To date, the year 2016 was the warmest year on record. This will likely be a shortly held record, as we can well expect that, with each successive year, a newer record will be set. There is now little doubt that the future of this planet will be warmer. We will see increased droughts and, paradoxically, yearly 100-year floods; the expansion of infectious diseases like malaria and dengue fever; and the relocation of people living in coastal cities and islands as rising seas turn their homes into the new Atlantis. At this point, there is very little that can reasonably be done to stop climate change, and with it, the potential extinction of 95% of all species on this planet. No matter how much we like to believe that a solar- and wind-based power grid will solve our energy needs, while saving the earth’s atmosphere, there is little to no evidence that this is the case (Zehner 2012). Not surprisingly, there is also no evidence that capitalist economic relations can be marshaled to fix the climate crisis (Rodgers 2013). With no prospect of solving our ecological crises via renewable energies, what is the solution? Anarchism, much more than other radical ideologies, has focused on ecological issues - from the proto-anarchism of Henry David Thoreau to the ecologically minded work of Peter Kropotkin and Elisée Reclus to the contemporary work of Murray Bookchin. Because of this, an ecocentric anarchism or eco-anarchism provides a unique lens for understanding and exploring a radical response to our ecological crises. In this chapter, I contend that anti-civilizational anarchism - one of the more recent and more controversial branches of ecologism - is linked intellectually to these earlier strands of anarchist thought, and that it provides unique insights that are essential for humanity to understand as we face the prospect of catastrophic climate change.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)