology" title, and details contained in webpage text

29th April: Ecological Marxism and environmental neo-Malthusianism

We will discuss “Ecological Marxism vs. environmental neo-Malthusianism: An old debate continues” (online article) by Brian Napoletano.

Let us know you plan to attend via the Facebook event: Ecological Marxism and environmental neo-Malthusianism

27th May: Social Ecology and Deep Ecology

We will discuss the introduction to “Defending the Earth: A Debate”. Download the 8,000 word introduction as an ODT file (should open in most word processing programmes), the full text is available online. The book is based on a 1989 public debate between social ecology theorist Murray Bookchin and deep ecology activist Dave Foreman.

While we will focus on the Introductory section, I recommending reading more of the text if you are able to. You down the 10,000 word closing section of the book as an ODT file. This is made up of two essays from Bookchin and Foreman on their reflections on the debate, written one year later (10,000 words). This might be of particular interest.

Let us know you plan to attend via the Facebook event: Social Ecology and Deep Ecology

24th June: Green New Deal and Beyond

We will discuss “‘We have a once-in-century chance’: Naomi Klein on how we can fight the climate crisis“, a selection from Klein’s latest book “On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal“,  together with a critical review by Angela Mitropoulos, “Playing With Fire: Securing the Borders of a Green New Deal“.

Let us know you plan to attend via the Facebook event: Green New Deal and Beyond.

 

Down to Earth by Bruno Latour – 15th May 2019

As part of our summer series on climate and environmental crises, we will discuss Bruno Latour’s Down To Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime on Wednesday 15th May, 7.30-9.30pm at Black Book Cafe. Facebook event: Down to Earth-Bruno Latour – SRRG discussion.

The book is available for £12.99 from Stroud Bookshop (we can negotiate a small discount through bulk purchase if enough people want a copy) but we will focus our discussion on chapters 1-5 and 20 of Latour’s book – excerpts available as a pdf here (pages 1-21, 99-106).

From the publisher’s page about the book: “The present ecological mutation has organized the whole political landscape for the last thirty years. This could explain the deadly cocktail of exploding inequalities, massive deregulation, and conversion of the dream of globalization into a nightmare for most people.

What holds these three phenomena together is the conviction, shared by some powerful people, that the ecological threat is real and that the only way for them to survive is to abandon any pretense at sharing a common future with the rest of the world. Hence their flight offshore and their massive investment in climate change denial.

The Left has been slow to turn its attention to this new situation. It is still organized along an axis that goes from investment in local values to the hope of globalization and just at the time when, everywhere, people dissatisfied with the ideal of modernity are turning back to the protection of national or even ethnic borders.

This is why it is urgent to shift sideways and to define politics as what leads toward the Earth and not toward the global or the national. Belonging to a territory is the phenomenon most in need of rethinking and careful redescription; learning new ways to inhabit the Earth is our biggest challenge. Bringing us down to earth is the task of politics today.”

Chapter titles of the sections forming our focus for discussion:

Chapter 1: “A hypothesis as political fiction: the explosion of inequalities and the denial of climate change are one and the same phenomenon.”

Chapter 2: Thanks to America’s abandonment of the climate agreement, we now know clearly what war has been declared

Chapter 3:  The question of migrations now concerns everyone, offering a new and very wicked universality: finding oneself deprived of ground

Chapter 4: One must take care not to confuse globalization-plus with globalization-minus

Chapter 5. How the globalist ruling classes have decided to abandon all the burdens of solidarity, little by little

Chapter 20: “A personal defence of the Old Continent”