Deconstructing The Colonial Narratives Surrounding Migration — Part 5

AEHJ
6 min readJan 30, 2022

The Ecological Breakdown: Five Centuries Of White Supremacy

The most sensible outcome of five centuries of European colonialism and its ruthless extractive mercantilism is the collapse of the planet’s ecosystems on an unprecedented level.

It is today unnecessary to make a case for climate change as its effects have been validated by scientists and policymakers around the globe but it is important to deconstruct some widespread discourses that have entered the mainstream language.

It’s not an ‘anthropocene’, it’s either a capitalocene or a septentriocene

A representation of the cumulative CEO2 emissions from 1850 to 2015. Andrew Fanning / data by Jason Hickel.

One deceitful term that has been formalized as a description of the geological era we are entering is: ‘anthropocene’.

Unlike the previous eras, the characteristics of this one (like extensive heating) has an artificial origin and not some natural activities like volcanoes. But the term used here is very problematic not to say abusive: anthropos in ancient Greek means Human so the idea is that climate change is human-induced. The problem with such terminology is that it contradicts what the science says in terms of responsibility: only 10% of the human population (the inhabitants of the Global North) is responsible for 92% of the CO2 emissions and the ecological collapse resulting from it.

Historical responsibility in the ecological breakdown by Redfish media, based on Jason Hickel’s work.

By calling the age of climate change ‘Anthropocene’, there is a deliberate attempt to put the responsibility of a minority of people (Europeans of Europe and Europeans of the colonies + the Japanese and the Russians) on the whole species unless what the conceptors of the term mean is that only the inhabitants of the Global North are human, which is even more problematic to say the least.

Redirecting responsibility is a well-known gaslighting tactic that serves two goals at the same time:

A creative representation of ‘Whataboutism’ by Leolinne. Whataboutism is one of many responsibility-redirecting techniques used in Climate Delay discourses. (Lamb, Mattioli et al. 2020)

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AEHJ

Aspiring terraformer | Eco-minimalist | Interested in: #Justice #Decolonization #PostGrowth #History #Semantics #Narratives #Concepts #Deconstruction #Systems