Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Half-Earth: A biodiversity ‘solution’ that solves nothing

Variants of the half-Earth biodiversity conservation initiative, recently popularized by E.O. Wilson, have increasingly been gaining acceptance among conservationists. While the boldness of their proposal is commendable, placing half the Earth in protected areas only addresses the immediate causes of the biodiversity crisis, and even this conflicts with the land-use mandates of capital. As I argue in a recent article in Climate & Capitalism, ecological Marxism does not reject protected areas, but more fundamentally points out the need for a co-revolutionary struggle against alienation.

Unfortunately, this revolutionary perspective is frequently excluded from the "eco-centric vs. anthropocentric" framing of conservationist ideology, or distorted beyond recognition, as in a recent series of articles by a group of preservationists defending the Nature Needs Half program. My article in Climate & Capitalism offers some simple rebuttals to the more egregious charges against ecological Marxism. I am hoping to expand on these arguments in a full-length piece I plan to submit to the same conservation journal that published several of these allegations.